At a recent dinner at Toro Toro restaurant in Miami, one of chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s 50 restaurants worldwide, he talked with me about recipes that have smoked barbecue flavors but are cooked inside. He calls it “Cookout Inside.”
The smoked flavor comes from the sauce. In this recipe, the sauce is used as a dipping sauce for beef kabobs. He adds Esquites (Fried Corn) as a side dish. I’ve adapted his ideas for this quick barbecue-flavored dinner. It’s perfect whether you’re in a hurry for dinner or live in an apartment where you can’t grill.
Chipotle peppers are red jalapeno peppers that are ripened, dried and smoked. They’re sold dried or canned in adobo sauce. I used powdered chipotle chili pepper found in the spice section to give a quick smoked flavor in this dinner. You can also use smoked paprika for a smoky addition to the sauce.
For dipping sauce:
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound grass-fed strip steak, cut into 1-2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup green bell pepper, (cut into 2-inch pieces)
8 cherry tomatoes
Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Add instant espresso coffee, honey and ketchup to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the chipotle powder, cocoa and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to form a smooth sauce. Set aside for dipping sauce. Thread the steak, green bell pepper and cherry tomatoes on 2 long skewers, alternating the ingredients. Place skewers on the baking sheet and broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Turn skewers over and broil 2 more minutes for medium-rare. Broil another 2 minutes for more well done. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
Per serving: 303 calories (18 percent from fat), 6.1 g fat (2.3 g saturated, 2.2 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 42.2 g protein, 25.1 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g fiber, 238 mg sodium.
Yield: 2 servings.
Esquites (Fried Corn)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups frozen, chopped onion, defrosted
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped green bell pepper, defrosted
2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
Several drops hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, green peppers and corn. Saute 5 to 6 minutes. Add, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Per serving: 141 calories (33 percent from fat), 5.2 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.3 g protein, 23.7 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 14 mg sodium.
Yield: 2 servings.