Skirt Steak with Rajas

At the Costello household grilling is not confined to the summer.  Partly that’s because of D.C.’s temps and partly because we have a gas grill close to the kitchen.  For me it’s also nice to get Patrick involved in the cooking (though there has been some quibbling if just adding fire to something qualifies as “making dinner”).  This meal is great year round – even if it’s snowing, the steak takes almost no time to grill and the veggies are pretty much seasonless (fresh corn would be way better but frozen is just fine).  It’s not the prettiest dish you will find on this blog but it’s delicious and satisfying.  I have served it with rice or quinoa on the side or chips and guac.  If you want to go really crazy you could stuff both the steak and rajas into a tortilla and have taco night all set. DSC03315 Ok now you are asking – what the heck are rajas?  In Spanish it means strips and usually in latin cooking it will mean strips of poblano peppers but really they could be any pepper.  If you haven’t tried poblanos you really owe yourself to grab one.  Most supermarkets seem to carry them these days, they are green but longer and thinner than regular green bell peppers (which I abhor).  They have a medium heat (more than bell, less than jalapenos) and terrific flavor.  Often, like in this recipe, they are roasted, skinned, seeded and cut into rajas.  They are also great for stuffed peppers (chile rellenos).  Once you have tried them they will become a new permanent member of your veggie drawer.

This is the first official “Fiesta Friday” post – yes Monday’s post was also Mexican themed but that was just because of Cinco de Mayo.  Fiesta Friday is celebrated almost every week in our house.  We have found the best way to usher in the weekend is with food that makes you happy – ie spicy and flavorful.  After a long week a nice mojito and some fried plantains sounds good right?  This has caught on with several of our friends and I hope you all try and spice up your weekends as well.

Skirt Steak with Rajas Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration: Skirt Steak with Creamed Corn and Poblanos by Food and Wine Magazine 

Special Equipment: none

Ingredients:

– 2 poblanos – stems removed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 medium onion sliced (preferably red)
– 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (if frozen no need to defrost)
– 2 or 3 tablespoons sour cream (I use light and think it tastes the same)
– 1 1/2 pound skirt steak brought to room temp

First to make the rajas you want to roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler.  I use the direct gas flame method but if you want to ensure all the skin and char get off I recommend the broiler as more heat and steam circulate around the pepper that way.  If you do it on a gas stove top, just put the peppers on top of the burner.  Make sure you removed the stems (just pull them off) as those always seem to be the first thing that catches fire!  Jack the heat up and then just keep an eye on them.  You honestly cannot ruin these peppers, in fact you want to burn them. DSC03322 If using a broiler just throw the poblanos on to a sheet pan and put it under the broiler set to high.  For both methods just keep turning until all sides are blackened, about 10 minutes.  It feels totally crazy to just throw your food on the fire but its the best way to go, I swear.  Transfer the poblanos to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the peppers steam in the bowl for around 10 minutes. The steam magically losens the skin from the flesh.   DSC03331

Then all you have to do is rub off the skin, cut open the pepper, discard the seeds and cut into rajas.  As I said, my gas method will not be perfect but I like the bits of char that are left behind.  If you want you can make the rajas in advance and just keep them in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready to use them.

DSC03336DSC03338DSC03344

At this point you should heat up your grill on high and season your steak with salt and pepper.  Always take steaks out of the fridge at least 30 minutes or up to an hour before you are ready to cook them.  Super cold steak on a hot grill or pan means a tough steak. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat for a minute.  Then add the onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the corn and rajas and cook for another 2 minutes. DSC03350

Take off the heat and then stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.  The original recipe calls for a lot more sour cream but I just don’t think its necessary.  Keep the corn salad warm over very low heat.  Throw the steak on the grill and grill 4 minutes one side, 2 minutes the other for medium.  Skirt steak is pretty forgiving so if you go longer the fat in the cut will keep it from drying out. DSC03354 Then just let it “rest” for 5 minutes which means put it on a cutting board covered in tin foil to let all the juices get back into the steak.  Slice and serve with the rajas salad on the side. DSC03359

Skirt Steak with Rajas Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

– 2 poblanos – stems removed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 medium onion sliced (preferably red)
– 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (if frozen no need to defrost)
– 2 or 3 tablespoons sour cream (I use light and think it tastes the same)
– 1 1/2 pound skirt steak brought to room temp

First to make the rajas you want to roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler.  If you do it on a gas stove top, just put the peppers on top of the burner.  Jack the heat up and then just keep an eye on them.  If in a broiler just throw on to a sheet pan and put under the broiler on high.  For both just keep turning until all sides are black, about 10 minutes. Transfer the poblanos to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the peppers steam in the bowl for around 10 minutes.

Then all you have to do is rub off the skin, cut open the pepper, discard the seeds and cut into rajas.  If you want you can make the rajas in advance and just keep them in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready to use them.  At this point you should heat up your grill on high and season your steak with salt and pepper.   In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat for a minute.  Then add the onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the corn and rajas and cook for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat and then stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Keep the corn warm over very low heat.  Throw the steak on the grill and grill 4 minutes one side, 2 minutes the other for medium.  Then just let it “rest” for 5 minutes which means put it on a cutting board covered in tin foil to let all the juices get back into the steak.  Slice and serve with the rajas salad on the side.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tapas Party | A Capitol Contessa

  2. Pingback: Tortilla Soup | A Capitol Contessa

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