The Asada Treatment

29 Jul

So it must be pretty obvious by now that The Husband and I like a few things, namely spicy food, grilling and drinking. We like entertaining and having friends over, and the grill (and the Southern California weather) are pretty perfect foils for that.

Recently I found a carne asada recipe that I decided to tweak and use for marinating a whole chicken. “Carne” means meat, right, not necessarily beef, so I thought it would work. And boy, did it. I butterflied that chicken and let it sit for a day before throwing it on the grill, and everyone was happy!

The Husband at the grill.

A few weeks ago we invited our friends T & J over for J’s birthday celebration. The Husband suggested that we cook J some Southern food, since her mom is from the South and she does like some of those native delicacies. I think my mouth did literally gape open at that point—I’d never made fried chicken before, and I didn’t fancy sitting over a hot stove with boiling oil on one of the hottest days of the year.

Naturally, after some research in an unintentionally hilarious Southern Cooking cookbook created in 1971, I decided to text J and see what she wanted for her birthday dinner! Genius, right? And she chose Mexican. Whew! That is totally in my wheelhouse.

My new love is Da-Le Ranch, this great farm out east of civilization in SoCal, that has all free-range, happy animals without hormones, cages and all other sorts of horrible, factory-farming practices. I’d love to go on one of their tours, but only when the weather gets cooler. I don’t relish the idea of being in 110°F heat walking around what comes out of the back of the animals, if you know what I mean!

I ordered a few rib-eyes from them plus a pork butt, and carne asada and carnitas were on the menu for J’s birthday. Plus, she wanted a coconut white cake, which came together very nicely the day before with the leftover lemon curd from the cupcakes in the center with the lemon buttercream frosting on top, covered in coconut. My cake decorating skills leave something to be desired, so there isn’t any photographic evidence of the cake. But J thought it was amazing, and that’s all that matters.

Definitely add the sliced onions and jalapeños to beef if you’re using it. It would also be a good choice if using veggies and/or mushrooms.

That rib-eye was meltingly tender and didn’t hurt my stomach at all. Most “grass-fed” beef must be labeled incorrectly, because unless its truly, 100% pasture-raised, my stomach goes in knots for days. Not so with Da-Le beef, which was expected but still a wonderful surprise! We can’t wait to have the second one just grilled simply. (Sorry no pictures of the finished beef asada—we were too hungry to take pictures!)

But, in the meantime, here’s the asada recipe. I think this would be a great marinade for any protein, especially to spice up some tofu or seitan on the grill, or even some mushrooms. Oooh, portabello mushrooms marinated in this and grilled as a burger substitute? Oh yeah.

Asada Marinade:

Juice of one orange (or 1/2 cup)
Juice of three limes
6 finely chopped green onions
2 Tbs ancho chili powder
1 Tbs Mexican oregano
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
5 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeño chilis
1 Tbs grapeseed oil

Blend the garlic, jalapeños and grapeseed oil roughly. Add the rest of the ingredients and pour over your protein or veggies. Marinate for at least four hours, overnight if possible.

**For true carne asada with beef, slice up a whole white onion and two jalapeños and add to the marinade. When you grill the meat, make sure you cook these up too to add to tacos when you serve them up.

Let it marinate for as long as you can, ideally all day or overnight.

You’ll be fighting off your guests as you cut up the chicken when it comes off the grill!


16 Responses to “The Asada Treatment”

  1. An Unrefined Vegan July 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Oh wow I was thinking asada was some kind of spa treatment! I guess in a way, it was – very special birthday treatment for your friend :-).

    • tinykitchenstories July 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      I was trying to play off “the silent treatment”! 😉 but yes, they really seemed to enjoy it and her husband gave me some very special compliments on the food–a man who knows what he is talking about. Yay! 🙂

  2. Meenakshi July 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Cumin, coriander and jalapeno! I should try that flavour combo.

    • tinykitchenstories July 30, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      It is a little different than the Indian flavor profile, but I think you’ll like it!

  3. annesturetucker July 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Yes it makes me hungry 🙂
    That marinade sounds fabulous – I will have to try that!!

    • tinykitchenstories July 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      I hope you do! It’s super easy but big on flavor. And I love marinades that are so versatile! 🙂 (And thanks for following!)

  4. Shira July 31, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    This marinade sounds delish Jennifer! And yes, it is evident that you love the tasty stuff – the more spice the better!

    • tinykitchenstories August 1, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Love the new pic, btw! I do love a versatile marinade, and am very happy with this one. Thank you! An I’m glad you’re one of my fellow spice lovers 🙂

  5. lorrielorrieb August 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Oh that looks wonderful! The Chef and I are moving at the end of the month and the new diggs has a very BBQ worthy deck! We can’t wait to get one and let the fun begin! I will definitely keep this one on the “to do” list!! Thanks for sharing.

    • tinykitchenstories August 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Congrats on the move!! I do hope you’ll try it. Your comment made me realize I should do a grilled -chicken recipe round up, as I’ve got so many… Cheers, and best of luck on the move!

  6. Thoughts in Little Boxes August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    What are you doing to me?! It’s 7.30am and I just want to tuck into some spicy meat. I might try it next time I’m at my parents’ and take advantage of their huge garden and grill.

  7. eof737 August 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I will use the recipe! 🙂

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