Monday, April 23, 2012

Adobo steak with cilantro sauce

Adobo steak with cilantro sauce and oven-fried zucchini
My husband is pretty great. To reward him for this, I made him his favorite food, steak, topped with another one of his favorite foods, cilantro. The cilantro sauce is the same cilantro chutney that I make along with Indian Biryani, and adds the perfect hit of herbaceous freshness to cut through the richness of the steak. He claims this to be one of the top three steaks he's ever had. Rather than give you an exact recipes, I'll give you the jist of what I did so you can modify it to fit your preferences.

I bought thick-cut sirloins (about 1.75 inches) because they were on sale. Sirloin is one of my go-to cuts of steak--not too expensive, but very flavorful and pretty lean and tender. Then I coated it in Adobo seasoning, smoked paprika, and coarse ground pepper and let it "cure" in the fridge (1 day to 1 hour before is fine). I have written before about my love for Adobo seasoning (a Latin seasoning salt comprised of salt, garlic powder, and oregano, but so much more than the sum of its parts). Adobo alone is really all you need to make delicious meat, but smoked paprika and crushed red pepper are bonus. I always cook steak in my cast iron skillet. It's ideal for sustaining even heat and creating a great sear. Cooking times will vary according to the thickness of your steak, so I won't waste time going into specifics there. There are plenty of websites that describe how long to cook steak for your desired doneness. I endorse the "poke and wiggle" method to determine doneness. Poke the middle of the steak with your finger. If it is super soft and wiggly, it is probably undercooked. Steak that is a little soft and wiggly when you poke it is medium rare, which is perfect to me. If you want your steak more well done, wait until it is firm to the touch. Be sure to let your steak rest on a plate, covered in foil for about five minutes, to allow the juices to redistribute.

The cilantro sauce couldn't be simpler:

1 T lemon or lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, stems included, brown ends removed (cilantro stems are soft and flavorful, so waste not want not!)
pinch of salt
enough water to make a thin paste

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Spoon on top of steak. Done.

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