Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cajun Tri-Tip with Arugula Chimichurri

I don't know what your weather has been like, but it has been hot here.  When it is 100 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is cook.  That is when grilling becomes my best friend.  For one thing, the house doesn't get heated up and more importantly, in this house, the grill is my mister's domain.  That means I get to stay indoors while Josh is cooking over a hot grill.  Win-win!  This meal is also great because it all gets prepped ahead of time.  I am a big fan of meals I can make during naptime right now. 

We are big fans of Morton's Cajun Ribeye in this house but it isn't something we can really afford very often.  Luckily someone gave us the Morton's Steak Bible and it has the recipe for their Cajun seasoning.  If you have a favorite Cajun seasoning you would rather use, go for it.  We make a big batch of this one and then we always have it on hand.  To marinate your tri-tip, press Cajun seasoning into all sides of the tri-tip to cover completely.  I think the easiest way is to spread it out in a shallow dish and then press the meat into it, but go with whatever method works for you.  Pour some vegetable oil into a big zip-top bag then put in the tri-tip and refrigerate it for 8-24 hours.

To make the chimichurri, put about half of a package of arugula in your food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped.  In a large measuring cup combine equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar with a bunch of garlic, some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Stir in the arugula and then set aside.  You want to let this sit for at least an hour so the flavors can combine.  I stuck mine in the fridge since it was several hours until dinner and then pulled it out about 30 minutes before dinner to take the chill off.

When you are ready to eat, remove the tri-tip from the marinade.  Sear each side for about 4 minutes over high heat, then grill over medium heat for about 8-15 minutes, depending on how you like it cooked.  Remove it from the grill and let it rest, covered with foil for about 5 minutes before slicing across the grain.  Spoon chimichurri over the top to serve.  The tri-tip is super flavorful without being spicy and the tang of the chimichurri compliments it perfectly.

Grilled Cajun Tri-tip with Arugula Chimichurri
Adapted from Morton's Cajun Ribeye

For the tri-tip:
  • 3 lb. trimmed tri-tip
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Cajun Seasoning (this makes about 2 1/2 cups, store the rest in an empty spice container for future use)
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    • 1/2 cup salt
    • 1/3 cup white pepper
    • 1/3 cup garlic powder
    • 1/3 cup onion powder
    • 2 1/2 tbls. dried thyme
    • 2 1/2 tbls. dried oregano
    • 2 1/2 tbls. black pepper
    • 2 1/2 tbls. cayenne pepper
For the chimichurri
  • 3 1/2 oz. arugula (about 3 cups packed)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  1. Coat tri-tip with Cajun seasoning, pressing it into all sides.  Pour vegetable oil into a large zip-top bag, then put in tri-tip and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
  2. To make the chimichurri, pulse arugula in a food processor until finely chopped.  Whisk together the rest of the ingredients (olive oil through red pepper) then stir in arugula.  Cover and let sit at least 1 hour to let flavors combine.  If longer than an hour, refrigerate and then bring to room temperature before serving.
  3. Remove tri-tip from bag and sear over high heat for 4 minutes on each side.  Reduce to medium heat and continue to grill until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before slicing across the grain.
  4. To serve, spoon chimichurri over tri-tip.

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