Sunday, August 24, 2014

Millennial Central Beef Checkoff -- Carne Asada and Tex-Mex Beef Party #sponsored #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting & Millennial Central for the Beef Checkoff. I received products to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

To say I was thrilled to be selected for Millennial Central and Beef Checkoff's in-home party campaign is an understatement. I love any opportunity to 1. Come up with new recipes, 2. Hang out with friends, and 3. Eat tons of beef.

Don't tell 2007-aged Ashley this (she was a strict vegetarian that year) but... beef is my favorite meat. There, I said it. And while I do have a history of an on-again-off-again flirtation with vegetarianism, I'm pretty sure the beef-loving Ashley is here to stay. Not only is beef delicious, but it's pretty nutritious, too! In recent years the myth of "red meat is bad" has been thwarted by new studies and information. Beef contains ten essential nutrients like protein, iron and zinc. Zinc helps to maintain a robust immune system (whenever I feel a cold coming on I take Zinc supplements and it seems to help!) and beef’s phosphorus and calcium help build strong bones and teeth. When you're dairy-sensitive like me, it's great to have a calcium source that won't cause stomach aches! Plus, a 3 oz. serving of beef consists of only 150 calories and fewer than 4.5 grams of fat. I see wins all around, here.

Sponsoring this post is The Beef Checkoff. The Beef Checkoff was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. It's a national marketing and research program funded by America's cattle farmers and ranchers. The Beef Checkoff is directed by Cattle farmers, ranchers and importers direct the national checkoff program, which uses funds toward research and promotion efforts designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef. The Cattlemen's Beef Board and USDA oversee the collection and spending of these beef checkoff funds. 

For more recipes and information on beef and the Beef Checkoff, visit

So, for my dinner party I invited my Austin friends over for what I called "Ashley's Beef Party." Look at this picture. What do you see?

Yeah. A whole bunch of dudes. And dudes LOVE beef, so I had some work ahead of me. I am pretty proud of myself, I only required the help of the fiancé to cut the beef at the end, since I was pretty dang exhausted at that point.

After my initial plan of ribeyes with gorgonzola butter fell through, I decided to focus on carne asada with a chimichurri compound butter as the main dish, and a bunch of Tex-Mex-inspired sides. Makes sense, since I'm a new-Texan, right? Plus my friends attending were also new Texans (most were from my home state of Massachusetts) and I thought they'd appreciate the spread.

I decided that tacos would be the perfect vehicle for this amazing beef, so I focused on sides that would go well with tacos. First up we have a slaw, that was great wrapped up in the tortilla with the beef.

Recipe for Slaw: 1 bag slaw mix (or 1/2 red cabbage shredded + 1/4 green cabbage, shredded), 1 green apple cut into toothpicks, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 3 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, squeeze of lime, tossed and chilled for 1/2 hour.

Next up was the sangria, which was just 2 bottles of red wine, with a bunch of citrus fruits and a few glugs of raspberry vodka, chilled for an hour and served with raspberry-chili flavored soda.

I made a salad with margarita dressing that I didn't get a good closeup of, too. I shredded brussels sprouts and tossed them with the dressing and added cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Dressing Recipe: 1/2 cup olive oil, juice from 1/2 lime, 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey), 1 tsp tequila, 1 tsp cumin, pinch of salt.

The star side dish though, had to be the Street Corn. I made half plain corn since I knew there was at least one picky eater in the bunch, but in the end I had to turn the plain corn into Street Corn since the demand was so high!

Recipe for Street Corn: Boil 12 ears of corn until done, about 6 minutes. Place on serving platter, and slather with mayo. Sprinkle with chile powder and cojita cheese. If you've never had it before, it sounds weird, I know. But it's amazingly delicious and you'll question ever eating corn another way again!

Finally. The main event: Carne Asada Tacos with Chimichurri Compound Butter. The guys were looming over this while I cooked it, waiting for the opportunity to pounce.

Carne Asada

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (de-seed if you don't want it too spicy)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

-Mix together all ingredients except the steak in a large baking dish. Add steak, and marinate for 2 hours or overnight, turning steak regularly.

-Heat a grill or skillet on medium-high. Cook meat until desired done-ness (I like medium rare, 6 minutes each side).

Chimichurri Compound Butter

  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temp
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbs  red wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs "Italian herb blend" or oregano
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • pinch of salt and pepper

-Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until butter is completely incorporated into the herbs. Scoop into bowl and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, spoon butter onto beef. Slice and serve on tacos with slaw.


  1. your party was so much more legit than mine! lol loooove the carne asada and all the rest!

  2. What a wonderful party! And I'm totally pining for an ear of street corn!

  3. I think you were probably deemed best fiance ever after this meal!

  4. You had me at "chimichurri compound butter" ; ) - But seriously, I love beef, and even though I go through stages where I try to eat less is impossible for me to resist the smell of fresh-off-the-grill beef, especially carne asada. Congrats - sounds like a fun party!