Northwest NEWS

July 24, 2000


Sliced Pork Torta Sandwich
   Sliced Pork Torta Sandwich
   Charcoal: Indirect; Gas: Indirect/Medium Heat
   1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1-1/2 lb. boneless pork roast
   1 large white onion, sliced in thin rings
   1-1/2 c. Mexican barbecue sauce, preferably one flavored with chipotle chiles
   4 6-inch French rolls, cut lengthwise in half
   2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced
   1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
   Salt to taste
   Lightly oil pork roast and sear over direct heat on all sides. Meanwhile, place oil and onions in Dutch oven and place in the center of the cooking grate. Cook the onion, stirring, until richly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Mexican barbecue sauce and 1/2 c. of water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the pork.
   Cover the pot and continue to cook on cooking grate. Grill until the pork registers about 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 30-45 minutes.
   Place the bread cut-sides down on the cooking grate and toast until golden, about 3 minutes
   Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Carve into very thin slices. Salt the pan juices to taste.
   Add half of the cilantro and pork slices to the pan juices; coat well. Moisten the bottom of the bread and then layer on the sliced avocados. Sprinkle with the reserved cilantro. Moisten the tops of the bread with more pan juices and place on top to make a sandwich. Press lightly on the sandwich to compact it a bit.
   Serve immediately or wrap individual sandwiches for a picnic.
   Makes 4 to 6 servings.
   Mexican Grilled Vegetables
   Charcoal: Direct; Gas: Direct/Medium Heat
   1/2 c. olive oil
   6 Tbsp. vinegar, such as red-wine vinegar or balsamic
   2 tsp. pure ground chile powder or cayenne
   1/2 tsp. pure ground chile powder or cayenne
   2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and each cut into 4 long slices
   4 medium zucchini, each cut into 4 long slices
   2 small chayote, peeled and each cut 1/4 inch thick slices
   1 medium eggplant, cut into 4 long slices;then each slice cut in half widthwise
   3 small bunches green onions, trimmed
   1 pint small, ripe cherry tomatoes, tossed in a bowl with a little oil
   1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, cilantro, basil, or parsley
   4 limes, cut into wedges
   Combine the oil, vinegar, 2 tsp. of salt and the chile powder in a blender, Process until smooth.
   Lightly coat cut vegetables with this mixture. Set the remaining vinaigrette beside the grill, along with a basting brush and the salt.
   One by one lay the vegetable slices and green onions on the cooking grate. (Do this in batches if necessary so the grill is not crowded.) Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook about 5 minutes.
   Turn the vegetables over and baste with the seasoned vinaigrette. Cook 3 or 4 minutes longer; as soon as vegetables are done, remove from grill and transfer (in a decorative manner) to a platter; the zucchini, chayote and green onions should be just about tender (but still have good texture); the eggplant will be cooked to the center in a couple of minutes; the sweet potatoes will be the last to cook through.
   When all other vegetables are done, place the tomatoes onto the cooking grate to mark and warm through, about 2 minutes. Place onto the platter with the other vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, decorate with lime wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Cinnamon-Grilled Bananas with Mexican Chocolate
   Charcoal: Direct; Gas: Direct/Medium Heat
   4 firm, but ripe, bananas, unpeeled
   1 Tbsp. sugar
   1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican cinnamon (canela)
   8 small scoops best-quality ice cream, preferably dulce de leche flavor
   1/2 c. coarsely chopped Mexican chocolate
   Slice bananas in half lengthwise and crosswise so each banana yields four pieces. Set aside.
   Combine sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle on cut sides of bananas. Let bananas sit for 5 minutes.
   Place bananas cut-side down on a clean cooking grate. Cook for 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Using a pair of long handled tongs, turn over and let cook 5 more minutes or until the skin pulls away from the banana.
   Arrange 2 banana halves without skins on each serving plate. Top each serving with 2 scoops of dulce de leche ice cream, Sprinkle each with about 1 Tbsp. of the crumbled chocolate.
   Serve immediately.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Classic Mexican Red Tomato Rice
   1 can (15 oz.) good quality whole tomatoes in juice, drained
   1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
   2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
   1-3/4 c. chicken broth or water
   1-1/2 c. rice, preferably medium grain
   2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
   Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 serrano or 2 jalapenos), a slit cut down the length of each one
   1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
   1/2 box frozen peas, thawed
   In a blender or food processor, combine the canned tomatoes with the onion and garlic. Blend to a smooth puree; you should have 1 generous cup. In a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, heat the broth or water until steaming; season to taste with salt.
   Lightly oil the fresh tomatoes, place them directly on the cooking grate and grill until skin is lightly charred. When cool, roughly chop and set aside.
   In a medium (3 quart) saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the raw rice and stir regularly until the kernels have turned from translucent to milky white, 5 to 6 minutes ( if some of the kernels begin to brown, that's fine). Add the tomato mixture and carrots. Stir a couple of times; then let cook until reduced and somewhat dry looking, 2 to 3 minutes.
   Add the warm broth or water, chiles and parsley; stir thoroughly and scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan. Cover pan with lid and place on cooking grate. Cook for 15 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the peas and grilled tomatoes. Re-cover pan and cook 5 minutes.
   As soon as it is done, gently fluff the rice to release the steam and stop the cooking. Serve immediately. Note: You may remove the chiles if you wish, or pull them out to use as decoration on top of the rice.
   Makes 6 to 8 servings.
   Grilled Steak with Red Chile Barbecue Sauce
   Red Chile Barbecue Sauce:
   16 dried quajillo or New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 4 oz. total)
   3 garlic cloves, peeled
   1 tsp. dried oregano
   1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
   1/8 tsp. ground cumin
   3-2/3 c. beef broth, plus a little more if needed
   1-1/2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil, divided
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. sugar
   1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
   6 individual beef ribeye (or other tender) steaks, each 1-inch thick
   1 large onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
   Several sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
   Toast chiles on a hot griddle or skillet; open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula. When chiles crackle and send a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.
   Combine the garlic, oregano, black pepper and cumin in a food processor or blender, along with the drained chiles and 2/3 c. of the broth. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.
   Heat 1-1/2 Tbsp. of the oil in a heavy, medium size saucepan (4 quart).When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, add the puree and stir constantly until it reduces into thick paste, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 c. of broth, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. If necessary, stir in a little more broth to bring the sauce to a medium steak-sauce consistency. Taste and season with sugar.
   Mix 1/4 c. of the sauce with the vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Add the steaks and turn to coat them evenly with the marinade. Let marinate, covered and refrigerated, for 1-2 hours but no more than 4 hours.
   Place the steaks on the cooking grate directly over the heat, and grill for 7-10 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time.
   While the steaks are grilling, brush the onion slices with the remaining oil. Arrange the slices on the cooking grate around the steaks and grill, turning once halfway through cooking time, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
   Meanwhile, heat the sauce to a simmer. Remove steaks and let sit 5 minutes. Serve with a generous 1/3 c. of the heated sauce and a topping of the onions. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
   Makes 6 servings.