Tag Archives: grapefruit

Spice Rubbed Steak w/ Avocado-Grapefruit Salsa

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This meal lets you dress up an ordinary steak with a bit of spice and seasonal fruit.  I love the marbling in rib eye steaks but you can use whichever cut of meat you prefer.  The spice rub give the meat a little extra kick while the grapefruit and avocado put a new spin on a typical salsa.  Serve alongside a baked potato and you have a complete meal in less than half an hour.  Now that is the perfect way to end your work week.

SPICE RUBBED STEAK W/ AVOCADO-GRAPEFRUIT SALSA

2 rib eye steaks

For the steak rub:

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Evenly divide the spice rub amongst both sides of the two steaks.  Use your fingers to massage the spice into the meat.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes before grilling.
  • Lightly grease a grill with cooking spray.  Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the steaks in the center of the grill and cook for approximately 9 minutes (for medium-rare) to desired level of doneness flipping every two to three minutes.  The amount of grilling time will depend upon the thickness of the meat and your personal preferences.

For the salsa:

1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned with membranes removed, cut into bite sized pieces

1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

Juice of 1 lime

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Serve along side the grilled steak.

Serves 2

Citrus Risotto

 

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Its citrus season and there is nothing better than these juicy and colorful fruits to brighten up dreary winter days. The fruit is great eaten as is but really shines when used as part of a dish. Right now I’m missing the lemon and mandarine trees that graced my garden in Albania but I’m pleasantly surprised at the variety of fruits I’m finding in my local markets here in Belgium. When I came across a honey pompelo, I just knew I needed to buy one to take home. When I cut through its skin and thick pith I found what was essentially a giant grapefruit. The flesh was golden (there are also ruby red varieties) and it tasted like a mild, less acidic grapefruit. I was intrigued. I had recently been gifted with a large stash of Spanish clementines so I knew that a citrus dish was in the making.

Followers of this blog know that I love risotto so when I came across a citrus risotto recipe in Judy Roger’s The Zuni Cafe Cookbook I knew what I was going to make. I substituted my pompelo for the grapefruit in the original recipe, added in my clementines as well as a healthy dose of white wine. The results? Try them for yourself but I’m sure you’ll agree that this recipe is a keeper.

CITRUS RISOTTO

1 pompelo, plus juice

1 clementine, plus juice

1 lime, plus juice

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

  • Slice the ends off of the citrus, cutting deeply enough to just expose the flesh. Working over a large bowl, use a paring knife to carve away the skin and pith from the fruit. Carefully remove the membrane from each citrus section and remove any seeds. Set the juice and citrus aside.
  • Combine the chicken broth and wine in a medium sized pot and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches a low simmer. Keep warm.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the shallots and cook until soft and translucent about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir the rice into the butter and shallot mixture stirring with a wooden spoon until the grains are coated with the butter.
  • Working with one ladleful of the liquid at a time, add the liquid into the rice stirring well after each addition. Cook and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding more liquid. Do not let the mixture become too dry.
  • Continue adding broth and cooking until the rice is al dente and creamy looking. You may not have used all of the broth mixture at this point. (I usually have about 1/2 cup of broth left when my rice is done).
  • Stir in the reserved citrus and juices, breaking up the sections to distribute them through the rice. Check the rice for doneness and add the remaining broth if necessary.
  • Remove the rice from the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

 

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Grapefruit & Pepper Flank Steak w/ Grilled Tomato Salsa

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Grilling season is upon us and here is a dish that can be cooked entirely on the grill meaning no ovens or stove tops to heat up your kitchen. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t heat. In fact, this dish is hot, hot, hot. In a good way of course so if you like your food spicy this is the dish for you. The recipe comes from Saveur Magazine and has two layers of heat, first in the marinade and second in the salsa that accompanies the steak.

The heat in the marinade comes from a Scotch Bonnet pepper which is pureed into the sauce alongside along with the fresh papaya and grapefruit juice. The acids in the fruit juice temper the heat of the pepper but it is still hot. If you prefer less heat, remove the pepper seeds before pureeing or substitute a milder pepper. And of course you want to take care and protect your skin when handling the pepper since its oils could irritate your skin. The heat in the salsa is much more subtle. The jalapeno are grilled alongside the onions, garlic, and tomatoes which gives the vegetables a slightly smokey flavor. Top the steak with the salsa and eat it wrapped in a corn tortilla or place the sliced meat on top of a bed of leafy greens and using the salsa as a dressing. Both versions are great on a hot summer evening.

