Friday, February 27, 2009

Mexican Dry Rub

Another night more celery to peel.

The fella dubbed this meal “eating at the American embassy” seeing as we ended up making a Mexican dry rub to go with the French braised vegetables and Californian wine. So it wasn't a well thought out plan, but it was delicious.

See, we bought crazy random veggies like turnips and celery root for a recipe we found interesting and in the whirlwind that was trying to find food we could eat during the grocery trip earlier in the week we forgot to consider the GI of certain vegetables. Whoops. It's like eating dessert at a friend's house, right, root vegetables you have never tasted before have no fat? Unfortunately no, in the real world that meant I had to cook this meal as French cooking practice when in fact it doesn't comply with any of Montignac's eating rules.

Funny thing is even without going all out French diet yet, eating butter and heavy cream but avoiding sugar and most carbs, I've already lost 7 pounds. I haven't even been exercising. How can this be! I didn't think it was actually going to work but I guess just giving up sugar is a huge step so I shouldn't be that surprised. I didn't really think I was doing anything revolutionary until I stepped on the scale and then later in the day watched a friend of a friend put five raw sugar packets in one small cup of tea while ravaging a brioche that I realized that Americans have a serious problem with sugar. I've only been five days clean of sweeteners and I still had to hold back the tidal wave of holier than thou-ness I felt bubbling inside while watching the tea sweetening incident happening in the same breath as a clueless conversation about diabetes. Oy vey.

Getting back to dinner; to even out the butter in the vegetables for the original recipe (another one from the Boulud cookbook) I decided to switch out the steaks it called for and use chicken breasts instead and save some calories. Problem was I really was not feeling the need to search out the 5 different whole pepper corn varieties the recipe called for so I ended up making making a dry marinate that is a staple in our kitchen instead. We usually do it on very thin steaks but as I found out last night on pounded thin chicken it is just as good and insanely easy for the delicious meat you end up with.

The vegetables were not quite so low maintenance. Aside from unnecessary celery peeling, Boulud also insisted on cutting all the vegetables in precise eighths. What could that possibly have to do with the outcome of the dish? Obviously Boulud has some obsessive compulsive control freak issues to deal with, however the two times I've followed his instructions to the nth degree the fella and I have ended up with meal so good we were speechless after the first bite. All we could do was chew and making yummy noises while staring at each other and nodding joyfully. So I cut everything in eights and threw it in the pot and hoped for the best.

Obviously I'm going to have to come up with a reconsidered version of these braised vegetables that have a low GI because they were fabulous. Celery root is way better than any potato just in case you were wondering, it's a crime they sit rotting in the “ethnic” part of produce section being ignored. I would stop cheating and actually peel the celery to eat that again.

Until then here is the Mexican dry rub. It originally came from a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal but don't hold that against it, we'd tweaked it so much I think it's safe it call it ours at this point.

Mexican Dry Rub

2 tablespoons grill seasoning
2 limes, zested
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

4 (1 inch thick) strip steaks or butterflied and pounded thin chicken breasts

In a small bowl, combine the spices and lime zest. Work dry rub into meat. Set aside on a plate to marinade for about 15 minutes. Pan fry in a small amount of oil until cooked through.

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