Salsa, Salsa, Salsa

Mexican steak

I’ve never really understood celebrity crushes.  Sure, I had a poster of Chris O’Donnell tacked to my wall when I was thirteen, but I just really liked Batman.  In any case, it never made much sense to me to get all mushy about a made-up character.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my share of unrequited pining.  Perhaps most memorable was my highschool philosophy teacher, who had a sort of Hugh Grant-meets-Dartmouth thing going. I’m a sucker for fleece. And brooding.  With all of that Descartes and Sartre and Camus, it certainly wasn’t little old Madame Sbarge who inspired me to major in French in college. And years later there was the do-gooding surfer.  I had clearly moved on from fleece to flowing locks and from existentialism to fighting malaria.

rick bayless salsaBut lately, my crushes have moved in a culinary direction.  Technically, I suppose that Rick Bayless is a celebrity, and that I have a celebrity crush.  But when I flip open one of his books (two of which my wonderful husband gave me for my birthday) and make salsa, I actually feel a bit like he’s in my kitchen.  OK, not really, but that doesn’t stop me from talking to him.  “Rick, is this enough cilantro?” “Are these cascabels toasted enough?” I’m not sure that he would totally approve of my results but he certainly could not fault my efforts.  Salsa-making has become my new obsession.  Poor Jeff has endured everything from an overly smoky chipotle version to a too-salty tomatillo salsa. But I’ve finally got the hang of it. I’m loving roasted tomato salsa and chipotle-roasted tomatillo salsa.  You can find a few great recipes here on Rick Bayless’ website.  And with so much salsa hanging around the house, I’ve discovered that it’s awesome as a marinade, great on roasts, tasty in corn chowder, terrific in mac and cheese, and it even makes a spectacular salad dressing.

But most often I’ve actually just been making these quick, easy, and healthy tostadas. With the weather finally warmer (please don’t let this be a tease) I love grilling the steak here, although you can just as easily use a grill pan on the stove top.  These are a little messy, but that is part of the fun. 

Mexican steak tostada

Steak Tostadas

Serves 4

1 lb flank steak

1 cup roasted tomato salsa (if you choose store-bought salsa, Fronterra brand is my favorite!)

3 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 poblano pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

salt and pepper

8 corn tortillas

6 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup thinly sliced cabbage

1/4 cup sour cream

Marinate the steak in a mixture of 1/2 cup salsa and the cider vinegar for 30 minutes.  Season the steak with salt and pepper.  Preheat the grill or a grill-pan.  Grill the steak until desired doneness.  Allow to rest for a minute or two and then slice thinly.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and saute the poblano and onion until soft, about 5 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toast corn tortillas until crisp.  Arrange two tortillas on each of four plates.  Top with cheese, steak, pepper mixture, and finally cabbage.  Serve with remaining salsa and sour cream.  And lots of napkins!


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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. haha i love this post because i can completely relate!! i now have countless chef/blogger crushes…movie starts just dont do it for me these days 🙂 this recipe is great too…can’t think of a simpler and faster way to get such a yummy fix of mexican food!

    • Thanks Delish! I’m glad I’m not the only one! Haha.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post- you have such a great voice as a writer. While I do have my share of celebrity past crushes, I completely understand your attraction to people in the culinary world- and certainly the great characters in books!
    These steak tostadas look delicious! I love a good homemade salsa too! I can’t believe I’ve never tried making a traditional tomato based one, only fruit concoctions.
    Your blog is fantastic, so glad to have found it!

    • I’m so glad you stopped by for a visit! I love making fruit salsas too. My latest is a mango/jalapeno version that is so yummy on grilled fish. I love the tropical fruit jumble you put on your coconut french toast that you posted about yesterday.

  3. Thanks for stoppin’ by!! I haven’t had too many celebrity crushes, however, I will admit I had an obsession with the Brian Littel from the Backstreet Boys, haha!! I love homemade salsas, and may I say yours sounds KICK-ASS!! Lately I have been loving homemade guacamole, which would by the way go awesome with your steak tostadas 😉

  4. I LOOOOVE Tostadas! I love love love them! And I love Rick Bayless, too! These look great! Rick would approve!

  5. Hello, I do not know tostadas, they look tasty. And the post is interesting. I only don’t know if I can get those corn tortillas. Do you know a good recipe so I can make them at home? Have a nice day!

  6. This looks delicious. Maybe I can make it for my celebrity crushes =)

  7. I loved your post today and I must say your tostados look other worldly good. I found your blog by chance but I’ll be back often to see what you’ve nee making. Have a great day…Mary

    • Thanks Mary! I’m so glad you stopped by. I don’t know if they eat tostadas in other worlds, but it sounds good to me! haha

  8. Foodie celebrity crushes…maybe Tyler Florence! He’s kinda cute and he moves so fast in the kitchen! I am dizzy by the time the show is over! 🙂 By the way, the steak tostados look yummy…my kinda dish!

  9. I love Tyler Florence – mostly because he is so cute! Totally foodie-crush material.

  10. Beautifully simple, Cozy! And I’m a recent fan of Rick Bayless too. Sigh. 🙂 Your salsa efforts sound wonderful – especially that roasted tomato one. Mmm! 🙂

  11. Love the Rick Bayless talk! I’ve hung out with his brothers in Chicago, but never have had the honor of meeting him!!!
    Your tostadas look simple, flavorful and perfect.

  12. Love your writing! I can relate to your emphasis on Rick Bayless; I have never had a crush on him but was impressed with how well he translated this awesome Mexican food and culture to reach his American audience; I read his recipe for posole once and decided he was “it” for anything Mexican!
    Love your tostada, love all Mexican food, in fact i am getting ready to do my lebanese version of nachos mañana!
    Hasta Luego!

    • Oooh, Lebanese version of nachos? I hope you post that on your site – I’m so curious now!

  13. I love Rick Bayless. He is humble, gentle, not professionally trained, but so much better than most who are. I love his food. It is always delicious, nutritious and economical which is my mantra.

  14. this is a great way to use flank steak! simple and delicious… perfect for a casual dinner at home with a can of beer. hehe.

  15. ah yes. memories of my poster of JTT from Home Improvement are flooding back. 🙂 i love smoked/roasted vegetable salsas. and i must be iron deficient or something because i am having mad cravings for this steak…and it’s 7:30 am!

    • Oh my word… JTT – that brings back memories! I am such a child of the ’80s. Haha. And ya know… if you added a scambled egg to the tostada you could totally call it breakfast… steak and eggs never hurt anyone.

  16. I love flank steak. This looks so easy and delicious!


  17. Hi! Yummy….homemade tostadas.

    I have never had a true celebrity crush….but one never knows until I encounter one in real life and then I might just melt into mush and need to be scooped up with a broom 🙂

    Your recipe would BE GREAT for a weeknight dinner & lovely rich flavors.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  18. […] and searching for the tricks to this Mexican breakfast classic.  We’ve already covered my Rick Bayless crush, so it should come as no surprise that I took a bit of inspiration from his direction.  But in the […]

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