Josh Valentine to cook atop Founders Tower in Oklahoma City

Back in Oklahoma City, chef Josh Valentine will be executive chef at a new restaurant on top of Founder Tower.
by Dave Cathey Modified: April 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm •  Published: May 1, 2013
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The target for opening the new steakhouse and fine dining restaurant is late summer. When a name is chosen, we'll let you know.

Burger Day is back

If it's May 1, it must be time for the city of El Reno to grill an enormous fried-onion burger to share with visitors on the streets of downtown.

El Reno Burger Day celebrates 25 years from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The fire department will oversee the “Big Burger” cook starting at noon. An 8½-foot, 850-pound burger will be constructed and cooked. Live music is planned along with a car show, games, rides, clowns, a craft show and food court.

Admission is free. For more information, go online to elrenoburgerday.com.

Cinco-pation

The other big event early May brings us is Cinco de Mayo. For the first time in a very long time, I won't be throwing a huge fiesta, while I concentrate on a really cool project I'll be able to share with you soon.

But that doesn't mean I won't be hankering for some Tex-Mex on this most Tex-Mex of holidays. Fajitas are quick, easy and crowd-pleasing.

Before you get knee-deep in margaritas or salty cerveza, choose one or both of these fajita methods.

If you don't have chile oil, simply put a cup of vegetable oil or soybean oil in a pot. Light a burner to the lowest setting and drop in a handful of dried chiles or chile flakes. You may also use sambal oelek. After 10 to 30 minutes, strain the oil into a container with a lid.

Also, remember to let skirt steak stand at least five minutes after you remove it from the grill. Cut the steak into pieces, depending on how long it is, and slice against the grain to ensure it doesn't treat your choppers like a mouthful of rawhide would. Serve the steak with warm flour tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese and sour cream.


by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Fajitas Two Ways

Marinated

2 pounds skirt steak

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup tawny port win

1/3 cup jalapeno brine (the vinegar from a jar of pickled jalapenos)

1½ teaspoons garlic

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons fresh ground pepper

• Combine soy, port and brine in an airtight container, resealable bag or vacuum-seal container with beef and marinate at least six hours.

• Light a fire on half of the grill. If using gas, light half the burners.

• Grill steak over direct heat 1 minute to 90 seconds per side, depending on the thickness. Once each side is well-seared, move to unlighted side of grill and cover. Let roast 6 to 8 minutes.

Rubbed

2 pounds skirt steak, preferably tenderized

¼ cup chili oil

2 tablespoons Sweet and Spicy All-Purpose Rub, or your favorite rub or chile powder

• Pour oil into a shallow baking dish. Place steak in the oil and coat on both sides. If the steak is too long, cut it into two or three pieces. Pack rub on both sides of the steaks, cover and let stand at room temperature until fire is ready.

• Light a fire on half of the grill. If using gas, light half the burners.

• Grill steak over direct heat 1 minute to 90 seconds per side, depending on the thickness. Once each side is well-seared, move to unlighted side of grill and cover. Let roast 6 to 8 minutes.

Sweet and Spicy All-Purpose Rub

½ cup ground mild red chile such as ancho; you may substitute chile powder

½ cup paprika

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup sea salt

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons ground coriander seed, toasted

2 tablespoons ground cumin seed, toasted

2 tablespoons ground black pepper, toasted

1 teaspoon chile de arbol or cayenne pepper

• Combine thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Pico de Gallo

2 medium ripe tomatoes, cubed and strained

Half of a small white onion

1 to 3 serrano peppers, minced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Salt to taste

• Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand at least 15 minutes.

Source: Dave Cathey.

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