Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fresh Skirt Steak Salad

This morning I went to the farmer's market with Matt and Penny. Matt had a bratwurst sandwich (nevermind it was 9:30 am) and I gathered up baby squash, eggs, and bread. Buying bread, I went for the dark brown loaf called "
Brown Prairie Bread", a hearty brick of whole wheat ensconced with sesame seeds. I bought this because it looked healthy, and I certainly wanted to at least give off an aura of health when I ordered from the cute-ish hipster manning the bread booth. (Nevermind I consider Doritos haute-cuisine.) The truth is, I prefer a white or even a multi-grain loaf. Whole wheat is too "granola" and tough for me (and prior to my surgery, for my body). And don't lie to me and say you don't love a crusty white bread, too.

But I think it's good to be true to yourself, and I sometimes (okay, oftentimes) I give into these cravings, whether it be the white bread, Doritos, or meat. I've been eating as little meat as possible for the last six to eight months. I eat meat when it's served to me, but very rarely cook with it at home, with the exception of seafood. A few weeks back I went on a meat rampage. Now, "meat rampage" really means like two bonafide meat dishes in one week. I guess sometimes a girl just wants some steak.

Even when we eat meat, it's organic, grass-fed, and in small quantities. I think that's a healthy compromise. Here is a delicious skirt steak salad with greens, avocado and lime we devoured in front of the television that week (I guess old habits do die hard).

It's (of course) courtesy of chef Rick Bayless, and we made a few substitutions (no frisee for example, I hate the stuff). And I think this is why we love Mexican, or, new Mexican I should say: there is nothing more fresh than lime and cilantro, fatty avocados and a dollop of sour cream.

Below is Rick's recipe, with my additions/alterations in italics.

Skirt Steak Salad with "Wilted" Greens, Tomato, Avocado, and Lime
  • 1 medium-large head (8 oz.) frisee or escarole, cut into 2-inch sections OR 8 cups salad spinach, long stems removed (We used mixed baby greens.)
  • 2 medium-large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 medium avocados, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TB. olive oil (divided use)
  • 1 pound skirt steak (thicker "outer" skirt steak is most tender - it should already be trimmed of the exterior while membrane and surface fat)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a press
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds scraped out and finely chopped (We just used canned green chiles.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup grated Mexican queso anejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan
  • (We also added slices of mango.)
  • (We also added grilled veggies from the day prior - mainly zucchini and baby bellas - to add additional heft to the salad.)
Scoop the greens into a large bowl and strew the chopped tomatoes and avocados over the top. Set a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat, and measure in 2 TB of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Lay it on the hot oil and cook until it's about medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove to a cooking rack set over a large plate - this keeps the juices in the meat rather than running out onto the plate.

Turn the heat under the skillet to low. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until very fragrant. Then pour in the broth (or water) and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Turn off the heat and add the chile, along with the lime juice and the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and pepper (about 1/4 tsp.).

Cut the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the greens. Pour the warmed dressing over the salad and toss to coat - the greens will wilt slightly. Divide and sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve immediately. (We also added the grilled veggies and mango, and served with sour cream and toasted tortillas.)

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