Steak tacos with zucchini-scallion salsa and lime yogurt
1 ounce pickled jalapeños (optional)
3 ounces shredded green cabbage
Quick-pickle brine (apple cider vinegar – honey)
½ pound zucchini
10 ounces top sirloin steak strips
Steak taco seasoning (cumin – coriander – sweet smoked paprika – salt)
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 or 3 red radishes
6 Artisan corn tortillas (contain wheat)
Make the quick-pickled cabbage slaw
If using, coarsely chop the pickled jalapeños.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cabbage, quick-pickle brine, and as many pickled jalapeños as you like, and season with salt. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Prep and cook the zucchini and scallions
Trim the ends from the zucchini; cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
Trim the root ends from the scallions.
In a large grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop.
Add the scallions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop. Do not clean the pan.
While the zucchini and scallions cook and cool, prepare the steak.
Prep and cook the steak
Cut a small corner from the steak packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle all over with the taco seasoning and toss to coat.
In the same pan used for the zucchini and scallions, if dry, add 1 tablespoon oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate.
While the steak cooks, prepare the zucchini-scallion salsa and lime yogurt.
Finish the zucchini-scallion salsa; make the lime yogurt
Juice 1 lime (the juice will be divided between the salsa and yogurt). Cut the remaining lime into wedges for garnish.
Coarsely chop the cilantro; set aside half for garnish.
In a medium bowl, stir together the zucchini, scallions, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and half the cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and ½ teaspoon lime juice; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prep the radishes; warm the tortillas
Trim the ends from the radishes. Cut them in half, then cut the halves into thin half-moons.
On the stovetop directly over a flame, or in a dry medium frying pan over medium heat, warm the tortillas until just pliable and warmed through, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel, cover, and keep warm.
Transfer the tortillas to individual plates and top with the steak, zucchini-scallion salsa, cabbage slaw, remaining cilantro, and radishes. Serve the lime yogurt and lime wedges on the side.
TIP: To get a nice brown sear on the steak strips, dry the meat as thoroughly as possible and give the pan plenty of time to heat before you start cooking.
Harissa-rubbed pork chops with peach-tomato salad
Two 6-ounce boneless pork loin chops
1 teaspoon harissa powder
3 tablespoons hazelnuts
½ pound heirloom tomatoes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sumac
Season the pork
Heat the oven to 350ºF.
Pat the pork dry with a paper towel; season with salt, pepper, and as much harissa powder as you like.
Let stand while you prepare the hazelnuts.
Toast the hazelnuts
On a sheet pan, spread the hazelnuts in an even layer. Toast in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop.
While the hazelnuts toast, start the peach-tomato salad.
Prep the salad ingredients
Cut away the cores from the tomatoes; cut the tomatoes into ½-inch-wide wedges.
Trim the root ends from the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on the diagonal.
Zest and juice the lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate.
In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, scallions, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt.
Let stand while you prepare the pork and peaches.
Cook the pork and peaches
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits; cut the fruit into ½-inch-thick wedges.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and cook, turning frequently, until browned but still faintly pink within, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then cut the pork across the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Do not clean the pan.
In the same pan used for the pork, add the peaches and cook, stirring once or twice, until just tender and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
While the peaches cook, chop the parsley and mint.
Prep the herbs; finish the peach-tomato salad
Strip the parsley and mint leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
Transfer the warm peaches to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Add the hazelnuts, parsley, and mint and stir to combine.
Transfer the pork to individual plates and sprinkle with the sumac. Serve with the peach-tomato salad.
TIP: Harissa paste is to North African cooking what ketchup is to the United States: a universal condiment dolloped on just about everything to boost flavor. It is typically a blend of dried chiles, garlic, aromatic spices, and olive oil, with the ingredients varying from region to region. Harissa powder, with a similar flavor profile, combines spices like cayenne, paprika, and coriander.
New Orleans–style shrimp Creole
¾ cup long-grain white rice
1 yellow onion
2 celery ribs
1 green bell pepper
10 ounces wild Gulf shrimp
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup diced tomatoes
Creole spice blend (granulated garlic – dried oregano – dried thyme)
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (contains soy)
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Cook the rice
In a small sauce pot, combine the rice and 1¼ cups lightly salted water.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is
tender and the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork,
cover, and keep warm.
While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables and cook the shrimp Creole.
Prep the vegetables
Peel and finely chop the yellow onion.
Trim the ends from the celery; cut the celery in half lengthwise, then
thinly slice crosswise.
Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper. Cut the bell pepper
lengthwise into ¼-inch-wide strips, then thinly slice crosswise.
Cook the shrimp Creole
Rinse the shrimp, then drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and pat dry.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons oil until hot
but not smoking. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and tomato paste,
season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly
browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, Creole spice blend, bay leaf,
Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup water, and as much cayenne as you like. Bring to
a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sauce is slightly
thickened and the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook until firm and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and season to taste with salt
When the shrimp Creole is almost done, prepare the scallion garnish.
Prep the garnish
Trim the root ends from the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on the
Transfer the rice to the center of individual bowls. Spoon the shrimp Creole
around the rice, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.
TIP: Because shrimp cook so quickly, it’s easy to overdo it. Luckily, you
can readily see when they’re done: Translucent and limp when raw, shrimp
curl up to become firm and opaque when heated. The smaller the shrimp, the
faster they cook—so watch them closely once they’re tossed into the pot.
Filet Mignon with Port Wine Glaze
2 (4 ounce) filet Mignon steaks
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Port Wine
Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over both sides of each steak, and sprinkle with salt to taste.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.
Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.