Right – the weather is still soooo average, (come on spring, enough of this muggy gloom!) but I was feeling like having some friends round for dinner, so was after something that would feel a bit more summery, but still be super-satisfying and tasty. I was also keen to try out these new flat iron steaks that Silver Fern Farms kindly sent to me – I know my way around a slow-cooked piece of meat, and can cook the perfect eye fillet steak (sounds cocky I know, but it’s pretty true) but I’m usually a bit tentative about cooking a barbecue style steak (memories past of tough steaks). These ones are selected using Silver Fern Farms’ Eating Quality System so are ‘guaranteed to be tasty and tender’ – and they really were. My lovely sister-in-law popped in to borrow spare dinner plates for a gathering (as you do) while I was taking them for a test run, with perfect timing just as I was loading up a taco – and the first thing she said was ‘oooh the meat’s so tender!’ – haha – could have been scripted! Anyhoo – just follow the cooking instructions (3 minutes each side then rest for 5) and you can’t go wrong – loaded up with pre-prepared black bean mole, fresh tomatoes, avocados and slaw with some limey mayo (crema) they were bloody delicious.
In other news – I was a very proud mum at Rich’s graduation dinner last Friday night – yeeha it was so much fun – sadly Nick was in Shanghai (arriving home this morning!) so missed it, but Rich and I got ourselves smartened up and had a fabulous night. Such a milestone – they seem to be flying past at the moment…and next year we will be actual empty nesters – omigod! It just made me think of a hilarious conversation we had with the boys when out for dinner (at Coco’s Cantina in Auckland – so good), last time Henry was up. Rich declared that we were obviously heading for mid-life crises based on recent (not that outrageous) behaviour – but I explained that we had actually always been up for a bit of fun, but we always tempered ourselves so as not to set a bad example for our beloved children. Well it’s too late for that any more so we can relax slightly! The best bit was when Henry mused that he thought we probably would have been friends had we all been born at the same time – and that completely made my day 🙂
OK, now don’t panic when you look down – everything is super simple to make, and can be done in advance! Start with the mole and the crema, then the pico de gallo. Lastly prep the slaw and then all you need to do is slice a couple of avocados, warm your tortillas and cook the steaks. (They’re even nice served at room temperature). If you can’t be faffed with everything just follow the instructions for the steak and the mole, and serve with aioli or mayo, slaw and chopped tomatoes and avocados – see easy!?
2 tsp chipotle sauce
Mix oil, spices and chipotle. Brush over steaks, cover and leave for half an hour, while meat is coming to room temperature. Heat a frying pan or barbecue and cook the steaks for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, cover with tinfoil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. (You might want to co cook them in two lots or using two frying pans so you don’t crowd the pan). After resting, slice and arrange on a platter to serve with the mole, pico de gallo, slaw and crema. Guests can help themselves to warmed tortillas and make their own 🙂
1 small green pepper, diced
2 x 400g can black beans, drained
1/3 cup water
50g dark chocolate, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dry fry cumin seeds in a pan until fragrant, then grind in a mortar and pestle. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, peppers and garlic and cook 8-10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add spices (including cumin seeds) and cook a minute, stirring, then add tomatoes and cook over a medium, gentle heat for 15 minutes. Add beans, water and cocoa and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook a further 15 minutes. Turn off heat, add chocolate and stir through to melt it in – it will dark, glossy and luscious! (This mole makes enough to serve 8, so any left-overs can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen).
Combine ingredients and leave to sit for at least half an hour before serving
Whisk zest, juices and sugar with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss through cabbages and onions.
Whiz all ingredients together in a small food processor. Thin to desired consistency with water and season to taste with salt and pepper.
1/2 cup coriander leaves