GRAPEFRUIT & PEPPER FLANK STEAK w/ GRILLED TOMATO SALSA

1 cup roughly chopped papaya
½ cup olive oil
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, stemmed
Juice of 1 large Ruby Red grapefruit
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1½ lb. beef flank steak, trimmed
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed
4 plum tomatoes, cored
1 small white onion, cut in half crosswise
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
Juice of 1 lime
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving (optional)

  • Place the papaya, half of the oil, the Scotch bonnet, grapefruit juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Using a stick blender puree the mixture into a smooth marinade.
  • Pour ⅔ marinade into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add steak and seal bag; set aside to marinate for 30-45 minutes but no longer. Reserve remaining marinade.
  • Heat a charcoal grill to high. Place the garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions in a grill basket and place on the hottest part of grill, turning as needed, until charred in spots and tender, 1-2 minutes for garlic, 4-6 minutes for jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Allow vegetables to cool slightly. Peel jalapeños and transfer to a bowl along with garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Add remaining oil, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Use a stick blender to puree into a chunky salsa and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Remove steak from marinade and grill on hottest part of grill, turning as needed, and, using a brush, baste occasionally with reserved marinade until charred in spots and cooked to desired doneness, 10-12 minutes for medium rare.
  • Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice steak thinly on the bias; serve with salsa and warmed tortillas, for wrapping, if you like.

 

Serves 4-6

Spice Rubbed Steak w/ Avocado & Grapefruit Salsa

photo 3-18

It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This meal lets you dress up an ordinary steak with a bit of spice and seasonal fruit.  I love the marbling in rib eye steaks but you can use whichever cut of meat you prefer.  The spice rub give the meat a little extra kick while the grapefruit and avocado put a new spin on a typical salsa.  Serve alongside a baked potato and you have a complete meal in less than half an hour.  Now that is the perfect way to end your work week.

SPICE RUBBED STEAK W/ AVOCADO-GRAPEFRUIT SALSA

2 rib eye steaks

For the steak rub:

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Evenly divide the spice rub amongst both sides of the two steaks.  Use your fingers to massage the spice into the meat.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes before grilling.
  • Lightly grease a grill with cooking spray.  Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the steaks in the center of the grill and cook for approximately 9 minutes (for medium-rare) to desired level of doneness flipping every two to three minutes.  The amount of grilling time will depend upon the thickness of the meat and your personal preferences.

For the salsa:

1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned with membranes removed, cut into bite sized pieces

1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

Juice of 1 lime

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Serve along side the grilled steak.

Serves 2

Mmmmmmmmmmm……………..Cellos

 

Lemon, orange, or grapefruit-
What’s your pleasure?

I first discovered lemoncello several years ago during a trip to Italy with my mom.  In little Italian restaurants throughout Tuscany long lazy dinners were topped off with a small glass of the bright yellow beverage.  We never ordered it; rather it showed up like clockwork at the close of every meal.  I’m not a fan of hard alcohol- give me a good glass of red wine any day- but the biting sharpness of lemoncello was the perfect way to end an already satisfying meal. Thinking I could easily buy it back in the States, I eschewed the boot-shaped bottles of lemoncellos sold in the duty-free shops of the airports we passed through on our way back home.  Sadly the only lemoncello I could find in Norfolk was so sweet and thick that it reminded me of cough syrup.  In restaurants, requests for lemoncello were met with blank stares from bartenders.  For a brief time I was able to order a glass at Norfolk’s now defunct Amalfi’s Restaurant but with the closure of their doors I was out of luck. Until I found a way to make my own.

Making this liquor is actually quite simple.  Initially I started with a base of vodka but found it lacked the bite I expected from a true lemoncello.  A friend recommended I try grain alcohol as a base and sure enough it worked.  Ironically, it is not possible to buy grain alcohol in the Commonwealth of Virginia run liquor stores- the only place one can buy hard alcohol in Virginia- but I discovered that the Class Six liquor stores on military bases always carried a ready supply of the potent liquid.   Eureka!  Homemade lemoncello quickly become a favorite drink to serve to guests at the closure of our dinners.

Not knowing whether or not we would be able to find grain alcohol in Albania (we discovered it is sold here under the name “Alkoohool”) we included a case of the fiery liquid in our consumables shipment. The abundance of fresh citrus fruit has inspired me to branch out to also make orange-cello and grapefruit-cello.  I think both are even better than the lemon version.  Last fall the fruit filled pomegranate tree growing in our garden gave me the idea of trying a pomegranate version.  Neither Glenn nor I were impressed with the ensuing results which we actually dumped down the drain.  Since I do love the taste of pomegranate I’m not giving up though and will be trying it again this fall.

LEMON (ORANGE, GRAPEFRUIT) CELLO
1 liter grain alcohol
8-10 firm thick skinned citrus fruit
1 1/2 cups sugar
1)  Carefully remove the peel of the fruit making sure to only remove the colored part and none of the
      white pith  (the pith will impart a bitter taste into your cello).
2)   Place the fruit skins in a non-reactive ceramic or glass bowl and cover with the grain alcohol.
3)   Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place a shelf or out of the way counter for two weeks.
4)   When ready to proceed, make a simple syrup by placing the sugar in a saucepan with 3 cups of
       water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool
       completely.
5)   Remove the fruit peels from the alcohol mixture and drain into a non-reactive bowl.
6)   Add the cooled sugar syrup and stir to combine.
7)   Transfer the cello into glass bottles and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to drink.
       I always keep mine in the freezer since we like to drink the cellos when they are extra cold.
This is so easy; the hardest part is waiting for the batch to be ready to drink.
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