Posts Tagged ‘Steak’

Steak taco closeup

Finally, summer is here!! I know y’all on the east coast have been waiting for-f*@%ing-ever, and out here on the west coast where I’m kicking it for the summer, sunshine, blue skies and warm breezes are already in full swing. Summer is my favorite season — for the sun and swimming, flowers and fruits, barbecues with bounties of sweet produce, fireworks, cold cocktails on hot nights – but above all for the distinct smells and flavors that accompany just about everything!

Lime and mint are two of my favorite refreshing summer flavors, and like some other Dishes, I’ve also been feeling the need to grill up some meat. A trip to visit my good friend Chelsea in Davis was just the opportunity to get affordable pasture-fed beef, homemade tortillas and fresh produce, and whip up a saucy summer meal.

For the steak:
8-oz london broil steak
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tabasco sauce
juice from ½ lime
¼ cup chili powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
black pepper

01 steak_closeup03 grillin

While heating the grill, place the steak in a shallow dish, mix the liquid ingredients and pour over the meat. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over both sides and smooth it on to make a paste-like coating over the surface.

When the grill is ready, sear the steak on each side for about a minute and a half, just so a nice crust forms, then move it away from the direct heat so that it doesn’t get too well done. Cover and grill it for another 5 minutes or so, depending on how well you like it cooked. We like medium-rare, so it didn’t take much longer. Once done, slice it into small bite-size chunks and pile it onto your tortillas – preferably fresh red chili corn “Mi Abuelitas” tortillas from the farmers market! If you love cheese as much as we do, top the steak with grated cheddar cheese – as hard and sharp a cheddar as you can find.

For the salsa:
2 tbsp olive oil
5 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
½ large red onion, diced
½ cup mint, chopped
juice from 1 lime
dash of sea salt

Peaches, Mise en place

Combine red onion, mint, lime and olive oil in a medium bowl. Stir well to mix. Place peach halves on heated grill. Sear the peaches skin-side first, then let them cook on the flesh side for around 3-4 minutes, until their juices are bubbling onto the grill. Carefully scrape them off so the seared and soft parts stay intact. Dice grilled peaches, being gentle with flesh and skin (but don’t worry if they separate or get really mushy – they’re still delicious). Add to bowl and mix to combine thoroughly. Add a dash of sea salt, then spoon as much as you can fit onto your steak taco!

Steak taco dinner

We garnished our tacos with more fresh lime juice and avocado slices, and served them with a red cabbage and ginger slaw that Chelsea made. It was a beautiful, rainbow-hued meal whose flavors were practically bursting off the plate; with ice-cold Tecate and lime, this dish was the perfect end to a hot summer day.

06 jess_tacos

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Steak Salad

Steak Salad

I’d already finished this month’s recipe when Dish Paige! sent me hers, and was giddy to see that she too had steak salad on her mind. To me, it’s one of those perfect meals that feels light yet hearty, decadent but guilt-free. My version is an homage to a dish local favorite restaurant Dumont used to have on their lunch menu. They’ve since taken it off the roster, but I’ll always remember the first time I ordered it…

It was Fancy Week. Instead of buying each other Christmas presents, the Boy and I decided to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s living life just a little bit more luxuriously. My office was closed and he was on break from school, so the two of us slept late every day, trundling down from our 5-floor walk-up to brave the cold in search of new indulgences. One of the early ones was a weekday lunch at Dumont. The restaurant, which is always crowded as a rock show, was almost empty. We felt sneaky. I ordered the steak salad and it was warm, crisp, salty, and delicious – the two glasses of wine we each drank were just the icing on the cake.

Ingredients (serves two):

~8 oz. steak, any cut (go a little bit bigger if there’s a bone; 4 oz. per person is a nice-sized serving)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Rub minced garlic into the meat, along with seasoning. I like just a little bit of cayenne for a kick, but add more or less depending on preference.

Heat 1-2 tblsp. olive oil over high heat. Steak can handle a lot of heat, so when the oil’s hot, add it. The amount of time you cook each side depends on the meat’s thickness; I was working with a 1-inch thick shell steak, so I let it sit on each side for a full 4 minutes. If there’s excess fat, or a bone, do no trim until meat is cooked, since it helps it retain its moisture.

After both sides are cooked, turn heat down to medium and cover pan. For a medium rare 1-inch steak, I let it sit covered approximately two minutes, but the cook time will vary depending on desired temperature. The best way to gauge steak’s doneness without cutting into it is to poke it. Try the forearm test: press down on the fleshy part of your arm just before the crease of your elbow. Rare meat will feel similar; the further you travel down your arm towards your wrist, the closer you’re getting to the texture of well-done meat.

When it’s cooked to your liking, remove steak from heat and let rest, uncut, for at least 5 minutes. After it has rested, and the juices are sealed, slice against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Raw steakCooking steakSliced steak

4-5 loose cups of leafy greens
~3 radishes, sliced thin
+/- ¼ cup chopped blue cheese
+/- ¼ cup sliced almonds

Combine ingredients in a large, deep bowl. Wait until everything else is ready to serve to add dressing.

Go ahead and get crazy with the ingredients – Dumont uses walnuts rather than almonds, but I prefer the latter. I thought about adding pears, or avocado. Both would be terrific.


Salad Dressing:
I was shooting for a steakhouse vinaigrette, so I used:
2 tblsp. olive oil
+/- 1 tblsp. Balsamic vinegar (depending on how much vinegar flavor you like)
½ tsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. steaksauce (I used Peter Lugers’, but A-1 would be good, as would equal parts ketchup and honey)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a tupperware container and close. Give it a good shake to emulsify. Taste and tweak.

Dressing ingredients

Just before you’re ready to eat, pour dressing over the salad and toss with tongs to coat the ingredients, midtown lunch style. Plate alongside warm meat to keep lettuce crisp. I served this meal with two lightly toasted slices of baguette.

Rachelle with Steak Salad

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