Category Archives: Grilling

Achiote Pork Tenderloin~ Rojo y Verde

The goal in mind is to utilize as many of the reserved pantry and refrigerator foods on a weekly basis. Quite a while back, my friend Kim was nice enough to bring me back some hard to find Mexican food items. Besides the whole two pounds of these soft and aromatic chile ancho pods, he also brought back a couple  bricks of achiote paste, in both red and green. The red one, popular in the Yucatan,  I am very familiar with and had used it in many recipes, such as cochinita pibil, al pastor and various chicken recipes. It does not have a strong flavor, but is mostly used for it’s distinct bright red color. But the green one, I had never come across.  I finally remembered to bring it out and give it a try. I was looking for something different for these pork tenderloin and I am happy I remembered the achiote. We are still at the beginning of the summer and I have lost count how many times we have fired up that charcoal grill. Lol! Still learning and loving it.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin~ Achiote Verde

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Red and GreenThe Green Achiote~Ingredients that make up Achiote Verde:  Allspice, black pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, water, salt, vinegar, cornmeal and sodium benzotate (as preservative).

Achiote Pok Tenderloin-Red and GreenThe Red Achiote~Ingredients that make up Achiote Rojo:Ground annatto seeds, spices and tomatoes

For the Brine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chile flakes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of salt or to taste

*You Need, pork tenderloin.The package I purchase comes with two small tenderloin. Each weighing a little more than a pound each.

Pork Tenderloin in a BrineThese were the tenderloins after I took them out of the brine.

Pork Tenderloin-Red and Green AchioteBoth the red and green achiote paste are available through MexGrocer online.

For Red Achiote Marinade
2 tablespoons red achiote paste
1/4 white onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 red fresno peppers, roughly chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
2 tablespoons adobo from chipotles
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or any mild flavored oil

Achiote Rojo-Red Achiote/Annatto

For Green Achiote Marinade
2 tablespoons gree achiote paste
2 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 serrano peppers, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or nay mild flavored oil

Achiote Verde-Green Achiote

Directions

1. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add garlic, onion, chile flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, peppercorns, bayleaves and salt. Heat to medium and cook just to dissolve the salt and infuse the water with flavor of aromatics. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Place tenderloin in a container. Mix the seasoned water with the remaining 3 cups water. Stir to combine and pour over the pork making sure they are covered with water. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible leave them for 2 days.

3. Remove pork from the brine and pat dry 30 minutes before you cook it. Prepare your outdoor grill for indirect cooking at moderate heat. Season the tenderloins with fresh cracked pepper. Divide the achiote marinades in half.Then divide them in half again, so you have 4 small bowls. Take one bowl of the red and one of the green and generously brush each tenderloin. Reserve the remaining achiote marinade.

4. Bush grates with oil and place pork on indirect side, the cool side of gril. Close the lid and let cook for 20 to 25 minutes. I like to baste the pork a few more times while it finishes cooking. Take the remaining marinade (red and green) and brush each tenderloin, making sure you keep the lid closed in between. After about 35 minutes, I start checking the temperature of pork in the thickest part. Once the pork reaches about 140 to 143 degrees, I move them over to the direct (hot) side of grill and baste and turn one more time just for a few minutes. Pull from heat onto plate. Tent with foil paper and let rest for 10 minutes. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

For Oven Method: Brine the pork as directed. Season with pepper and using a heavy dutch oven pot, sear the pork on all sides until brown. Baste each one with the achiote marinades. Cover and roast in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Check the temperature after 30 minutes. All ovens vary. When the internal temperature has reach 145 degrees, baste and place under broiler for a few minutes.

Achiote Rojo y Verde

Both these marinades can be frozen for future recipes. They preserve well with the added vinegar.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Rojo y Verde

Learning to cook with indirect heat on my charcoal grill works out great for the summer months when it’s too warm to turn on the oven.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Red and Green

For a moist tenderloin, I like to pull them off the grill when they have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. 

Achiote Pork Tenderloin

After tenderloin has chilled overnight, I like to slice it as thin as possible. I then store it in 1/2 pound portions using freezer bags. I will use the pork for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sandwiches and Asian style noodle soup.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin

On the first night, I served the sliced tenderloin with rice and a chimichurri inspired garnish.

Pork Tenderloin in Salsa Verde

One of the nights, I seared some of the pork tenderloin slices and then braised them in salsa verde.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Cilantro~Prepared Two Ways

As many times as we all prepare chicken recipes, one still manages to find a new way to enjoy it. Mixing and matching ingredients was the way I learned to cook. My family had there tried and true recipes that you did not veer from and they were delicious. But when you cook  95% of your meals at home, you have to get a little creative sometimes. I mean, I did not develop any new flavor combinations here, I just paired it in  a slight different way.  Once I learned a few basic sauce recipes, I documented them as I prepared them, always with my twist, then I could refer to them as a basic preparation for next time. The first recipe is prepared with grilled chicken and the second one is prepared with a lightly masa harina breading on the stove top. If it was up to me, I would grill everday, lol! But  you know that Mother Nature may have the last word when it comes to that. So, as Guy(food network), that guy would say, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner”!!

