PAN GRILLED VEGETABLES IN CHILE LIME BEER
by Terry Hope Romero
Vegetables and beer were meant to be good friends. A quick dip in a simple Mexican- style beer marinade adds flavor and depth to such tender crunchy vegetables as summer squash, asparagus, or even okra for grilling in a cast-iron skillet or grill pan. Just a little beer goes a long way in flavoring these vegetables, so there's no need to raid the keg for this delicious and easy summer vegetable side.
Serves 4 as a side
Time: 20 minutes or less
• 2/3 cup Mexican beer
• 2 tablespoons lime Juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 clove garlic, crushed or grated on a Microplane grater
• 1/2 teaspoon ground chile powder
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 2 pounds summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan), asparagus, or whole okra pods
• Additional vegetable oil, for grilling
1. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or grilling pan over medium heat. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the beer, lime juice, salt, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. If using squash, slice it into long, 1/4-inch-thick strips. Asparagus only needs to be trimmed. If okra pods are very large, slice in half lengthwise; leave small pods whole.
2. Place the vegetables in the beer marinade and marinate for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lightly oil the preheated pan and add one-third of the vegetables. Don't crowd the pan; leave enough room that vegetables can be easily flipped. Drizzle the vegetables with 1 to 2 tablespoons of marinade and grill for 4 to 8 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are browned and tender. If necessary, add a little more oil to keep the vegetables from sticking. Remove from the pan, add a little more oil, and repeat with the remaining vegetables.
3. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Properly trimmed nopales paddles that have had their spines removed love this marinade. Either slice into 1/2-inch-wide strips or slice each paddle into "fingers" but leave the strips attached at the base of the paddle. Marinate the nopales and drizzle or brush frequently with beer marinade as they cook on the grill or skillet.