Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tequila,lime & jalepeno marinated steaks with soft taco salad

Tequila, lime and jalepeno marinated steak with soft taco salad
Generally when the Easter break comes to a close that crispness makes its way into the air and daylight saving comes to an end. It is generally, around this time, as the weather starts to turn, that I get into a mild panic and generally find myself trying to cook things that taste like summer – as if it will preserve the heat of the warmer months for a moment longer. When I think of tequila and limes, I think of warm climates and beach holidays. I think of margaritas, and salt-rimmed glasses to accompany my salt crusted and sandy hair after a swim at the beach.
This is a mish mash of Mexican flavours and Lebanese fattoush style salad, incorporating coarsely torn soft tacos into the salad. It works a treat. If you wanted to bump this up to serve more people, it also works well to add some fresh corn to the salad – the flavours work beautifully. I like to keep this kind of food super casual and serve it sliced on a big chopping board next to piles of salad for people to help themselves.

Serves 4-6

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp (5 ml) Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 tsp ground chipotle
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground white pepper
Juice of 3 limes
100ml tequila
80 ml olive oil
2 good quality, thick cut, scotch fillet steaks
2 jalepeno chillies, finely sliced (or more to taste if you like it super hot)
1 bunch mint, leaves coarsely torn
1 bunch coriander, leaves coarsely torn
1 avocado, finely sliced
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jalepeno chilli, finely sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 medium soft tortillas
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Extra limes and sea salt to serve

Combine all the steak marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the steak and try and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours – its even better overnight. Remove the steak from the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring them to room temperature.
Add all the salad ingredients, except the soft tacos to a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of a lime, its zest and toss gently to combine with the olive oil. 
Warm the soft tacos and tear coarsely and add to the salad just before serving.
Cook the steaks on a barbeque or a grill plate until cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and place on the serving board to rest. Thickly slice, season generously and garnish with sea salt, chopped coriander, freshly squeezed lime-juice and slices of jalepeno peppers. Pile on the salad and serve.

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