 

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken with Cilantro

Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

Recipe for Lemon Garlic Sauce with Cilantro (see recipe below)
3 large boneless chicken breast, filet and slice in half
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Granulated garlic
Cumin
Chipotle powder or cayenne
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Tips~If chicken breast are thicker on one side after you slice them, pound them out lightly, so that they are even in thickness.

Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken

The chicken breast look dark in the spots where the chipotle powder was more concentrated.

 

Directions 

Season on both sides, to taste,  with spices listed. Squeeze on lemon juice and drizzle with oil. Grill on preheated  grill at med/high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Make sure you keep lid closed during cooking time. Remove from heat and cover with lemon garlic sauce. Tent loosely and let rest for 5 minutes. Yields 4 to 6 servings. I served this chicken over rice and also sliced some of it thin for tacos.

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken with Cilantro

 

 

Stove Top Lemon Garlic Chicken 

Lemon Garlic Chicken

For Stove To Lemon Garlic Chicken
3 boneless chicken breast, pounded out slightly
lemon pepper seasoning
chile de arbol or chipotle powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup masa harina or all purpose flour
2 tablespoons flour, optional
grapeseed or olive oil for frying

 

For Lemon Garlic Sauce with Cilantro

Lemon Garlic Sauce with Cilantro
Olive oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup shallots or sweet onions, finely diced
salt
pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespon flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
6 thin lemon slices, optional
Juice from one lemon
6 jalapeño stuffed queen olives, finely chopped or 2 tablespoons capers

*1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped or parsely if cilantro is not your thing.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Cilantro

I prepared 6 pieces, but this was the next day, lol!

Directions

1. Season the chicken on both sides, to taste, with lemon pepper, chile de arbol(or chipotle) and salt. Dredge through the masa harina until coated evenly and set aside while you prepare your sauce.

2. For sauce: Heat olive oil to medium/low heat. Add the garlic and saute for 7 to 10 minutes. If it browns too quick, then turn down the heat.  The garlic will become a little sweet and mild in flavor. Add the shallots, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Turn heat up the heat slightly. Stir in the flour and cook for less than a minute. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring up to a boill, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep on lowest temperature to keep warm.

4. Preheat 1/2 cup oil in skillet at medium heat for 5 minutes. Fry the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a metal rack to drain or a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with lemon garlic sauce over the top over pasta or rice. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

 I served the chicken over some whole grain pasta with red sauce and grated parmesan. I also prepared some chicken parmesan style sub sandwiches with a few pieces. 

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Cilantro

Citrus Chile Beef Short Ribs~ Costillas de Res

Again, one of the hot food trends is fusing two food cultures. For today’s delicious grilled recipe I prepared a fresh marinade combining Mexican and Asian flavors. I literally think I would be happy eating any savory foods, Mexican or not in between a warm corn tortilla, lol!  One of the reasons I stopped purchasing store bought marinades was first because of availability. Does it not seem that you find a product at the market and the next time you go to purchase it, they no longer sell it? Happened to me one too many times.  For that reason and because I could control what goes into my marinades, I decided to just prepare my own from now on. I do the same with dressing, salsa and pasta sauce. As long  as you document how you prepared it, then you can always refer to it when you need more. Today’s blog post features a Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Rib. Quick cooking on the grill and great for a starter meal and even better for tacos.

 

 Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds beef short ribs, about 1/3 inch thick

For Marinade
Juice of 1 large orange
Juice of 1 lime
2 serranos, chopped
1 red fresno pepper, chopped(optional)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Maggi sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon  fresh cracked pepper
1/3 teaspoon Chinese five spice
salt to taste

Tips~ You could crush or grind the cumin and coriander seeds using a mortar and pestle. Or you could pop the whole spices into a coffee grinder for a finer finish as I did. I only use the coffee grinder it for spices.

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

 

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients for the marinade into the blender or food processor. Pulse to blend for a coarse finish or blend on high for a smoother sauce. Taste for salt.

2. Place beef in a heavy storage bag or in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over the beef to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours.

3. Remove the beef from refrigerator 40 minutes before cooking. Shake off excess marinade and transfer to a plate.   Season with a little more fresh cracked pepper. Prepare outdoor grill and heat to preheat to medium/high.  Brush grates with oil and place ribs on grill. Cook beef ribs for  8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.  Remove from grill, tent lossely and let rest for 5 minutes. Yields 4 servings. Serve over rice with warm corn tortillas, salsa, lime cilantro and onions for making tacos.

Tips~ Ribs can also be cooked under the broiler for the same amount of time.

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

 

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

 

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

 

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs

A fresh Pico de Gallo with added red radishes will result in a bright red, pickled salsa.

Citrus Chile Marinated Beef Short Ribs