Buy Local Cookout


Courtesy of the Maryland Office of the Governor

Courtesy of the Maryland Office of the Governor

Last Thursday I represented the Eastern Shore in the Buy Local Cookout at Government House in Annapolis. Part of the annual statewide Buy Local week, this food and drink event showcased chef-created dishes using local Maryland products. It was a treat to be at the Governor’s mansion and I managed to find a few minutes away from the grill to enjoy some of what the other chefs (and vintners) had to offer.

I used the grass-fed beef from Crow Farm and Vineyard and made Cumin-Chile Grilled Skirt Steak with Cornbread-Poblano Salad. The beef got lots of compliments– even the Governor had seconds!

Buy Local CookoutChile-Cumin Skirt Steak

All the recipes from the event were published in a cookbook put out by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Makes 4 servings:

2 pounds boneless sirloin steak, trimmed


½ cup orange juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo

1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Juice of 1 lime

1-2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

  1. In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade and mix briefly until blended. Add the steak and coat it with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate the steak for a minimum of 1 hour, but ideally 6-8 hours. Turn the steak several times to help it marinate evenly.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat a grill (or broiler) and remove the steak from the marinade. Pat dry with a paper towel and reserve the excess marinade. Grill the steak for about 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium rare, or until the internal temperature of the steak is 125F. While the meat is cooking, briefly boil the remaining marinade and brush on the steak. Rest the meat for 5 minutes.
  3. Slice the steak against the grain into ½” slices. Sprinkle the lime juice and cilantro over the steak just before serving.

Cornbread-Poblano Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound (about 3-4 cups) cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeeled and sliced

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced


1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon minced oregano

1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup tomato juice

3/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped parsely, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 300 F. Spread the cornbread cubes on a sheet tray in one even layer. Toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cubes are dried and lightly brown around the edges. Cool. Mix with the remaining salad ingredients. Set aside.

2. Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Dress the salad right before serving with enough vinaigrette to moisten the cornbread, but not make it mushy. Garnish with the chopped parsley.



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