His love affair with food started innocently, when he took a salad-prep job to cover college costs. Within a year, Tim Love was running that kitchen. Now he's a culinary hotshot, with six Texas restaurants serving his boldly flavored Urban Western cuisine. In 2007 he faced off against Japanese sensation Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America, Battle: Chile Pepper—and won. A diehard Cowboys fan, Tim suggests these spicy skewers for tailgating. His favorite game-day companions are his wife, Emilie; son, Tannahill, 10; and twin daughters, Ella and Anna, 9.
This tailgate-ready recipe calls for outside skirt steak, one of Tim's preferred cuts. It's from a section below the rib, and the membrane—which has to be removed before cooking—is usually still attached. Ask the butcher at your supermarket if you don't see it in the meat case.
Tim Love's Beef Skirt Steak Skewers
1 serrano chile
1 poblano chile
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/4 cup canola oil
1 pound beef outside skirt steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
Wooden skewers soaked in lemon juice for at least an hour
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Thinly slice chiles and onion. In a bowl, mix chiles, onion, garlic, rosemary and oil.
2. Add meat and massage for a minute. (Use gloves or mix with tongs.) Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Skewer meat. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
4. Heat grill to high. Season skewers with salt and pepper.
5. Grill skewers for 3 minutes per side. Serve.
Tip: For a welcome hit of citrus that plays off fiery spices, try soaking wooden skewers in lemon juice instead of plain water.
Power of Food
Tim Love says, "Food comes down to one thing: It brings people together. Brings friends together. Brings enemies together, for that matter. There are very few things in the world that have that kind of power."
Tim Love's Avocado Salsa
4 ears corn, roasted
6 avocados, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1. Roast corn over a hot grill.
2. Cut corn off cob and mix with remaining ingredients.
3. Serve with chips.
Each year the Love crew hosts Burgers 4 Babies to raise money for the Fort Worth NICU Helping Hands Foundation in honor of Tim's twins, born two months early.
Tim also works with the nonprofit Spoons Across America, visiting classrooms to teach kids about healthy food and snack choices.
Originally published in the October 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.