Mother's Day was pretty much a wash for me, since I woke up at 1:30am with a seriously unhappy stomach, and spent the next few hours cramping and puking and miserable. What I suspected to be food poisoning turned out to be a nasty little stomach bug that's been making the rounds. My sister-in-law also had it, as did her mother-in-law, so none of us were particularly chipper at our get-together. I ended up leaving Chris with the cavekids and heading home to curl up in bed that afternoon, and took a rain check on my Mother's Day dinner.
Thankfully, the delightful little bug has been shared among us all (blah) and has moved on (woohoo) and we are all feeling MUCH better!
Now that we are back to normal, relatively speaking, and feeling fine, we celebrated with my favorite dinner…. this spicy Tex-Mex steak that has become my new favorite awesome. Super flavorful, a little spicy, total yum.
I've used this on several different cuts of steaks, depending on my budget and what's on sale. This time I found a package of thin-sliced chuck steak, so I opted for the cast-iron skillet rather than the grill. I sprinkled the meat with a pre-packaged tenderizer (I know, I know, not very paleo, but it'll do in a pinch) and stabbed it with the meat tenderizing-fork-thing while I mixed up the spices, then rubbed the spice mixture over the steaks while the cast-iron pan was heating.
Once the cast-iron skillet was hot, I threw the steaks in to sizzle away while making the sauce.
There's probably a more frou-frou term for the sauce besides just 'sauce', but I don't really feel like Googling the appropriate word just to make myself appear more lofty and high brow; I'll save that for the gourmet blogs, which I could never pass off as being.
'Sauce' it is.
So, I just tossed the ingredients in the food processor after spending way too long fiddling with taking pics, because I liked the composition of the lime and cilantro and garlic on my cutting board. A couple whirs around- and 'whir' would indeed be a technical term- and it's done.
Once the steaks have been gently cooked, flipped, nd cooked a tiny bit more, I removed the steaks, cranked the heat up to medium high-but-closer-to-high-than-to-medium and let the pan heat a minute or so, then seared the steaks well on both sides (it takes only a few seconds). I flipped the heat off, moved the pan from the burner, and poured the sauce over the top of the steaks. The sauce just sort of slides off the surface of the meat and down into the pan, and caramelizes and cooks the admittedly-large amount of garlic down a bit so that it mellows. Then I just flip the steaks again, putting the sauced side down for a minute or two, and then flip one more time so the steaks are evenly coated with the sauce.
I let the steaks rest for a bit- always a good thing so they stay nice and juicy- and serve these with cauliflower mashed faux-tatoes, spooning the sauce over the top in lieu of gravy, and a side salad and some avocado.
Taste buds, rejoice.
6 steaks, your choice of cut
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste (if not using tenderizer)
4-6 garlic cloves
1 cup cilantro leaves
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
pinch of salt
Sprinkle steaks with tenderizer, if desired, pierce with tenderizing fork (optional).
Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl.
Rub spice mixture into both sides of the steaks.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat on stove or grill; meanwhile make the sauce.
In food processor or blender, combine the sauce ingredients and pulse/whir until the garlic is crushed and the sauce is an even uniformity.
Cook steaks in heated pan on both sides gently, then sear at the end over high heat.
Remove the pan from the burner, pour the sauce over the steaks, let cook a few moments in the still-hot pan.
Flip the steaks so the sauced side cooks a minute or so, then flip once more and let rest until ready to serve.