Until nicer weather arrives in central New York, I am best buddies with my stove-top grill pan. It works nicely for those days when I am craving a steak. And while you are at it, why not grill the salsa ingredients? The grilling adds such a great flavor to the tomatoes, chiles and onions. Don’t get me wrong, I love a freshly diced salsa any day of the week, but the grilling really bumps up the flavors. Serve a 1-pound steak with refried beans, rice, avocado slices and great salsa and you can serve up to 4 people. So until outdoor grilling starts for me, I will enjoy some stove-top grilling inside – where it’s warm.
For the Salsa
1 poblano pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 jalapeño or serrano peppers
1small sweet onion, sliced into thick rings
3 Roma tomatoes deseeded
handful of chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
For the Steak
1pound strip steak or cut of your choice
1tablespoon steak seasoning, your favorite (look for the ones with a low salt content)
Roughly chop ingredients for salsa, removing stems and seeds from large peppers. You don’t want them too small since you will be grilling them. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside. Preheat stove-top grill pan to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
While the pan is heating, season the steak with salt, steak seasoning and red wine vinegar on both sides, cover loosely and set aside.
Grill the vegetables until you get some light charring and onions caramelize slightly. Remove from heat onto plate and let cool before chopping. Dice all of the ingredients for salsa, add cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Wipe down the grill pan you used for the salsa and preheat to heat just above medium for 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little oil. When nice and hot, cook steak for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness of steak. The steak I used on this day was just about 3/4 of an inch thick. The middle was more medium rare and the ends were medium. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thin against the grain, serve with warm tortillas, avocado slices, refried beans, lime wedges and grilled pico de gallo.
When fresh lemon or limes are not available, I like to use a variety of vinegars from my pantry. I always have red wine vinegar, balsamic, apple cider and white distilled. They are great for preparing marinades, dressings and for adding that note of acidity that we love in savory foods.