Friday, September 17, 2010

Steak & Veggie Burritos with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Being born and raised a California girl, I love me some Mexican food.  I'm pretty sure it's a pre-requisite, in fact.  And while there's no replacing the authentic Mexican you'll find in the Golden State, these burritos really hit the spot for me.  Served alongside a sunny salad of baby heirloom tomatoes, corn and avocado- this brown bag menu will have you looking forward to your lunch hour all morning.  But I can't promise you'll be able to resist that long!

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. sirloin steak
1 can black beans
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into strips
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
Shredded cheddar cheese (sprinkle away!)
2 large tortillas (I like the whole wheat variety)

2 ears of sweet yellow or white corn
1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes (grape or cherry tomatoes can be easily substituted)
1 ripe avocado, cubed
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in pan with half of your minced garlic until fragrant.  Season sirloin steak on both sides with salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, a dash of cumin and just a pinch of cinnamon.  Flavor to taste depending on your preferred level of heat.  Sear sirloin steak until just before desired level of doneness.  You don't need much oil because the steak will give off some fat (but not much, as sirloin is a lean cut) to keep it tender while cooking.  I like my steak meduim rare to medium, so this only takes a few minutes if your steak isn't too thick. Remove steak from pan and allow to rest.  Rinse black beans in a colander.  Drain your pan of the excess fat from the steak, but do not rinse- you want all that yummy flavor and bits to remain in the pan! Add another tbsp. olive oil to pan (if it looks too dry) and saute onions, zuchinni and bell peppers.  Allow veggies to cook just slightly and add black beans to warm through.  Season the pan with salt and pepper.  I like to have a slight crispness to my veggies- no one likes mush!  Chop rested steak into small "carne asada-style" cubes and add back into pan to heat entire mixture through.  Finish with just a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out all of the flavors.  Scoop into tortillas, sprinkle with as much cheese as your heart desires (if you're like me, this takes some self-restraint) and roll up into one fabulous burrito! Wrap in foil and you're done!

For the salad, begin by husking the corn and cutting the kernels off the cob by carefully running a knife down the ear from top to bottom.  Toast the corn just slightly in a warm pan to bring out its natural sweetness and remove the raw flavor.  Let the corn cool and combine it with your halved baby heirloom tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.  Toss it all together with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon and either serve at room temperature or place in the refrigerator, if you prefer the salad cooler.

Spice up your lunch routine with these Mexican-inspired dishes or serve them up for dinner after the work day is done.  Either way, they're muy delicioso!

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