5th June 2009

Quick-Seared Poblano Beef Tips


Meat and potatoes, Rick Bayless-style.  This easy recipe from Mexican Everyday features deliciously tender… tenderloin… dished up with potatoes and full-flavored, slightly spicy poblano peppers.  We don’t cook tons of red meat and aren’t fans of huge slabs of beef, so this was a nice treat.  The potatoes took a lot longer than suggested in the book, so I’ve adjusted the times below. By the way, gas ovens are fantastic for roasting peppers.
Lisa says:

Whoa, what’s this? We never have steak.

Chris says:

I know it — I was just in the mood for red meat, and this sounded really good.

Lisa says:

Well it certainly smells good… how spicy are the peppers?

Chris says:

Not very — they’re the poblanos, so they have a nice flavor but aren’t usually very hot.

Lisa says:

Didn’t you almost kill my mom with some “aren’t usually hot” peppers?

Chris says:

Hey, that wasn’t my fault! I blame the produce lady. Besides, I really enjoyed that dish, even if it was way overly spicy. Anyway, back to this dish — these strips aren’t hot!

Lisa says:

I know, I just finished.

Chris says:

Uh, what?

Lisa says:

Yeah, while you were going on for 20 minutes about pepper excuses, I was enjoying this delicious dinner. I loved the steak.

Chris says:

What the — 20 minutes? That was barely 20 words!

Lisa says:

Whatevs. Like I said, I thought it was delicious.

Chris says:

Okay, well, yes. Ditto!


Quick-Seared Poblano Beef Tips
2 small poblano peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb beef tenderloin
1 small white onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 lb), cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup dark beer
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Roast the poblanos over an open flame, turning regularly until blackened and blistered all over, about 5 minutes. Wrap in foil and let sit until cool.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, sprinkle the beef generously with salt, then put into the hot pan, spreading into a single layer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is almost done — 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove to a plate.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the onion and potatoes. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is richly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute, until aromatic. Pour in the beer and Worcestershire, sprinkle in 1/4 tsp salt, and lower the heat to medium. Let cook, stirring regularly until most of the liquid has reduced and the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes longer.
While the mixture is simmering, rub the blackened skin off the poblanos and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4″ strips and add them to the skillet.
When the potatoes are tender, return the meat to the pan and sprinkle on the cilantro. When the meat has heated through, taste and add salt if necessary.

2 Servings

posted in Mexican Everyday | 2 Comments

2nd March 2008

Ropa Vieja with Vegetables

I’ve been in a meat-mood all week, so last night I made this shredded skirt-steak recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks, Healthy Latin Cooking. The steak is slow-cooked in wine and broth until it’s tender enough to easily shred with a fork. This recipe is made lighter than the traditional by the addition of carrots and potatoes.

Chris says:

So apparently this dish literally translates to “Old Clothes”.

Lisa says:

Wow, if all old clothes were like this I’d spend just as much time at the thrift stores as Abbie.

Chris says:

I love how tender the meat is here.

Lisa says:

Yeah it’s super good. The sauce is really tasty.

Chris says:

The vegetables are also nice and tender without being mushy. Perfect! I like using our CSA box to determine what recipes to make.

Lisa says:

It certainly seems to cut your recipe-browsing time to something manageable!

Ropa Vieja with Vegetables
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1 lb beef skirt steak
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic white wine
3-3 1/2 cups chicken stock or fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
4 carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
2 potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
2 tsp rinsed and drained capers
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat the oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are just beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
Season the steak with salt and black pepper. Add it to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes per side. Increase the heat to high, add the wine, and bring to a boil. Add 3 cups of the stock or broth and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the steak is very tender. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
Stir in the tomato puree or tomato sauce, carrots, and potatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is reduced and flavorful. If too much liquid evaporates, add a little more stock or broth. Stir in the capers.
Using 2 forks, tear the meat along the grain into very thin shreds. (You should be able to do this right in the pan.) Simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the meat soaks up the sauce. Season with more salt and black pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

4 Servings.

posted in Healthy Latin Cooking, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

12th July 2007

Nicaraguan Churrasco

Our main dish tonight was this grilled beef tenderloin, with chimichurri sauce and grilled sweet onions. Tender, highly flavorful, and surprisingly quick. Both the steak and chimichurri recipes are from Healthy Latin Cuisine.

Nicaraguan Grilled Beef Tenderloin
1 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp sherry
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
4 large sweet onions, cut crosswise into 1/2″-thick slices
1/2 cup chimichurri (recipe below)

Lay the beef on a cutting board with the long side facing you. Holding a sharp knife parallel to the board, cut the beef through the side lengthwise into 4 flat, even slices. Place each slice between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the side of a cleaver to a thickness of 1/4″. Season each slice with salt and pepper and place in a 13″x9″ baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the thinly sliced onions, parsley, garlic, sherry, bay leaves, and red-wine vinegar. Mix, and pour over the meat. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes, turning once.
Preheat the grill to high.
Coat the sweet onions with nonstick spray. Place on a grill tray and grill for 4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Turn carefully with a metal spatula. Transfer to a platter.
Drain the beef and discard the marinade. Grill the beef for 2 minutes per side for medium-rare, or slightly longer for medium. Arrange the beef on top of the onions, top with chimichurri.

4 servings

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3-5 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red-pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, starting with just 3 tbsp of the vinegar. Whisk to mix. The sauce should be highly seasoned; add more salt and vinegar, if desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

2 cups

posted in Healthy Latin Cooking, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

26th June 2007

Pepper-Beef Stir Fry

We were rushed for time tonight, so this recipe from Cooking Light’s SuperFast Suppers cookbook sounded perfect — it was on the table 20 minutes after cracking open the fridge. The sauce thickens nicely and certainly doesn’t taste “light”.

Pepper-Beef Stir-Fry
1 (5 oz) package Japanese curly noodles (chucka soba), uncooked
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-salt beef broth
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
cooking spray
3/4 pound top round steak, thinly sliced
1 tsp light sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 ounces snow peas, trimmed

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Combine soy sauce and next three ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Place non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. add beef. Stir-fry for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan; set aside and keep warm. Coat pan with oil. Add garlic and bell pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add snow peas and water chestnuts; stir-fry 1 minute. Return beef, juices, and soy sauce mixture to pan and cook 30 seconds, or until slightly thickened. Serve over noodles.

Serves 4.

posted in Asian, Cooking Light, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

29th May 2007

Surin’s Thai Beef Salad

Jenn sent us this recipe for Spicy Thai Beef Salad, the way it’s made at Surin of Thailand in Atlanta. We liked this version better than the one we made a few weeks ago — it was a lot easier, and the meat cooked a lot faster on the grill since it was already sliced. As listed below, I’d call the salad “medium” on the spicy scale, I added extra chili paste to mine to enable sweat-head.

Surin’s Spicy Beef Salad
2 servings

Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp red chili paste
1 lb flank steak
1 small cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and julienned
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped green onion
romaine lettuce, in bite sized pieces

Preheat a grill to medium heat. In a nonreactive bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce and chili paste; set aside. Slice the beef into thin strips, then grill to medium. Add to the bowl with the chili paste mixture and toss to coat. Arrange the cucumber, onion, tomato, cilantro and green onion in a bowl. Add the steak and lightly toss. Put a handful of romaine lettuce on each plate and top with the steak and cucumber mixture.

posted in Main Dishes, Thai | 1 Comment