Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri, Elote Corn on the Cob, and Jalapeño Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
There are so many variations on meat and potatoes, it doesn’t even compare to Bubba listing different types of shrimp preparation in Forrest Gump. With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, we’re doing a nod to Mexican flavors with elotes y chimichurri. Okay, to be honest, elotes are Mexican but chimichurri, derived from tximitxurri, is Basque for “a little of this, a little of that.” Many Hispanic cultures have adopted the word chimichurri to describe a sauce that usually has garlic, olive oil, lime juice, and a combination of fresh herbs. August tried making chimichurri once in 2007; it was that memorable because it took her two hours to mince all the ingredients without a food processor!
Serves 4 as per the recipes (but we only did 2 corn ears for ourselves)
• For the mashed potatoes:
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, washed
1/2 to 3/4 cup of fat free milk, depending on desired consistency
1/2 cup of shredded Rumiano mild cheddar cheese
1 jalapeño pepper
4 tbs. of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Over an open heat source like a stove top burner, hold the pepper over the heat until the skin blackens and the pepper slightly softens. Put in a bowl and cover in plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes. This will help cook it further, and make the skin very easy to remove; remove the skin once it’s cool enough to touch. Split in half and discard the seeds. Dice up the pepper and set aside.
In a medium pot, boil the potatoes in about 12-16 cups of water, or at least so they are covered by water. Cook low heat to achieve a slow boil so that the potatoes don’t break apart. Boil for about 45 minutes or until a thin, sharp knife easily sinks in.
Drain potatoes in a strainer. Add the milk and butter to the potato pot, then transfer the potatoes back in along with all other ingredients; Chef Zach recommends to start with about 2 tsp. of salt. That might sound like a lot of salt to some people, but potatoes need a lot of it. Mix with a hand mixer on low speed until thoroughly mixed.
• For the avocado butter:
1 medium-size avocado
2 oz. of softened butter
Mash the avocado with a fork, then add the butter and salt and thoroughly incorporate.
• For the corn:
4 ears of corn (although we did 2)
1/4 cup of crumbled queso fresco
1/2 of one lime
Paprika for dusting
Shuck and clean the corn. Grill on a barbecue or open grill for 10-12 minutes, or until the corn just starts to brown. Not every single kernel has to be brown (notice the pictures throughout the article).
Spread the ears with avocado butter, squeeze the lime for juice, dust paprika, and evenly sprinkle the queso fresco.
• For the steak’s chimichurri sauce:
1 cup of lightly packed flat leaf parsley
1 cup of lightly packed cilantro
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
3 tbs. of red wine vinegar
2 tbs. of fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse the food processor about 15 times to break down the herbs but not completely liquify them. Turn the food processor to ON and slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream.
Once all the oil has been added and mixed in, set aside until serving.
•For the flank steak:
1 1/2 lbs. of pasture-raised beef flank steak
1 tbs. of paprika
1 tbs. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of ground cumin
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of onion powder
1/2 tsp. of ground white pepper
Mix all the dry ingredients to make a rub. With your hands, work the rub all over all surfaces of the flank steak. Let sit in on a sheet pan the refrigerator for an hour, covered with plastic wrap.
If you’re following this recipe and good with your timing, the grill will already be on for the elotes. Grill the flank steak on each side for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cut. Don’t fidget with the steak; the only times you should touch it are when you put it on the grill, flip it, and remove it.
Slice on the bias, against the grain, for thin strips. Garnish with chimichurri (and serve in Arakawa Pottery).