Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Grilled Steak with Green Sriracha

One of the things on my culinary bucket list is to make my own hot sauce.  It may not seem like much, especially to cooks and chefs who could easily make a hot sauce for various dishes.  However, I love hot sauce.  I really, really LOVE hot sauce.  I usually keep at least 3 or 4 different types of hot sauce on hand in our refrigerator, including the "staples," like Tabasco and Sriracha. 

Recently, I came across a recipe for a grilled steak with a green sriracha sauce.  A sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce typically made from chiles, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. The sauce is Thai in origin, often called sot Siracha; the name comes from the city of Si Racha, which is located in the Chonburi province of eastern Thailand.  The sauce is typically used in Thai cuisine as a condiment; and, it even finds its way into Vietnamese cuisine, served alongside bowls of phở.

Sriracha is particularly popular in the United States.  Given that over one ton of Sriracha sauce is produced every hour, it has found its way into many grocery stores and restaurants across the United States.  The supply is readily eaten by demand, including one person who consumed three bottles of it at one time.  While I have consumed my fair share of Sriracha sauce, I have never simply guzzled the hot sauce.  It is best drizzled over food, especially fried or grilled foods.

While the red Sriracha sauce is almost ubiquitous, the green sauce seems more intriguing and it is one that I have never tried before.  The recipe incorporates green chiles -- roasted poblano peppers and serrano chiles -- with a range of fresh ingredients such as basil, chives, cilantro, lemongrass, lime leaves and coconut.  The poblano peppers add depth to the flavor of the sauce, while the serrano chiles provide quite the kick, which one would expect.  The end result is a hot sauce that is in many respects better than the red Sriracha.  Maybe it is the use of fresh ingredients, prepared using a blender.  Maybe it is the tartness of the lime juice contrasted with the heat of the serranos, along the field of chives, cilantro, basil and mint.  Maybe it is just that I love most of what I make.    

Recipe from Food & Wine
Serves 4

3 large poblano chiles 
2 serrano chiles
3 large garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
1/2 cup fresh ginger, sliced
1 half-inch piece of turmeric or
     1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 loose cups of basil leaves
2 loose cups of mint leaves
1 1/2 cups of snipped chives
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 lemongrass stalk, tender inner bulb, bottom 4 inches
     peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup canola oil, plus more for grilling
1/4 cup of lime juice, plus 2 tablespoons
Kosher salt
4-5 pounds of steak, such as flank steak or skirt steak, cut into 
     4 even sized pieces

1.  Prepare the Green Sriracha.  Roast the poblano chiles directly over a gas flame, turning, until charred and tender.  Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool.  Peel, core and seed the poblanos.  Transfer the poblanos to a blender.  Add the serranos, garlic, ginger, turmeric, coconut, basil, mint, chives, cilantro, lime leaves and lemongrass and pulse to chop.  With the machine on, add the 1 cup of oil and puree.  Add the lime juice and season the green Sriracha with salt. Once the sauce is made, it can be refrigerated for up to three days.

2.  Grill the steak.  Light a grill.  Brush the steaks with oil and season with salt.  Oil the grill grates and grill the steaks in batches over high heat, turning once or twice, until the meat is lightly charred and medium rare, 5 to 6 minutes.  Cook a little longer, 1 to 2 minutes more, to obtain medium, if that is your desired doneness.  Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing across the grain.  Serve the steak with the green Sriracha.

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