May 16, 2010

... Steak with Avocado Sauce and Tomato Salad

Cinco de Mayo certainly called for Mexican food, but we weren't really in the mood for the typical Tex-Mex that we most likely would have ended up with.  Enter grilled steak with south-of-the-border spices, warm tortillas and a creamy avocado sauce.  Now, I haven't quite gotten a good handle on cuts of meat and what's good and not-so-good, so when the recipe called for Eye of Round that's what I bought.  Next time... we'll try something else.  I think flank steak would be a great choice... but please feel free to make recommendations of your favorite cuts!

The avocado sauce saved the day and we'll be using that recipe often in tacos, fajitas, nachos... yum!

The addition of the tomato and hearts of palm salad was great and made for a fresh, tasty side.  It kept well in the refrigerator and I had it for lunch a few days later.  

We really loved the grill-warmed flour tortillas and, like I said, the steak would be better with a different cut of meat, but the flavors were terrific and a great alternative to a big burrito, crunchy tacos or cheesy enchiladas... although all of those sound pretty terrific right now!

I hope you had a great Cinco de Mayo celebration!  We enjoyed ours with margaritas and this tangy dessert.  Ole!

serves 4

1 1/4 pounds beef eye round roast (in 1 piece)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Mexican-style chili powder
kosher salt
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
7 to 8 canned hearts of palm, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
freshly ground pepper
1 ripe Haas avocado
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 large clove garlic
flour tortillas, warmed, for serving (optional)

Slice the roast crosswise into 3 even steaks.  Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Brush the steaks  all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with the chili powder and add salt to taste.  Cook until a thermometer inserted into the side registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes and hearts of palm in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  

Halve and pit the avocado; scoop the flesh into a blender or food processor.  Add the cilantro, garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 cup water; puree.  Season with salt.

Thinly slice the steaks.  Serve with the avocado sauce, tomato salad and tortillas for wrapping, if desired.  Garnish with lime wedges.

Taylor's Notes:
Short of switching out the cut of meat for one that'll be a little less chewy, this was an easy weeknight meal with great flavor.  It'd be easy to add extra toppings, like a fresh salsa or grilled onions, to mix it up.


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