Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cilantro-Lime Steak with Tex-Mex Quinoa

Tonight's dinner came courtesy of Pinterest. Periodically, when attempting to draw up a grocery list, I turn back to boards overflowing with legitimate recipes and dotted with flights of pure fancy. Usually something will catch my eye and inspiration will hit, as was the case with the one-skillet quinoa recipe.

Not surprisingly, I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry for this lovely little dish.  Billed as a vegetarian main course, the quinoa certainly stands well on it's own, but we were in a protein mood. And the sirloin tip steaks beckoned at us from the butcher counter.

A note on the avocado...it is lovely stirred into the quinoa just prior to serving, but does not stand up well as leftovers. When in doubt, serve it on the side. Thin bright green slices do make a lovely garnish.

Steak marinade adapted from Danny Boome's recipe at Foodnetwork.com
Quinoa adapted from Chung-ah's recipe at damndelicious.net

serves 4

The Ingredients:
for the steak
4- 4oz sirloin tip steaks
2 limes, juice and zest
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
small handful fresh cilantro, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

for the quinoa
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lime
small handful fresh cilantro, minced
1 avocado, peeled pitted and diced

The Process:
Marinade the steak:
Place the steaks in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Whisk together the lime juice and zest, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and cilantro. Pour over the steaks, turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prior to cooking, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Cook the quinoa:
In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño. Sauté stirring frequently, until fragrant and the onion is translucent

, 6-8 minutes.

Stir in quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is cooked tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
 Sear the steak and serve:
Place a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and heat the oven to 500 F.  Once the oven has pre-heated, remove the skillet and place on HIGH heat on the stove.  Remove the steaks from marinade and place directly into the hot, dry skillet. Sear, without moving for 30-45 seconds. Flip and sear an additional 30-45 seconds. Place the skillet and steaks into the pre-heated oven. Cook about 5 minutes for medium rare, 7-8 minutes for medium.

Remove from the oven and transfer steaks to a plate. Loosely tent with foil and allow to rest 2-3 minutes before serving. Plate along with quinoa.

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