There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Carne asada is a Mexican and Tex-Mex beef dish. It is traditionally prepared with a cut of flank or skirt steak. These cuts of meat are thin by comparison to most other cuts of beef. Using a thin cut of meat allows the cook to prepare the dish quickly and evenly. To prepare the dish quickly, you can butterfly the cut of meat before you cook it. Butterflying meat entails slicing it through the middle on three sides, and then spreading it out on the cooking surface.
Rinse the meat under running water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Dry meat is easier to cut because it is less likely to slip.
Sharpen a filleting knife or other long, narrow knife. Sharp knives are more efficient and require less force on your part.
Lay the beef in front of you, perpendicular to your body -- longest from side-to-side. Orient the meat so that the thicker end of the beef is on your left.
Trim any sizable pieces of fat with the knife.
Place your hand firmly on top of the meat to hold it in place.
Pierce the meat at the top. Pull it around the thicker side of the meat. Slice in the middle so that both halves are even.
Continue pulling the knife around through the middle of the meat until you have cut it on three sides. The more narrow of the two long sides should remain uncut.
Open the meat as you would open a book. Pound the meat lightly with a meat mallet, to help it lay as flat as possible, if desired.
Follow the recipe to further prepare and cook the meat.
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