If you don’t like cilantro, I may not cook for you during the warm months. Sorry, it may be a fact. Though I am not cilantro obsessed, its freshness is something I look forward too. It is easily found year round, but when it’s grilling season, you will find it in my fridge until my plants are ready to be scalped. I found a recipe a few years ago that made me challenge my wife’s view of canned bizarre foods. I introduced her to chipotle in adobo sauce. This minuscule can packs a mighty punch. The smoked jalapenos are surrounded in a thick paste reminiscent of a dark chocolate raspberry mocha. It’s smoky, spicy and a bit pungent. A little goes a long way as there are usually a handful of whole peppers in this goo.
Steak Salad in Creamy Adobo Dressing
The recipe is for a steak salad. Is it healthy? Of course it is, it’s a salad. Get your hands on some skirt steak, and you will need to make a marinade. Look at the list below and throw all of it in a ziplock bag for at least 2 hours. If you don’t dig on beef, sorry. But I am sure you can substitute chicken or some free range tofu. The real star of this show is the dressing.
• 2 lbs. Skirt steak
• 1/4 cup lime juice
• 3 Tbs. Canola oil
• 4 cloves. minced garlic
• 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
• Red pepper flakes to taste
• Salt pepper to taste
Since it’s a salad, you will need the usual suspects, greens, tomato, avocado, red onion, tortilla strips, garbanzos, whatever floats your boat, grows in your garden, or is readily available from your veggie monger.
• 1 Bag of fresh mixed greens like baby spinach
• 2 large tomatoes, sliced
• 1 Hass Avocado, sliced
• 1 red onion, sliced
Going back to the chipotle in adobo, the ying to capsicum’s yang is dairy fat. This is why sour cream shares a cooling romance with salsa. You will need the following:
• 1/4 cup whipping cream
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
• 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (see below)
• 1 small minced onion
• 1 fresh garlic clove
• pinch of sugar
In a measuring cup, combine the cream, sugar, buttermilk, and mayonnaise. If you are one of those heathens that are adverse to mayo, you may exchange sour cream. Pour a half shot glass of cream and set aside. Chop up your cilantro; mince your garlic and onion, add to the dressing.
Open your can of adobo. Smell it, taste it. If it’s too hot, use the shot of cream to put out that fire.
In a non-reactive bowl (no, not a football game at Maryland), use your immersion blender and process your peppers. If you don’t have an immersion blender. Stop reading this and run to a store and get one. Welcome back. You could also use a food processor but the hand blender is your magic wand (easy now). Take two teaspoons of the chipotle in adobe and mix it in your dressing. Add more if desired.
Grill your meat. 5 minutes per side or until desired. If you go well done, we are through as friends, never read my stuff again. Order an old catcher’s mitt.
Prepare your salad as desired. After allowing your beef to rest (snicker) slice it across the grain, thinly. Place steak on your greens and drizzle creamy dressing over your salad. This ain’t rocket science at this point. Enjoy with a nice sangria or mojito.
Now what to do with that left over adobo. Scoop it into a snack size ziplock and freeze into a roll. When you need adobo again (this will be on high rotation, trust me) just pull out your roll and slice a piece off.