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Old 06-11-2016, 11:53 PM   #5051
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My Petty vent - I've read on this site and heard all about America's Test Kitchen being all that, and be trusted for their pick of everything from apples to the best tasting zebra meat (just kidding about the zebra meat, but you get the idea). If they say ABC knife is the best, well you'd better rush right out and get yourself an ABC knife.

I was looking for the best meat to use for carne asada tacos. As I browsed the internet, I came across an ATK recipe that stated it had the perfect recipe for carne asada. I read through all of the explanations, and the research, and the reasons why the author chose the ingredients they chose. At the end of it all, the recommendation was to use skirt steak, as it was buttery tender and had great beef flavor. now mind you, usually I go with sirloin as my go to meat for carne asada, as when made right, it's buttery tender and has great beef flavor. But alright, I'll bite.

I ordered skirt steak from our local meat market and happily picked it up, hoping for something special. I mean, ATK said it was the best meat ever for carne asada, right? So, I marinated it, as suggested, but with my own choice of flavorings that met the acid and flavor profiles given by ATK. I fired up the Webber and cooked it until it was threw it into, the frying pan with the bell peppers, onion, and cilantro, with lime juice sprinkled over top, and cooked until the peppers and onions still had a little crunch to them. Tasted it all, and my carne asada had the perfect flavor. But the diced meat (yes I forgot to say that I diced the meat after it came off the hot grill) had the texture of little rubber dice, and tough rubber at that.

I should have known better. Some of the reasons that the author said that the meat was perfect looked suspect to me. And some of the stuff he said was just plain wrong. Lesson learned, just because someone calls themselves expert, doesn't mean that they know what they are talking about. I've lived 60 years without ATK. I think I'll just stick to what I know. It seems to serve me better.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:03 AM   #5052
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Chief, I understand. ATK always has the best of everything. If you don't believe that, just listen and they'll tell you so.

That said, they do have some really good recipes. Skirt steak is like flank steak in that it's not edible if you over cook it. Anything beyond medium and it's little rubber dice.

P.S. skirt steak is the recommended cut for carne asada.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:10 AM   #5053
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Chief, my understanding is that skirt steak, like flank steak (and for all I know they may be the same thing) was originally a cheap, inferior, tough cut of meat. Then all of a sudden, like chicken wings, TV chefs and the media started making it the best thing next to sliced bread and the price shot sky high. Which is why I've never made it. But gilding the lily doesn't make it gold.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:20 AM   #5054
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My petty vent today is about when I go to put pepper on something. I shake that freaking bottle like there's no tomorrow and get maybe, MAYBE, 6 little specks of pepper on the meat. But when I go to clean up, there's pepper on the stove, there's pepper on the counter, there's pepper on the burners, there's even pepper on the floor! The pepper is everywhere but where I want it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:50 AM   #5055
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I fired up the Webber and cooked it until it was threw it into, the frying pan with the bell peppers, onion, and cilantro, with lime juice sprinkled over top, and cooked until the peppers and onions still had a little crunch to them. Tasted it all, and my carne asada had the perfect flavor. But the diced meat (yes I forgot to say that I diced the meat after it came off the hot grill) had the texture of little rubber dice, and tough rubber at that.
ATK said to cook it twice, on the grill and in the skillet? It was grossly overcooked. No wonder it was tough rubber.

We've used skirt steak multiple times for fajitas. It has to be thin sliced against the grain and NOT overcooked. Done that way, it's great!
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:53 AM   #5056
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My petty vent today is about when I go to put pepper on something. I shake that freaking bottle like there's no tomorrow and get maybe, MAYBE, 6 little specks of pepper on the meat. But when I go to clean up, there's pepper on the stove, there's pepper on the counter, there's pepper on the burners, there's even pepper on the floor! The pepper is everywhere but where I want it.
We grind small amounts in the spice grinder and keep it in a small plastic container with a screw-on/off lid, same for salt. Finger pinches work good for salting and peppering.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:05 AM   #5057
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My petty vent today is about when I go to put pepper on something. I shake that freaking bottle like there's no tomorrow and get maybe, MAYBE, 6 little specks of pepper on the meat. But when I go to clean up, there's pepper on the stove, there's pepper on the counter, there's pepper on the burners, there's even pepper on the floor! The pepper is everywhere but where I want it.
I have pepper mills. A smaller one set to a finer grind for the table and a big one set for a coarser grind for the stove.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:57 PM   #5058
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My petty vent today is about when I go to put pepper on something. I shake that freaking bottle like there's no tomorrow and get maybe, MAYBE, 6 little specks of pepper on the meat. But when I go to clean up, there's pepper on the stove, there's pepper on the counter, there's pepper on the burners, there's even pepper on the floor! The pepper is everywhere but where I want it.
There's something wrong there!
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:07 PM   #5059
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I have pepper mills. A smaller one set to a finer grind for the table and a big one set for a coarser grind for the stove.
Ditto here Andy. You get a much better flavor from ground peppercorns. Sounds like he is holding the shaker too far up in the air.

If you don't have a pepper mill, then pour some into a small bowl that you can keep covered and use your fingers to spread the pepper evenly over the food. When I had the bowl next to my stove, (before I got my mills) I had a small spoon from a salt cellar that was me mother's. Perfect for using for spreading small amounts of seasoning at the stove. Then at a yard sale, I saw a children's play dish set with parts missing. That I didn't care about. I wanted the little spoons that came with the set. I still have a couple. My mother's spoon has been retired and saved for my kids.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:36 PM   #5060
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Addie, if it's me you think is holding the pepper shaker too high, then I'm a she.

I don't have a pepper mill and I don't particularly want one. Just one more thing sitting out on the counter that takes up space.

Anyhoo, I now have 30 jars of McCormick seasonings, most empty, a few not. I also have exactly 30 spices right now, so in the next couple of weeks I will be transferring all my spices out of their teeny tiny jars back into the McCormick ones. And their shakers let things in the jar fall out. So hopefully I won't be doing a St. Vitus dance to get pepper on anything in the future.
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