Safe Grilling Tips and a Carne Asada Recipe

Fireworks aren’t the only thing sending people to the emergency room on July 4th. Grilling also poses a potential hazard, with the National Fire Protection Association reporting an average of 7,200-plus home fires involving gas grills and 1,400 involving solid-fuel or charcoal grills. Half of all grill fires were caused by using grills too close to building, with nearly a third started on an open porch or balcony and 27 percent started on a patio, terrace or in a courtyard.

To help prevent such a disaster this weekend, the Propane Education and Research Council has provided this short video on grilling safety. Much of it is common sense, but I’m here to attest: Common sense often goes out the window on a holiday weekend that mixes grilling, explosives, and alcohol. Food Network star Sunny Anderson does a good job of detailing a few simple steps to ensure your safety—and has also provided a great recipe for grilled carne asada that would work just as well, if not better, using venison steaks.

So check out the video and, when it comes to fireworks, always remember these two simple rules: Light Fuse. Get Away.

Sunny Anderson’s Carne Asada Wraps

Ingredients
- 1 pound thinly sliced top round beef
- 1 packet (about 1 1/4 teaspoons) Sazon seasoning
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 scallions, finely chopped (white and green parts)
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

- 4 10-inch tortilla wraps (spinach wraps are fun if you can find them)
- 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, cleaned, leaves separated and patted dry
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the Avocado Spread
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 6 to 8 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice
- Kosher salt

In large bowl, combine the avocado, crema, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, and jalapeno juice. Mash with a fork or potato masher until relatively smooth. Taste and season with a pinch of salt if needed.

Directions:
1. In a re-sealable plastic bag combine the beef, Sazon, cumin, hot sauce, olive oil, scallions, garlic, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Tightly seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Squish it around a bit to mix the seasoning and coat the beef, then refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours. Two hours before you are ready to grill the beef, remove the bag from the fridge, give it a toss and rest the bag on the counter at room temperature.

2. Heat the seasoned grill or grill pan to medium-high. Remove the beef from the bag and shake off any excess marinade. Place the beef on the grill and cook on one side until the beef release about 6 minutes. Flip, then cook just 3-4 minutes more. Transfer from the grill to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes. Roughly chop then sprinkle the lime juice over the pile of chopped beef. Set aside.

3. Assemble the wraps. Make sure the tortilla wraps are pliable. If not, warm them in the oven at 100-200 degrees Fahrenheit or zap them in the microwave for a few seconds. Place a tortilla wrap on a flat surface, layer several lettuce leaves along the center or each without going over the edges, and sprinkle with cilantro. Dollop a quarter of the avocado spread in a row along the center of the wrap, then top with a quarter of the beef and another layer of lettuce. Tuck in both sides with your hands, then fold the side closest to you over the filling under the tortilla flap. Be sure to keep the lettuce as a barrier between the wrap and the beef or spread as you roll it up. Secure with a toothpick or wrap tightly in parchment paper, then slice. Serve at room temperature or chilled.