Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vaction Food, Part 2

In my real life, I don't get to cook much.  I've mentioned it before, but my husband has a crazy/awful work schedule (he gets home at 9:30 pm), so I don't get to cook dinners the way I'd like to.  When you have to reheat dinners, you tend to go with things that won't dry out in the microwave...argh!  The mister's schedule is the bane of my existence.

One awesome part of being on vacation was getting to actually COOK a few meals.  I even grilled a few times (that's a big deal for me since I don't own a grill, thank you very much).  Here's one of the better meals I made:

Argentine Grilled Steaks with Peppers and Onions
I found this yummy sounding steak rub called Argentine Steak Rub while wondering around Cost Plus prior to vacation.  The spice rub contains salt, pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, and fennel.  Unlike Greta, I love fennel (side note: have you ever tried grilled fennel? OMG...so amazing!).  Since the spice rub was already mixed and ready to go, I thought this would be an easy option for vacation cooking.

I bought a packet of sirloin steaks from the grocery, rubbed them down with a generous amount of the Argentine Steak Rub and then grilled them over a hot grill.  I like my steaks bloody (red and dripping!) but the hubs prefers his meat to be more on the "done" side, so I let the steaks go a little longer than I would have if I were just cooking for myself.  I let the meat rest and then sliced it up.  I was happy that there was still some pink, even if the blood wasn't running the way I like it.  I squeezed a lime over the sliced meat and served it with tortillas, peppers, onions, and guacamole.

I love fajitas--the combo of onions, peppers, and meat can't be beat!  So to add to my dinner, I sauteed some red, yellow and orange peppers with a Walla Walla sweet onion in olive oil.  I threw in garlic, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of sugar to the peppers/onions and let them get good and cooked.  Nothing is better than caramelized onions and peppers!  I usually add thyme to my onions and peppers, but I wanted to keep things simple since I knew the meat was going to add all the herbs and spices I needed.

I also smooshed up an avocado together with a few cloves of garlic, a few scoops of already-made (store bought) salsa, and the juice of a lime.  I've been craving guacamole ever since my molcajete experiment, so I did a quick and easy version to satisfy my culinary urges.  Let me say this right now: I am freaking awesome with an avocado!  Though my quick guac paled in comparison to the real deal I made recently, it was fresh and yummy.  I even got my husband to try some and he actually liked it (this is a big damn deal!).

To finish the dinner off, I threw some tortillas in foil and tossed it onto the grill.  The bottom tortilla got slightly burnt by the grill, but this was a happy accident.  We used it to scoop up the guac when we were done with dinner, and I swear--that was better than any dessert I could have whipped up!
Burnt tortillas & guac--a happy accident!
Even though I had to cook and my poor (but well-fed) husband had to clean, this was one of the best meals we had all vacation.  I still have no plans to buy a grill, but I could get similar results on my grill pan, in the dead of winter when I need to conjure up some summertime memories.

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