Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ramp Chimichurri: Grilled Steak Kebobs and Avocado

Inspiration strikes in different ways.
Recently I came upon the website of Kirkland Tap and Trotter, the latest restaurant from Chef Tony Maws.  One of the restaurant’s features is a massive wood- burning grill, the centerpiece of its grill-centric menu. One menu item is a steak kebob with grilled avocado.
Hmm, grilled avocado…. 
At Kirkland Tap and Trotter they serve it with salsa verde. 
Salsa verde… green sauce…. why not chimichurri?
I had some ramps on hand and figured why not use those in chimichurri. Chimichuri is the herbal, tangy, raw sauce used with grilled food in Argentina. It is, in a way, a salsa verde, a green sauce.
Ramps, it turns out, are a good substitute for the more traditional ingredients of onion and garlic. If you don’t have access to ramps--the season is dwindling--make a chimichurri without them. There is a  recipe in the last year’s posts. The recipe makes about a cup of sauce; leftover chimichurri keeps well in the refrigerator for future use.
I found some tenderloin on sale but sirloin tip would be another option. But you are not limited to beef since chimichurri pairs well with any grilled meat or fish.

Grilled Steak Kebobs with Avocado and Ramp Chimichurri
This recipe only used the bulb and lower stem of the ramp. The green leaves can be saved and used elsewhere, in eggs or pasta for example.
For two servings:
8 to 10 ounces steak
2  ripe avocados*
1 small bunch ramps, about 2-2 ½ ounces
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
juice of ½  lemon
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, up to a cup.

1. Chop the ramps into small pieces; there will be about 1/3 cup. Place the ramps into a bowl along with the parsley and cilantro. Whisk in about ¾ to 1 cup olive oil. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
2. Cut the steak into 1 ½ to 2” cubes and slide the steak onto skewers; season with salt and ground black pepper. Peel and seed the avocados. Cut each avocado half in half again. Place the avocado quarters onto a plate. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with some salt and ground black pepper.
3. Grill the kebobs to your preferred degree of doneness. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the avocados on their side and grill until charred with grill marks. Turn the avocados onto their other side and grill until charred with grill marks. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Spread some of the chimichurri onto each plate and top with a kebob. Place the avocado slices onto the plate, drizzle with some of the chimichurri and serve.

* How do you tell when an avocado is ripe? Certainly not just by the fact that it has "ripe" sticker stuck  onto it. A ripe avocado will give slightly to the touch when pressed. Too much give and it's overripe. Unless you have a source where you can find a supply of ripe avocados when you need them, you'll have to buy some, leave them out, and wait for the avocado to be ready for you.


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