Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jalapeno Steak and Cheesy Polenta

We were supposed to have house guests from Texas on Sunday night, so Lee was excited to have someone around who appreciated his spicy cooking.  Although they weren't able to make it in the long run, we had a great recipe on tap we just had to try. 
I found this recipe a few weeks ago and thought it looked tasty: The Foodie Couple: Jalapeno Beef with Cheese Polenta and Chile Sauce.  It's another food couple out of Washington after our my heart, they drink wine with their meals. I should do that.  But dinner is the only time I get my milk everyday and frankly, this Wisconsin raised girl needs her milk, but I digress.

So when I'm sitting on the couch, waiting for dinner, I hear Lee call me in the kitchen to taste the chili sauce with tonight's dinner, and I'm scared.  I had no need to be though! The mix of the corn tortilla with chili flakes, tomatoes, and lemon juice had just a little bit of heat to it and really just made for tomatoey happiness!
When it was all pulled together, it was chock full of flavor from the base of polenta all the way to the cilantro sprinkled on top!  It is a little hot though, so be sure you have some milk ready.

Here's what you need:
Dice up your onion, garlic, tortilla and dried chili and saute in a large skillet on med heat with your vegetable oil for about 4 minutes.
Add your broth and tomatoes to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes .
Boil your water for the polenta and when ready slowly whisk in your polenta and salt and cook for 5 minutes  on low heat stirring often.
Preheat oven to High Broil and place the rack on the top level. On a broiling pan, lay out your steak and the jalapenos. Broil for 8-10 minutes and turn steak and peppers and broil for another 8-10  minutes.
Pour your sauce from the skillet into a blender, add lemon juice and puree, pour into a bowl and set aside.
It should be a semi thick sauce that will coat a spoon.
Once the steak and peppers are done let them rest for 5  minutes before cutting.  Cut steaks against the grain in strips and slice the peppers in small thin strips.
Right before serving stir in the shredded cheese into the polenta, I also added about 2 tablespoons of butter to help with the flavoring.
To serve, place the polenta on the bottom of the plate, layer  the beef on top, Place roasted peppers on top and place the sauce around the outer layer of the beef.  Garnish with torn cilantro.

1/2 cup diced onion
2 dried chiles, torn and seeded
1 corn tortilla, torn
1 clove garlic, crushed
2T. vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 T. lemon juice
Salt & pepper
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 flat iron steak (rub with garlic & onion powder, chipotle pepper, salt & pepper)
3 jalapenos


  1. Saute onion, chiles, tortillla, and garlic for the sauce in oil over medium heat. Cook until onions soften. 
  2. Add broth & tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat. 
  3. Transfer sauce to blender. Puree with lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Boil water and gradually add in polenta and salt. 
  5. Cook 5 minutes over low heat. Keep warm off heat. 
  6. Add cheese just before serving.
  7. Broil jalapenos and flat iron steak at high until cooked to your liking.
  8. Remove steak and let set under foil for 10 minutes before slicing at an angle. 
  9. Chop roasted jalapenos.

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