Add a Little Latin Flair to Your Grilled Dishes

With warmer weather on the horizon, it's just about time to take your cooking outdoors and fire up the grill.

But instead of the same old burgers and dogs -- why not mix it up a little with some spicy Latin flavors?

"Early Show" Recipes Galore

Daisy Martinez, the host of Food Network's "Viva Daisy" and author of the cookbook "Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night," showed on "The Early Show" how you can add some Latin flair to your backyard barbecue.

RECIPES:

Grilled Skirt Steak with Cilantro Pesto


Makes 12 Servings

INGREDIENTS:
Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skirt steaks (about 1 pound each), trimmed of fat and cut crosswise in half
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Cilantro Pesto (recipe to follow)

METHOD:
Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper into both sides of the steaks. Rub the onion powder into the steaks, dividing it evenly. Put the steaks into a baking dish or container that holds them comfortably, sprinkle the vinegar over them, and brush them with the olive oil. Marinate the steaks at room temperature for up to 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to two days.

Heat a gas grill to medium-high, build a strong charcoal fire, or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.

Grill the steaks, turning only once, to desired doneness. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
If desired, thinly slice the steaks against the grain before serving. Drizzle some of the cilantro pesto over the steaks and pass the rest separately.

Cilantro Pesto

Makes 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 packed cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (stems and all)
1 packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup Marcona almonds or blanched almonds
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD:
Pour the oil into a blender jar. Add the cilantro, parsley, almonds, and vinegar and blend until the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture is fairly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape into a storage container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent the pesto from turning dark. (The pesto will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Shrimp Without Chorizo Skewers

INGREDIENTS:
12 wooden or metal skewers
24 large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
6 big, fat jalapeños, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise
12 cherry or grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground Pepper

METHOD:
1. Soak wooden skewers, if using, in water to cover for at least 30 minutes. Drain.
2. Thread the shrimp and vegetables onto the skewers: Start with a round of zucchini and follow with a shrimp, jalapeño, and cherry tomato. Finish up with another zucchini round, shrimp, and jalapeño. The skewers can be assembled up to several hours before being cooked. Put them in a rectangular baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
3. Heat a gas grill to medium-high or build a charcoal fire and wait for the coals to just start turning ashy.
4. Brush the shrimp and vegetables lightly with olive oil and season them well with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers, turning them once or twice, until the shrimp are cooked through and the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.
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