Top Chef Masters, Season 3, Episode 5, Elimination Challenge, WINNER
1. In a bowl, mix together cheeses.
2. Lay the flour tortillas on a counter. Divide the cheese mix into 6 equal portions and spread over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle salsa to taste over each. Arrange the Carne Asada evenly over the cheese. Fold the tortillas over to enclose the filling and brush the tops with butter.
3. Place a cast-iron skillet, sauté pan or griddle over medium-high heat. One at a time, cook the tortillas buttered side down in the pan until lightly golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Then brush the uncoated side with butter and flip over. Continue to cook until the other side of the tortilla is lightly golden and the cheese begins to ooze. Serve hot, whole or cut into wedges, with your favorite salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
1. On a hot grill, char the habaneros, tomatillos, garlic and onion until slightly blackened and soft.
2. Remove vegetables from grill and place in blender with cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Blend until smooth. Allow to cool and serve.
1. Lightly toast cumin seeds in a dry medium skillet over low heat just until aroma is released, about 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a blender. Add jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice and puree until cumin seeds are finely ground. Add cilantro and olive oil and puree until smooth.
2. Using hands, generously cover meat all over with marinade. Place in a shallow pan and pour on remaining marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator a few hours.
3. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove meat from refrigerator. Heat the grill or broiler to very hot.
4. Cook steak just until seared on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. (Or pan fry in a hot cast-iron skillet lightly coated with oil.) Transfer cooked steak to a cutting board and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slice across the grain into diagonal strips. (Tough, yet flavorful steaks like this should always be cut across the grain so that no one bite will contain too long a muscle fiber.) Cut strips into a 1/2-inch dice and use for carne asada quesadillas or tacos.
Quinoa Fritters with Red Pepper Mayonnaise:
1. Place a small, dry saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes, shaking and stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Transfer to a large saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, to make mayonnaise combine ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, flour, cheese, and salt. Add onions, parsley, egg, and yolk. Stir thoroughly with a spoon until the mixture has the consistency of soft dough.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using two soup spoons, press batter into egg-shaped ovals and gently slide into the hot oil or use a small ice cream scoop. Fry until the bottoms are golden and brown, less than a minute. Turn and fry the second side until golden, less than a minute. Drain on paper towels and serve warm, topped with red pepper mayonnaise.