- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial launch of the grill season. Set up your barbecue grill and join the olfactory camaraderie in the neighborhood, as air fills with the alluring aroma of steaks and chops hitting the heat.

Skirt steak is one of my favorite cuts of beef for grilling. It’s flavorful, cooks quickly and can beckon noses from halfway down the block.

Many recipes recommend marinating skirt steak a few hours to tenderize it before cooking, you can do a faster variation. First score the steak. Take a sharp knife and make diagonal slashes on the surface. Then, make slashes on the opposite diagonal direction to create diamond shapes. Brush the steak with an acid, such as lemon, lime or orange juice. Let the steak sit for 15 to 30 minutes and you’ll have the tender results you’re looking for.

Skirt steak tastes even better topped with a salsa or chutney. Today’s recipe pairs the steak with mango and pepper chutney.

Skirt steak with mango and pepper chutney



Mango and pepper chutney (recipe follows)

8-ounce skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large pita bread, toasted and halved

Prepare mango and pepper chutney. Set aside while making skirt steak. Score the steak; rub with garlic. Sprinkle on chili powder and lime juice. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes; if you want to marinate the meat for 30 minutes, refrigerate it. Season steak with salt and pepper to taste.

Set on oiled rack on grill at medium high heat. Grill for 2 minutes per side or to medium doneness. Set aside for 5 minutes to firm up. Thinly slice on a diagonal.

To serve, open pita bread to form 2 pockets. Divide skirt steak between pita pockets. Spoon chutney mixture over each serving. Serve any leftover chutney on the side.

Note: In case of rain, broil the steak, about 4 inches from heat, allowing about 2 minutes per side.

MANGO AND PEPPER CHUTNEY:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small red or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips

1 small jalapeno chili, cored, seeded and cut into very thin strips

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 small ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, chili and shallot. Cook for 5 minutes or until pepper is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in ginger root. Cook for 1 more minute.

Stir in cumin, lime juice and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes to blend flavors. Gently stir in mango and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

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