"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Monday, July 2, 2012

Steak Salad with Mango, Avocado and Jalapeno Vinaigrette

I love summer salads. Grilled meat over fresh greens is such a nice, light treat on a summer evening.  

This salad is probably my favourite.  Tender strips of steak mix with the creamy avocado and tart mango in a spicy jalapeno dressing.  It makes a delicious, filling summer meal.

Here we have steak, mango, avocados, jalapenos, shallots, a lemon (lime if you have it), and a cucumber, radish and greens for the salad.  You'll also need black pepper, salt, olive oil, parsley or cilantro and queso blanco or chevre, which is optional but delicious.

First, season your steaks generously with cracked black pepper and salt.  I also added a little cumin.  Let them sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad and dressing.  I used New York Strip steaks for this, which are delicious. Tenderloin, sirloin or even flank steak are great as well.

Heat the grill to prepare the jalapenos.  Grill the peppers over very high heat until the skin is black and blistered.  You can also do this over a gas stove or under the broiler.

Once blackened, quickly throw the peppers into a plastic freezer bag and seal, or put them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  The steam will loosen the skin from the peppers for the next step.

I vary the number of jalapenos I use, based on their hotness.  It isn't easy to judge but if they are super hot sometimes you only need one.  If they're milder, use two or three.  More than once I've made the dressing too hot to handle so I always add one pepper and taste before adding more.  

Let the peppers steam in their bag for about 10 minutes while you prepare the salad. Once they're cool enough to handle, peel the blackened skin from the peppers. I use gloves for this.

Then open the grilled peppers and remove the stem and seeds.  

Add parsley (or cilantro) to a small food processor or blender along with salt and lime juice.

Toss in the seeded, skinned jalapenos. Remember to start with one and add more if you can stand the heat.

Add about a tablespoon of water and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until smooth.

Now you can grill your steaks.

Grill about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness until they're medium rare or however you like your steak done.  Let them rest while you assemble the salad.

I assemble the whole salad in advance except the avocado, which I chop at the last minute to avoid browning.  In a bowl toss lots of mixed lettuce with cucumbers, radishes, shallots, and mango.  

Just before serving, slice the avocado.

Then slice the steak.

Lay the avocado and steak over the salad and drizzle with the jalapeno dressing.

Then sprinkle with crumbled chevre or queso blanco if you can find it (I can't).

This salad is so delicious.  I love the spicy dressing and the way the avocado, mango and cheese complement the crisp greens and tender steak.  This is a real winner!

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures and an absolute winner of a salad, indeed!