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Adjust Servings:
Crema Fresca
1 cup heavy cream highest fat content available
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Salsa Cruda/ Pico de Gallo
1/2 lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro
1/4 cup white onion finely diced, rinse under cold water
1 1/2 medium tomatoes finely diced, skin, seeds and all
urnip-Tomatillo Melange
4 small turnips peeled and blanched until tender
1/2 medium white onion julienne
4 tomatillos peeled of their husk, whole
extra virgin olive oil
Chuck Steak, Grilled or Alla Plancha
1 pound grilling chuck steaks cheap and delicious
3 limes
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Serves 4
  • Medium


  • Crema Fresca

  • Salsa Cruda/ Pico de Gallo

  • urnip-Tomatillo Melange

  • Chuck Steak, Grilled or Alla Plancha



I would truly be remiss of my duty of annoying my faithful readers if I did not beat the drum of food’s travel v. regionalist virtue as I have for so long.

Food, as we know, has traversed continents and cultures, thanks to conquest, war and trade routes. Yet, in the end, sometimes it seems to me that our own indigenous foods serve our bodies the best; they just feel right. Ah yes, I feel a bit of esotericism coursing through my veins, so onward and upward go we.

Most of us have heard of the movement referred to as ‘Locavore’, indicative of an individual who does whatever he or she can to eat only local foods. For me, however, I can’t always go purely local, as emphasized in such regimens as the 100 Mile Diet, instead opting for regional, if not continental.

Even so, as we will see, the foods below are pretty much from here, so it works.

As a part of ‘The Americas’, we have a proud history of homegrown and world-travelled foodstuffs; corn, tomatoes, potatoes and chilies, just to name a few. And with this history, it is hard to overlook the obvious meals from South of the Border.

For me, some of the best foods from down below are so easy to make, and fun to eat. With a little cerveza and/or margaritas or mojitos, it’s a natural match. Even pitchers of fresh limeade or tamarind punch can be great accoutrements to this meal.

With a little touch of Argentina, a smidgeon of Mexico, and a dash of weird East Coast thrown in for good measure, I was able to ensure that we finished off our Summer kick-off in style.

Serving the meal with fried corn tortillas, and they must be corn tortillas fried briefly in vegetable oil and patted dry, a little bowl of chimichurri (that’s the Argentine part), fresh corn on the cob, Spanish rice and some cheese and lettuce, you will not regret this meal as you celebrate a meal of The Americas.

Crema Fresca:
  1. Combine the ingredients, whisking to incorporate
  2. Let sit at room temperature for the afternoon and it will clot as the day goes on


  1. No rocket science here. Just mix and adjust your seasonings. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be. If everything is fresh, it will be pure magic

Tomatillo-Turnip Melange:

  1. Combine all ingredients, making sure not to mash the turnips
  2. Roast at 375F until toasty brown
  3. Adjust the flavoring, and now for a little tip. As a chef, I have known for years that salt can combat a bitter sauce, or bitter cabbage, greens or things of the like. Applying this principle to the turnips, don’t be shy. Just taste as you go

For the Steak:

  1. Use your handy jaccard and tenderize the meat. If you do not have a jaccard, poke as many holes as you can in the meat with the tines of a fork. It will take considerably longer with a fork, but this helps the marinade to permeate the meat, adding flavor and breaking down cartilage in the steak
  2. Note:Chuck steak is a great steak to grill if you know how to work with it. If you season it and throw it on the grill, it might bear a likeness to a nice gristly jerky, so good luck with that.
  3. Marinating really is the secret to good chuck steak. And now that it is marinated, throw it on an extremely hot grill and cook until nice and crusty and cooked to your liking.
  4. When grilling, please don’t put it on a cheap and low-temp grill, and then email me that it tasted like boiled meat, because it will. It needs to be smoking hot. No grill? Then cook it alla plancha, which means throw it on a smoking hot iron griddle or heavy pan and sear the garbage out of it.

Paul Suplee

Paul G. Suplee CEC, PC III is a private chef, college professor, writer, photographer & blogger who breathes food. Active in the professional food service industry since 1983, he has worked in a number of locations across the United States. Paul now teaches adult students near Ocean City, Maryland after an interesting four-year career as a high school teacher. No disrespect to the food stylist world or that of the food writer, but what you see and read from him, love it or hate it, is what you will get at his table. No blowtorches, no crisco-ice cream and no molasses in place of natural glazing, either in photo or word.

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