Memorial Day weekend is always called the unofficial start to summer. In years past, the long holiday weekend was a time for first of the year beach vacations, large barbecues with friends, swimming at neighborhood pools and other fun in the sun activities. This year was obviously different as we begin to transition out of quarantine as a country. All of those festivities may have been cancelled, but grilling outdoors will still happen all summer long!
We fired up our grills on our outdoor patio at Lincoln Square this weekend for three virtual grilling classes. Although it was bittersweet for our chefs to be there without students grilling beside them, we still had a blast teaching grilling and smoking techniques to you all virtually.
On Saturday, Executive Chef Lisa Counts had to pivot when our technology threw her a curve ball, forcing us to move her smoking class indoors. No worries - she turned to our trusty stovetop smoker to get the job done. She showed our students how to make Brined and Smoked Bone-In Pork Chops with Grilled Red Cabbage and Fennel Slaw.
We got the wifi working outdoors in time for Chef Hans Mooser's class on Sunday. It was a beautiful day in Chicago as he demonstrated how to make Grilled Strip Steaks with Chimichurri and Grilled Sweet Potatoes.
Lisa got her wish to be back outdoors for Memorial Day's grilling class but she and her cameraman/husband Bo had to brave 93 degree heat, which caused a smartphone to need to take a few breaks from the heat. She managed to bang out some ridiculously good Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Burgers with Smoky Potato Salad with Bacon and Scallions, and they enjoyed that meal indoors amid blasting AC.
Other than a few technical glitches, our first weekend of virtual grilling classes was a huge success! And we're not ready to put away those grills just yet. We have three more virtual grilling classes for you on our class calendar that you won't want to miss:
- Cedar Planked Salmon with Miso Butter and Grilled Sesame Broccoli Saturday, May 30 3pm CST
- Grilled Flank Steak with Smoked Salsa Verde and Grilled Asparagus Sunday, June 7 3pm CST
We're also hosting a special grilling class on Father's Day featuring Spice Rubbed and Grilled Hanger Steak and Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato, Lime and Queso Fresco on Sunday, June 21 at 3pm CST. Although you may not be able to be with your dad in person for his special day this year, you can gather together virtually from anywhere to take this class together.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend Memorial Day with my parents, and we watched all three virtual grilling classes. I was inspired to create a grilled menu and cook along with some of my friends virtually on Monday. We made together and enjoyed:
- Chili-Lime Rubbed Grilled Steak with Chipotle Butter
- Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato, Lime and Queso Fresco (yes, I stole this dish from our Father's Day menu!)
- Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Citrus Caramel Sauce
I'm sharing the steak recipe with you because it's delicious, and this rub really works well for any type of steak you can find right now: flank, strip, hanger or skirt. The compound butter is absolutely necessary as it adds a level of richness and a kick of spice to the steak. It's also great on salmon, chicken or pork. Take my advice: make a double batch and portion it into smaller pieces and keep in your freezer so you are prepared for all of your summer grilling adventures. Join us for a virtual grilling class to be inspired to create your own amazing grilled food.
Chili-Lime Rubbed Grilled Steak with Chipotle Butter
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 35 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 5 minutes
For the steak:
1 lime, zested
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
One 1- to 1 1/2-pound hanger steak (or skirt steak or flank steak, whatever you can find)
For the butter:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 to 2 chipotle peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, rough chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest
Salt to taste
1. To make the spice rub, mix together the lime zest, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, chipotle chili powder, salt and grapeseed oil in a small bowl.
2. Cut the lime in half, and squeeze the juice on both sides of the steak. Use your hands to evenly rub the juice into the steak.
3. Generously rub both sides of the steak with the spice mixture, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. While the steak is marinating, prepare the butter. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the butter, chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime zest and salt.
5. Roll into a tube using plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate for one hour or until firm. Alternatively, this butter can be frozen up to 6 months.
6. Heat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat.
7. Grill the steak on the first side until you have well defined grill marks. Flip and repeat. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reads 125º to 130º on an instant read thermometer for medium rare. Allow to rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board with a juice groove.
8. Cut the steak in to slices against the grain, and place on a platter.
9. Cut the chipotle butter into "coins", and set on top of the steak. Slide the platter on a cooler part of the grill, and close the lid, just to soften and slightly melt the butter.
If you are a member of our private Facebook group, you've already been put to the challenge to grill something this week and share it with the group.
Our weekly #tcbcookingclub challenges are just one way we are staying connected with our community during this pandemic. Join us to be a part of the cooking conversation!