Well the zip of the jalapeno peppers is still on my lips from this quite amazing meal.
This one is a Michelle original. Sometimes, you just get so tired of soups and stews and all those hearty comfort meals. Like Elaine Benes, you just want a really big salad.
Also, you might have noticed, your cooks have a thing for Mexican food. And Mexican spices.
Let’s begin. Get the steak — you know the one that is soaking up the marinade — and set it on the counter to come to room temperature (this takes about 15 minutes).
In the meantime, we can get started on the avocado and corn salsa. Place about 1/2 cup frozen corn and one cup water in a covered saucepan. Cook over high heat until the water begins to boil, then reduce heat to low and let corn sit, covered, for about two minutes. Rinse under cool water and drain. Note: You’re not trying to cook the holy hell out of the corn here. You’re really just defrosting it. Canned corn would work just fine as would an ear of corn fresh off the grill. Oh my!
Place the corn in a small mixing bowl and add half of a jalapeno pepper (I used what was left over from the marinade last night), a few diced onions (no more than a teaspoon or two, really), one clove of garlic, crushed, and some freshly chopped cilantro (also leftover from the marinade). Add the juice from half a lime. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Now, take an avocado and cut it in half. Remove the pit and score the flesh so that you essentially have small cubes of avocado. Release the flesh from the skin with a spoon and add it to the corn mixture. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the avocado to prevent it from browning.
Mix the salsa again and set aside (right about here is where this starts smelling crazy good and you can’t wait to start eating!). Mmmm … creamy, cold goodness!
To the steak! Put your broiler pan on the top rack of the oven and set to broil. Let that heat up for a few minutes, then place your steak right on top of the broiler pan. Marvel at the sizzle! Let the steak cook for about 8 minutes for a 1 lb., 3/4 inch piece of meat, flipping once halfway through. You could also grill the steak on direct high heat for about the same amount of time, if it wasn’t in the single-digit temperatures outside.
Now, this is very important, when the steak is at your desired doneness (we like it just about medium), let it rest for several minutes. This means NO CUTTING!
You can use this time to begin assembling other parts of the salad. We split a bag of salad mix (whatever you like is fine) between two plates and then topped that with one diced tomato and half of a red bell pepper. Once that’s done, slice the steak and place it on top of your greens with a bit of Mexican blend cheese. Now, for the final touches – top the salad with the “salsa” and a touch of sour cream. To maximize the flavor, use the remaining lime half and squeeze the juice over the two plates.
Depending on the season, this meal could be a bit of a splurge. But as it is, avocados are on sale (less than $2 a piece!), we only used one tomato, the red pepper will appear in another meal this week, and the onion was a leftover from I don’t really know when, as was the cheese and sour cream. And the steak itself – which had a little chew to it, but was incredibly tender for flank – rang up at about $6. Score!
Makes 2 generous servings
- 1 lb. flank steak, tenderized and marinated
- 1 bag mixed greens or Romaine lettuce
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup Mexican blend or Cheddar cheese
- 2 servings Avocado and Corn Salsa
- sour cream
- juice of 1/2 a lime
Tenderize steak with a mallet and by scoring. Rub with garlic salt and black pepper and marinate overnight. Broil or grill steak for 8 minutes for medium doneness, flipping once halfway through. Let steak rest for several minutes before cutting.
Divide greens between two dinner plates. Top each with tomato and red bell pepper. Cut steak into strips and add to salad plates. Add salsa and cheese and sour cream, if desired. Finish by squeezing lime juice over both plates. Serve with Corona or other Mexican-style beer.
Marinade — Makes enough for 1 lb. of beef, chicken or mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- red wine vinegar
- olive oil
Combine garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin, pepper and lime juice in a large plastic bag. Shake to combine. Add meat or mushrooms and enough red wine vinegar and olive oil in equal parts to cover. Let sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Cook meat or mushrooms as directed.
Corn Salsa — Makes enough for 2 salad servings or 4 servings with tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp. onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
In a small mixing bowl, combine the corn, jalapeno, onion, garlic and cilantro. Stir to combine. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add avocado and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Serve on salad or with tortilla chips.