Mexican Steak Salad
Espelette chile pepper is a pepper popular in the Basque region of the south of France. Ground, it is mildly hot but distinguished by a slightly smoky flavor.
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
• 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground espelette chile pepper or hot paprika
Marinade for Steak:
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
• 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
• 2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound beef skirt steak or beef flank steak
Orange Cilantro Dressing:
• 1 cup orange juice
• 1/2-cup snipped fresh cilantro
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup canola oil
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Salad:
• 4 ears fresh sweet corn, husks and silks removed
• 4 (1/4 inch thick) slices jicama
• 4 (1/4 inch thick) slices red onion
• 4 (1/2 inch thick) slices pineapple
• 5 ounces mesclun mix or spring mix lettuces
• 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
• 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/2 cup pear-shaped cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut up
• 3 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into bite-size strips and fried
• Jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
To make Seasoning Blend, in small bowl combine the salt, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, and ground espelette chile pepper; set aside.
To make marinade, in small bowl combine onion, cilantro, 2 tablespoons Seasoning Blend, lime peel, lime juice, and olive oil. Spread mixture on all sides of steak. Place steak in large resealable plastic bag set in shallow dish; seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator overnight, turning bag occasionally.
To make Dressing, in small saucepan bring orange juice to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until orange juice is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Let cool. In blender or food processor combine the orange juice, cilantro, olive oil, canola oil, garlic, cumin, jalapeño, salt, and ground black pepper. Cover; blend or process until smooth.
To assemble Mexican Salad, remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. For charcoal grill, grill skirt steak on rack of uncovered grill directly over medium coals 6 to 8 minutes (17 to 21 minutes for flank steak) for medium doneness (160°F), turning once halfway through grilling. Add corn to grill rack, grill 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently. Add jicama, red onion, and pineapple to grill rack. Grill 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Grill as directed.) When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cob, cut pineapple and onion into bite-size pieces, and cut jicama into bite-size strips.
Let steak stand 3 to 5 minutes; thinly slice steak across the grain into bite-size strips. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon Seasoning Blend. (Save remaining Seasoning Blend for another use.)
In large mixing bowl combine salad greens, mint, cilantro, tomatoes, corn, avocado, jicama, red onion, and pineapple. Toss mixture with 2 tablespoons Dressing. Garnish with corn tortillas and, if desired, jalapeño pepper slice. Pass remaining dressing. Makes 6 servings.
Make Ahead Tip:
The Seasoning Blend can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container up to 1 month. Dressing can be made ahead, covered and chilled up to 24 hours.