Beef Salad with Chipotles and Radishes
- 2 pounds sirloin steaks, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing
- 1 large red onion
- 1/2 cup canned chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extravirgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, and seeded (see Note)
- 1/2 hothouse cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4inch dice
- 5 radishes, cut into 1/4inch dice
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce, pale inner leaves only, coarsely julienned
- 2 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into julienne
Heat a well seasoned castiron frying pan or griddle to high heat. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper and brush them with a little olive oil. Sear the steaks for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness, for medium rare meat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool almost to room temperature.
Trim the stem and flower ends of the red onion and cut it in half crosswise. Pressing from the bottoms, pop the onion sections out so that you have 6 good-sized onion cups. Set aside and cut the remaining onion into 1/4 inch dice. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped chipotles, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, salt, cracked pepper and garlic until well blended. Cut the Anaheim chiles into 1/4inch dice and add them to the bowl, along with the diced red onion, cucumber, radishes, and cilantro. Slice the beef across the grain on the diagonal into 3/8inch slices. Spread a layer of the romaine on each plate and distribute some of the beef and the tomatoes on top. Spoon the dressing, with all its chunky ingredients, over the top and serve immediately.
Note: Fresh chiles and bell peppers can be roasted over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer the charred peppers to a plastic bag, tie the top closed and let steam until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (If you are rushed, you can place the bag in a bowl of iced water to speed things up.) The best way to peel is just to pull off the charred skin by hand and then dip the peppers briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. Do not peel the pepper under running water since that will wash away flavorful juices. Once peeled, cut away stems, seeds and veins.
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