Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chipotle-Inspired Salad with Pan-Roasted Hanger Steak

I crave Chipotle steak salads all the time. My typical order is lettuce/steak/fajita vegetables/extra fajita vegetables/black beans/no rice/corn salad/all the salsas/no cheese or sour cream—the perfect ~500 calorie lunch. This homemade version encapsulates the spirit of the Chipotle steak salad with its vaguely "Mexican" ingredients and spices. It's a perfect low-carb lunch for when you're dreaming of a huge bowl of pasta for dinner. -K

Here steak is part of a balanced dish, rather than a hunk of meat with some sides. You need less meat, so you save calories and dollars. If you can find hanger steak, pounce on it. It's like skirt steak, but thicker, with a craggy surface that makes for an insane crust. When you get a forkful of crunchy-juicy meat, creamy avocado, and bright cherry tomato coated in jalapeño and lime, this will very quickly become your favorite way to eat a steak. -A

Chipotle-Inspired Salad with Pan-Roasted Hanger Steak

Cooking Time

20 minutes


3 fake Mexicans

Chef's knife
Cutting board
Mixing bowl
Paper towels
Heavy-bottomed skillet
Slotted spatula
Metal spoon

8 oz. frozen fire-roasted corn
15 oz. (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint (~12 oz.) cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 medium red onion or 1 small red onion, finely diced
2 jalapeños, finely diced (seed them if you don't want it spicy)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 3 limes
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large handful cilantro, picked from stems
2 radishes, cut into thin wedges
2 avocados, cut into 1/2" cubes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 thick hanger, New York strip, or ribeye steak (~1 lb.), patted very dry with paper towels
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 or 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly crushed
3 or 4 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Stir together corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and lime juice. Let marinate at room temperature while you cook the steak.

2. Heat oil in skillet over very high heat until smoking. Season steak all over with 2 teaspoons salt and add to skillet. Sear, flipping every 30 seconds or so, until both sides have developed a deep brown crust, about 4 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, crushed garlic, and thyme. Season steak on both sides to taste with coarsely ground pepper. Baste steak with butter, flipping every 30 seconds or so, until just short of medium rare, about 3 minutes. The steak should feel slightly firm but still pliable to the touch, and should register an internal temperature of ~127 degrees (cook to ~135 degrees for medium). Discard crushed garlic and thyme. Transfer steak to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

4. While the steak rests, sauté sliced garlic and cumin seeds over low heat until fragrant in the same skillet you used to cook the steak, about 1 minute.

5. Add sliced garlic, cumin seeds, butter from skillet, steak drippings, cilantro, radish, and avocado to salad. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately, topped with thick slices of steak.

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