[Tacos Carne Asada w/ Pico De Gallo]

Based on recipe by Tyler Florence
Makes 8 (very filling) tacos (we could only eat 3 each). 
We had leftover carne asada we used for burritos and sandwiches.
2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
1 recipe Mojo, recipe follows
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 (7-inch) corn tortillas
Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce, for serving
Diced white onion, for serving
Shredded Colby Jack cheese, for serving
Pico de Gallo, recipe follows
2 limes, cut in wedges for serving

Lay the flank steak in a large baking dish and pour the mojo over it. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours, so the flavors can sink into the meat. Don't marinate the steak for more than 8 hours though, or the fibers break down too much and the meat gets mushy.

Preheat an outdoor grill or a ridged grill pan over medium-high flame (you can also use a broiler). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Pull the steak out of the mojo marinade and season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side in a dry skillet or on the grill, until toasty and pliable.
To make the tacos, stack up 2 of the warm tortillas, lay about 4 ounces of beef down the center, and sprinkle with some lettuce, onion, and cheese. Top each taco with a spoonful of the Pico de Gallo salsa and garnish with lime wedges. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
In a bowl, mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper to make a paste.  Add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Whisk it up really well to combine.

Pico De Gallo:
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/3 medium red onion, chopped
1 green onion, white and green parts, sliced
1 Jalapeno chile, minced
1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry.
Yield: 1 cup

[chicken marsala]

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
3/4 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish

In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

[fish tacos]

based on Bobby Flay's Fish Taco recipe
4 small servings, (side dish needed), or 2 large servings (no side dish needed)

1 pound white flaky fish, we used mahi mahi
1/4 cup canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas

Shredded white cabbage
Fresh cut limes
Crema or sour cream
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced green onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
shredded cheese, we use aged smoked cheddar and spotted cow cheddar
Pureed Tomato Salsa, recipe below

pureed salsa:
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 serrano chile
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat, add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Lower heat to medium and add tomatoes, serrano and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the mixture with a hand-held immersion blender (or in a couple batches in a blender), until smooth and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside to bring to room temperature.  (There will be leftovers of this - so be sure to have some chips on hand for the next day).

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the fish from the marinade place onto a hot grill, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 5 minutes on the first side and then flip for 2 minutes, or until fish is cooked and beginning to flake, and remove. Let rest, covered with foil for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork and remove any bones and skin.  Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

[tuna melt panini]

2 (5 ounce) cans solid white tuna in water, drained
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk)
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
4 slices wheat bread
4 slices ripe tomato
4 slices Swiss cheese

Combine the tuna, mayo, celery, onion, parsley, vinegar salt and pepper.   Toast the bread, or place in panini maker until golden brown.  Spread tuna on two pieces of bread.  Divide each slice of cheese into two triangles and place two triangles on each sandwich.  Place 1 tomato slice on each piece of cheese and top with remaining 4 triangles of cheese, one on each tomato.  Assemble sandwich with other piece of bread and place in panini maker until golden brown.  Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

[grilled shrimp and scallop scampi on angel hair pasta]

This recipe is a little tricky the first time only due to handling so many pots in the kitchen at once with very time sensitive ingredients, like seafood.  Once you've made it once, it's easy to master.  The bacon can be replaced by prosciutto if you can find it.
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 pound of angel hair pasta
6 garlic cloves,minced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
about 16 shrimp, medium to large size, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
8 medium sized scallops
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
juice of one lemon
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
4 pieces of bacon
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Parmesan, if desired

Perheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lay bacon strips in a pyrex pan and cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove from oven and set aside between paper towels to drain.

Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil.

In a bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Place half of the mixture with the shrimp and scallops and toss to coat evenly.  

Cook the pasta per the directions on the box by adding the pasta to the water along with some salt, cook until al dente (about 4 minutes).  Reserve 3 ladles of the water.  Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

Heat a skillet to medium high and add the shrimp and scallops once it's hot.  (If using a nonstick pan - no need to add more oil - the marinade has enough).  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the scallops are lightly browned and the shrimp is pink.  Once cooked, remove skillet from heat and set aside.  

In a large pan/skillet, add the reserved garlic mixture and the red pepper flakes and cook over medium high heat until fragrant (don't let the garlic brown).  Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.  Add about 2 ladles of the reserved pasta water, and the juice from the lemon.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the butter, stiring until it's melted.  Add the shrimp and scallops and toss to coat.  Add the onion and bacon and toss again.  Last, add the pasta and toss to warm up the pasta.  

Serves two generous servings.  Top with a little shredded Parmesan if desired.

[pan-fried walleye with lemon butter sauce]

Yields: 4 servings 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
walleye filets
Tbsp vegetable oil
Tbsp cold butter, cubed
Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Tbsp chopped parsley
Place flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge fish one piece at a time into flour, shaking off excess. In a medium skillet heat oil and 1 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add filets and cook 2-3 mins. on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.  Add lemon juice to the skillet. Whisk in the butter until thickened. Pour sauce over the fish and sprinkle with parsley.
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