Cheese, Glorious Cheese! by Paula Lambert celebrates fine cheesemaking with recipes like Chilled Pea Soup with Minted Mascarpone, Croissants Filled with Scrambled Eggs, Tomatoes and Dilled Havarti, and Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Queso Fresco.
This salad is substantial enough to be a whole meal. The crispness of the tortilla chips, the spiciness of the chiles paired with the milky goodness of the cheese, and the acidity of the lime juice make this a complex and sophisticated dish.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to high.
For the Chile Glaze, pour the chipotle chiles with the adobo sauce and the honey into the work bowl of a lood processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth.
For the Salad Dressing, combine the olive oil, lime juice, Chile Glaze, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify.
For the Steak, rub both sides of the meat with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the steak to the grill and cook quickly over hot coals to sear both sides. Turn the heat to medium or rake part of the coals ro one side. Brush the remaining Chile Glaze onto the meat while it is cooking, and turn it often so that the glaze caramelizes on the meat, being careful not to let it bum. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until medium-rare. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Wash the lettuce, leaving the leaves attached at the base. Shake and drain the lettuce upside-down. Lay the lettuce on its side and slice across it, beginning at the root end and proceeding to the tips of the leaves, to make 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spin the cut lettuce dry in a salad spinner or use a dry dish towel to pat it dry. Slice the onion, bell peppers, jicama, and olives thinly, about 1/4-inch thick. Slice the flank steak on the diagonal into thin pieces about 1/4-inch thick. Place the tortilla chips in a plastic bag and press down on them with a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces.
Combine the lettuce, onion, bell peppers, jicama, olives, and steak in a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss well. Add the tortilla chips and all but 2 tablespoons of the Queso Fresco. Toss again. Use a fork or tongs to pull most of the slices of meat to the top of the salad so that they are visible.
To serve, garnish by sprinkling the remaining 2 tablespoons of Queso Fresco over the salad.
The chipotle chiles in the glaze make this dish quite spicy; however, it is a sweet spiciness like that of barbecue sauce, and it caramelizes on the flank steak during the cooking over the red-hot coals.
This page created June 2007
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