Sunday, July 19, 2009

Skirt Steak Tostadas

Like any good foodie I like to watch the Food Network. I also tend to get caught up in the reality shows featuring cooking contests.  This year, for the first time, Mike and I started watching The Next Food Network Star. Several weeks ago the contestants were given the following challenge:
Create a great all-American dish using all the items in their baskets of mystery regional ingredients. The winner was Melissa d'Arabian who had a New Mexico themed basket of assorted chili peppers, honey and skirt steak. She created a skirt steak tostada with a zesty mango salsa. The prize for winning the contest was having your recipe published in the July 3-5 edition of USA Weekend. Mike and I decided we would try to re-create her dish for Saturday supper.

We headed out to do our shopping at The Fresh Market. They always carry skirt steak and their produce selection is wonderful.  This recipe has three different kinds of chilies - some I am familiar with some I'm not. I asked the young man in the produce section to show me the habanero chili. His knowledge of chilies was worse than mine. After speaking with the produce manager we had what we needed
This is a habanero chili

Don't let this tiny chili fool you. It is hot - hot - hot! Below is the scoville rating for the habanero as depicted on Wikipedia.

SR: 100,000-350,000

I wore a plastic bag on one hand when I removed the seeds, but I neglected to cover the hand that was holding the pepper. I decided to gently lick my finger to test for taste and heat. OMG it was so hot it took my breath away.   Don't let this scare you. The marinade for the skirt steak where the habanero resides is wonderful. This recipe is a bit time consuming so have someone give you a hand

Skirt Steak Tostadas

Marinade Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 3 lemons

1/2 cup honey

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 habanero chili, seeded and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-pounds skirt steak

Mango Salsa Ingredients:

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 large, ripe mango, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 poblano chili, seeded and minced

1/4 cup honey

Juice of 3 limes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients:

1-16 oz can of black beans, drained

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Vegetable oil, for frying

6 corn tortillas or tostada shells


  • In a large, shallow dish, whisk the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, onion and habanero, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add meat, cover and refrigerate. (I use a large zip lock bag.) Marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably for several hours.
  • Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Let is sit for at least 20 minutes so the flavors will develop.
  • Simmer beans, olive oil, wine and jalapeno in a saucepan for 20 minutes.
  • Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Carefully slide one tortilla into the oil and fry until crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with thongs and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove meat from dish and discard marinade. Place steak on the grill, and grill for about 4 to 6 minutes for medium-rare to medium, turning once. Remove from the grill and let meat rest for about 5 minutes. Thinly slice, at a diagonal, into strips.
  • To serve, place fried tortillas or tostadas on a large platter or individual plates. Drain the bean mixture, then spoon some onto the middle of the tortillas. Top with steak slices and the mango salsa.

A few notes:

  • Next time I make this I will break the fried tortilla into pieces. The tortilla was difficult to cut. I think you could even use tortilla chips.
  • I only made half the recipe - it is easy to cut it in half.
  • The marinade is really good. I think you could use it for chicken or any steak. 

Life is good - enjoy!


  1. Yay, it worked! I saw just one episode of the current Food Network Star. Will have to check online to remember which one Melissa is. At least you didn't RUB YOUR EYE, which I've done after handling a hot pepper....Ahhhhhh!