After complaining for months about our decidedly unspring-like weather, summer came and we were hit with a few days of temperatures in the mid-nineties. And you guessed it…we complained some more. Apparently we have turned into Goldilocks on her quest for the best porridge. We don’t want it too cold, too rainy, too windy, too hot, too humid, too cloudy. Andy stands by seventy-six degrees as the perfect temperature. I will take seventy-six provided there is no wind and a spot in the sun for me to sit. Additionally, the evenings must not get too cool. Otherwise, I’m happy with a nice day in the low eighties and a light breeze. I know, I know…every time I talk about the weather I realize how spoiled we are, but what can I say? We are Californians, born and bred.
As the weather heats up, so do the barbecues. Almost every night, at least one neighbor is grilling in their backyard; that enticing aroma wafting over the fence and through the open windows. It’s the kind of smell that makes your mouth water for the barbecue sauce, the steak, the chicken, the ribs, the corn on the cob. It makes you want to change your dinner plans and throw something on the grill yourself…either that or surprise your neighbors with two additional dinner guests.
Even though we can generally grill year-round, there’s really nothing like grilling in the summer. It means nights when the sun stays up well past eight, no need for a sweater, and a smokiness that hangs in the air. These days remind me of summer break as a kid, when your only agenda was to ride your bike as fast as you could, get ridiculously dirty, and generally do the things that as an adult you might now deem
stupid dangerous. And the next morning, all the neighborhood kids would congregate, bright and early, plotting the day’s events, nursing scrapes and bruises, ready to do it all over again.
Those were the days of no responsibilities, when your only worry was if you had enough money to buy a slurpee. You wished with all your might that your mom wasn’t going to call you inside too early and that things could stay this way forever. Of course they didn’t; we grew up and summer took on a new meaning…beach vacations, drinks adorned by umbrellas, vegetable gardens, weddings, picnics and barbecues with family and friends. I can live with that.
With this warm weather upon us, I was happy to participate in the Smart & Final campaign for Cattleman’s Meat to #GrillUpYourSummer. Here is my original recipe that is sure to spice up your summer. (For chances to win a fabulous prize, see details below.)
Chili-Onion Sirloin Skewers with Tomato-Chipotle Dipping Sauce
1 1/2 pounds Cattleman’s Finest sirloin steak, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup pureed yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup canola oil
4 small tomatoes (or 2 large), cut in half and seeded
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
salt, to taste
1 red onion, cut into large chunks (optional)
Combine all marinade ingredients together in the food processor. Puree until smooth. Combine marinade and meat in a zip-top bag or other container and marinate at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.
For the sauce, roast tomatoes on the grill for a few minutes to soften and char slightly. Put tomatoes and remainder of sauce ingredients into food processor and puree until smooth. Salt to taste. (Sauce will be a bit spicy, but when combined with the meat, will mellow significantly.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to cook, thread meat onto skewers, alternating with red onion pieces if desired. Heat grill to about 400 degrees. Grill skewers for about 6-7 minutes total, turning once.
Serve with dipping sauce on the side, or drizzle over skewers.
These skewers are what summer is all about. Grill lines on the meat, the crunch of sweet red onion, smoky and spicy flavors cooled by the tang of sour cream. And it all melds together perfectly to form one perfect summery bite.
For your own chance to #GrillUpYourSummer with a new barbecue, visit http://www.GrillUpYourSummer.com and vote for your favorite recipe. (Pick me! Pick me!) By voting and entering your information, you will be entered to win a $50 Smart & Final gift card and a Weber 220 grill! The recipe with the most votes at the end of the week also wins. So what are you waiting for? Go vote (for the Chili Onion Sirloin Skewers!), and then get grilling!
This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.