Skirt steak and roasted corn with manchego & lime

A couple months ago, my boyfriend Rob visited me in California. In preparation of his arrival, my dad started dinner planning early. He casually asked me what I had cooked for Rob so far. At Fordham, I baked many treats for all of my friends, but I had never cooked for just him. I decided it was about time, so last Wednesday was our first boyfriend-girlfriend, home-cooked meal.

And FINALLY… a kitchen victory.

Being my indecisive self, picking the menu was no easy task. I finally decided on an Alton Brown skirt steak recipe and roasted corn recipe from August’s Bon Appetit. Both were delicious. I served them with refried beans and flour tortillas. Rob also brought over a bottle of Merlot, which paired quite nicely with the steak. (I guess his day in Napa really did turn him into a wine connoisseur)

The fresh lime juice flavored in the steak made for a great summer dinner, while the cumin and sugar gave the meat a touch of warmth. The marinade was very flavorful and did not require much marinating time. The recipe could’ve easily been halved, being that it was just the two of us. However, I made use of the leftovers by making a great salad the next day and steak quesadillas the day after that. Also, we did not have the luxury of a nice grill in my Harlem sixth floor walk up.  Rob heated olive oil in the grill pan instead, and he cooked the meat to perfection. 

The corn was my absolute favorite. While I have little experience making corn, Rob is an old pro, so he took over the husking responsibilities and enlightened me with his kernel cutting knowledge. Waiting for the corn to cool took a bit of time, so next time I will either make the corn more in advance or cheat with already prepared corn. Besides the time factor, this recipe is SO GOOD. The jalapeño adds a little kick, but its very subtle. (I have a low tolerance for heat) This was also my first taste of manchego cheese, and I liked it a lot. It melted in the warm corn and coated each kernel with its deliciousness. My favorite part though was the lime. Made the taste so fresh and light. It also paired nicely with the steak, if I do say so myself. I added this too into my salad for work the next day with the steak leftovers, baby spinach, and thinly sliced red onion, tossed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette. YUM. 

Here are the recipes I used. I highly recommend both. Enjoy! 

Skirt Steak 
(Adapted from Alton Brown’s Food Network recipe)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 scallions, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 lb skirt steak (I only used 1 and still had a lot of leftovers)

Whisk together marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Place skirt steak and pour marinade in a large zip loc bad. Seal and refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in pan. Cook steaks to desired doneness. (We like medium-rare, so only a couple minutes per side) When finished cooking, wrap meat in aluminum foil and allow to sit for 15 minutes. 

Remove meat from foil, reserving foil and juices. Slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Return to foil pouch and toss with juice. 

Roasted Corn with Manchego & Lime
(Adapted from August 2011 Bon Appétit) 

6 ears of sweet yellow corn, unhusked
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2tbs unsalted butter
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeño, seeded, finely dice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lime, cut in wedges
1 c finely grated Manchego cheese
1/4 c thinly sliced chives
2 tsp finely grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 250°.

Roast unhusked corn on  baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until heated through and lightgolden in spots, 3-5 minutes. Add butter; stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pep. Transfer corn to a large bowl. Sprinkle jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes over. Squeeze lime wedges over. Sprinkle with cheese, chives, and lime zest. 

Rob’s perfect bite
Rob’s seconds. The perfect burrito