Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mexican Surf and Turf

Sliced Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak,
Spicy Rice with Shrimp,
Guacamole Stacks --
[oh my!]

As y'all know, the cafe is now operating out of one very small kitchen on an island in the East China and Philippine Seas. That being said, you can imagine how hard it is to come by some things: tamarind paste, good Bordeaux wine, and really good Mexican food are just a few.

(For the record: I do look forward to trying Obbligatos here on the island, regardless of the mixed reviews.)

This recipe (from Rachael Ray's 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds) has a great Mexican flair; the lime zest and guacamole just bring it home for me. This would be great with a cold Corona or yummy margarita (on the rocks with extra salt, please!). (Speaking of which - has anyone tried the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Margarita Blender? I've always been curious if it really makes a difference ... at $300, it ought to make a HUGE one.)

Serves: 4

  • 1 1/2 tbsp grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning (about 1 1/2 palmfuls)
  • 1 tbsp dark Mexican chili powder (about a palmful)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 - 2 1/4 lbs flank steak
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 C long-grain white rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 C chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 lb small to medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • salt
  • cooking spray or oil, to coat the grill or grill pan
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C crumbled queso asadero (Mexican white mild cheese), goat cheese, queso fresco, or queso blanco (*Note: We couldn't find ANY of these at the commissary but fresh mozzarella sufficed.)
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over high heat. Combine the grill seasoning, chili powder, and lime zest and rub into both sides of the meat. Let the meat stand for 10 minutes while you get the rice going.
  2. Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and when it melts add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, and garlic and cook for a few minutes to begin to soften the veggies. Add the stock and raise the heat to bring it up to a bubble. Stir in the tomato paste and the hot sauce. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 13 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot so they can steam on top of the rice and cook until they are pink and firm, 5 minutes longer. Stir the shrimp and cilantro into the rice and season it with salt. 
  3. Oil the grill surface or grill pan and cook the meat for 7 to 8 minutes on the first side and 5 to 6 minutes on the flip side for medium doneness. Let the meat rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
  4. Season the sliced tomatoes with salt and dress the avocados with the lemon juice. Make 4 stacks, alternating the tomatoes with avocado and onion slices.


  5. Slice the steak and serve the slices on a bed of shrimp rice, with the guacamole stacks alongside. Garnish the guacamole stack with cheese crumbles. 
Et voila!

(It wasn't until after I made dinner that I realized I completely forgot about the cheese! Fail.
Good thing we figured it out in time for leftover lunch the next day.)


  1. Mmm, looks super good! I love Rachel Ray... hehehe

    Obbligatos is alright but don't go into it expecting "real" Mexican. I've had to adjust my expectations for Mexican food since arriving here. Obbligatos is a little overpriced, but worth trying. Some places on island have GREAT tacos, though! Typically the more "hole-in-the-wall" the place seems, the better the tacos.

  2. i'm hungry - I suspect delivery is out of the leftovers either..