Bistec Oaxaquena with Grilled Corn Salad/Breckenridge Agave Wheat Ale/Orchid “Capricorn”
Well, I’m very excited about tonight’s dinner for three reasons. First, this is another one of those restaurant dishes that I try to tinker with and make at home. Bistec Oaxaquena is my go-to order at a local Mexican restaurant (coughs: ElTipico) and after a couple of attempts, I think I finally was able to nail down the recipe. Secondly, the Grilled Corn Salad was my first reader request! (ok actually it’s from one of my boys and his girlfriend), they make this salad quite often and I can see why, it’s awesome. Lastly, Nikki made an awesome Mexican Bread Pudding to cap off the dinner, which also means another “From Nikki’s Mixxer” entry is forthcoming.
This south of the border dinner gets paired with an Agave Wheat beer from Breckenridge Brewery and Orchid’s first full length offering “Capricorn”.
Bistec Oaxaquena with Grilled Corn Salad – Not going to lie here, this is not a come-home-from-work-and-whip-together type of meal. They can’t all be that way, can they? We start with the meat and the marinade. A simple marinade of beer and ancho chile powder is all you need. Mix together and pour over a tenderized skirt steak. Note, the beer flavor is really going to come through in the steak. Alternatively, you could just rub some of the ancho powder on the steak.
Next up, we head to the grill. For the Oaxaquena sauce, we’re grilling roma tomatoes, tomatillos, white onions, jalapeños, poblano peppers and dried guajillo chiles. For the corn salad, fresh corn on the cob and jalapeño peppers. Looking for a nice char on all of the vegetables, the dried chile only needs a minute or so to get a char on it. After a minute or two, remove the dried chile and place in a bowl with boiling water.
Time to finish up the sauce and salad. For the salad, in a large bowl combine the grilled corn kernels, finely diced grilled jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed) one finely diced orange pepper, one finely diced green pepper, 1/2 red onion finely diced, 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes that have been quartered, 5 basil leaves sliced into thin ribbons. Toss together to mix thoroughly. A quick dressing of 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup chicken broth and a teaspoon of sugar gets whisked together and poured over the salad. Mix and chill.
For the Oaxaquana sauce, place the grilled vegetables and rehydrated chile (except for the poblano and 1/2 the white onion) in a blender with a little chicken broth, salt and pepper, blend until smooth. Put a rough chop on the grilled poblano and remaining 1/2 of white onion and mix into sauce. Set aside.
Ok, still with me? Back to the grill we go. Get the coals going so that they are white-hot. The skirt steak goes down, 5 minutes or so per side will get us to a nice medium doneness.
These get transferred to hot plates and topped with the oaxaquena salsa and some freshly shredded oaxaca cheese then placed on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill until cheese is melted.
Finally, the corn tortillas get their turn over the coals, 1/2 minute per side should do the trick.
Time to serve this up! Top the skirt steak with additional sauce, a couple of corn tortillas on the side and a big serving of the corn salad. I love the corn salad with this. This dish is typically served with rice and refried beans, heavy sides to go with a heavy beef and cheese dish. The light salad is the perfect compliment.
Breckenridge Agave Wheat Ale – Seems like a perfect pairing for this meal, right? Right. This beer is incredible. I had no idea what to expect when I saw it on the shelf, but on it’s face it didn’t look promising. Agave is usually way too sweet, not something I’d want anywhere near my beer and wheat beers are hit and miss with me. BUT…. put a skull wearing a sombrero on a beer label and more often than not I am on my way to the counter with a six pack of it in my hand. The agave here does bring a subtle sweetness, not cloying in any way, but it balances out the assertive hop presence. It’s a wheat beer, so it is unbelievably refreshing. An amazing summer beer that we here in Chicago only have about another month or so to enjoy!
Orchid “Capricorn” – San Francisco’s Orchid just signed with Nuclear Blast, good for them can’t wait to hear the new material. A new E.P. will be out in September with some new tracks. Until then, we have “Capricorn”, Orchid’s offering from 2011. One of the best albums from 2011 at that. Orchid are unabashed “Sabbath Worshipers” from the vocals, to the riffs, to the production, to the song names. All have been Black Sabbath-ized. When you can you pull it off this well though, who cares? The songs sound great. The album starts out with the great “Eyes Behind The Wall” (Sabbath-ized from Sabbath’s own Behind The Wall of Sleep) then goes right into the title track “Capricorn”, the album’s best song. A sludgy bass line that grooves along side of the vocals then into a chorus that flat out rocks. “Black Funeral” plods along next sounding more like Sabbath’s “Hand Of Doom” rather than the more closely titled “Electric Funeral”. “He Who Walks Alone” is another stand-out track as is “Albatross” which gives more than just a nod to Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan”. Also worth searching out is Orchid’s debut E.P. “Through The Devil’s Doorway”.