Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fajita Steak Salad

The other night Alexis and I were craving a taco or fajita salad and we had everything we needed in the fridge to throw one together.

Or so I thought.  I reached in to grab the leftover taco meat from the night before and.... it was gone.  No problem, I'll use that leftover skirt steak.....which was also gone.  Empty containers in the sink were evidence that our older son had stopped by for lunch earlier in the day.  No worries, but the stomach wants what the stomach wants.  We ran to the store and picked up another skirt steak just so we could have this salad.

Big on TexMex flavors, this Fajita Steak Salad uses grilled skirt steak.

Tip:  If your store is out of Certified Angus Beef skirt steak, you can substitute their sirloin flap steak. Certified Angus Beef is one of our sponsors and I got to try the sirloin flap in a "grind your own burger" competition at their headquarters.  It's similar in texture and taste.

Fajita Steak Salad
serves: 6 servings

  • 1 skirt steak
  • 2-3 tablespoons NMT Fajita Seasoning or other fajita seasoning
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into rings
  • 6 tortilla salad bowls, heated according to directions
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 3 diced roma tomatoes
  • 2 peeled and diced avocados
  • 1 cup Fire Roasted Chile Ranch Dressing or other ranch dressing
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce or taco sauce
  • black pepper to taste

  1. Prepare your grill for direct heat and preheat to high heat (500°F +).
  2. Trim any excess fat from your skirt steak and season heavily on both sides with the fajita seasoning.  You will likely have a little seasoning left over.  Keep that for seasoning the salad at the end.
  3. Grill the steak and pepper rings on both sides until the rings are charred and the steak reaches an internal temperature of 130°F for medium rare, about 4-6 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the steak and pepper rings and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Slice the steak thinly against the grain.  See pictures for detail.
  6. Divide the lettuce between the tortilla salad bowls and drizzle lightly with the chimichurri sauce.  Top with cheese, diced tomatoes, diced avocados, and the pepper rings.  Drizzle with the ranch dressing and enchilada sauce.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch or two of the leftover fajita seasoning.
  7. Top with the sliced skirt steak and serve.
Kingsford natural lump briquetes, mesquite
I tried using the new Kingsford Lump Briquets with mesquite wood this time.  Briquets on the left are regular Kingsford and the right are the lump with mesquite.  Got some good mesquite smoke in the air but 8-12 minutes of exposure isn't going to add a lot of flavor to the food in most cases.  

I did about 50 coals and that jumped the temperature to a little over 500°F.

seasoned skirt steak
If your skirt steak is in one piece it will be too long so just cut it into a few pieces.  The middle will be fatter than the ends.

fajita, skirt steak on grill
I put the thicker pieces on first and wait a minute to put the thinner sections on the grill.

grilled skirt steak recipe, beef,

Char-Broil CB500X
Notice the paver stone under the Char-Broil CB500X grill.  I always do with when grilling on my deck to keep the deck from reaching combustible temperatures.

CB500X grilling skirt steak
I've cooked this twice this week in case you were wondering why the meat keeps changing sizes in the pictures. 

I like to cook my skirt steak to medium rare at most, to keep it tender, so I pulled these when they registered 130°F on my Char-Broil Instant Read Thermometer.

how to slice skirt steak
Notice how the grain of the meat is running in the same direction as the knife blade.  You need to cut perpendicular to the grain but first I cut it into manageable sections about a finger long as shown....

how to slice skirt steak
...then turn the meat sideways like this and slice against the grain...

slicing skirt steak, how to this.  Notice the grain of the meat is going in the same direction as the yellow lines.

When I made it earlier this week, I just served it drizzled with chimichurri sauce and it disappeared.  Literally, before I could use the leftovers, it disappeared.

This Fajita Steak Salad recipe is big in Tex-Mex flavors

Where did I get that cool little grill?  It is a Char-Broil CB500X that I got as part of my sponsorship package for being on the Char-Broil All Star team.  I'll review it in my next post, don't let its size fool you.