PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE

August 26, 2012 10:00 PM
Tampico-Style Steak Combo
TAMPICO-STYLE STEAK COMBO
Tampiqueña

INGREDIENTS
For the steak:
6 6 oz beef tenderloin slices, 2" to 3" thick
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Vegetable oil

For the poblano strips or rajas:
6 poblano chiles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup white onion, thinly-sliced
Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 thick slice white cheese, panela, asadero or blanco
1 ripe avocado, halved, scopped and sliced

TO PREPARE
To cut and prepare the meat:
On a large cutting board, hold one piece of beef upright and, with a sharp knife, make a vertical cut into the meat about 1/4" deep.Continue slicing around the circumference of the piece, unrolling a thin layer of beef as you go, stopping to turn it when you need to, until you get a long strip 1/4" thick and about 2" wide. Continue with the rest of the pieces.

Season the meat on both sides with the lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

When the meat is ready, lightly coat a griddle or large 12" skillet over medium-high heat; once it is very hot, cook the meat for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on your desired done-ness level.

To prepare the poblano strips or rajas:
Place the poblano chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on a grill or directly on an open flame. I prefer to broil them, it's faster and easier. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They'll seem charred and blistered on the outside; the flesh must be cooked but not burnt -- like roasting marshmallows over a fire.

Once charred and hot, place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, and preferably under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Cut the stem off and make slices that are about a 1/2" inch wide.

Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the rajas (the poblano pepper strips) and cook for a few more minutes. Add the vinegar, cook another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the grilled cheese:
Heat a griddle, grill pan or nonstick or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the cheese slice on the grill pan and cook until lightly browned. Cut the cheese into 6 slices.

To serve:
Prepare each plate with one piece of steak, some poblano pepper strips, two enchiladas and a slice of the grilled cheese. The meal is traditionally served with a side of tortillas, refried beans sprinkled with cheese, a slice of avocado and the salsa of your choice.