Nothing, and I mean nothing, satisfies a man’s appetite like a good steak. But one of the problems of trying to lose weight is learning that “a good steak” is also by definition, high in fat content and also high in cholesterol. So what do you do? Well, one option is to go for the cuts of meat that are the lowest in fat content, such as Flank or London Broil. However, both of these cuts really need serious marination and flavor boost. I can think of no better preparation for these versatile economy cuts than to employ a few tricks from the Latino community. Specifically, the Puerto Ricans, or as they like to call themselves, La Comunidad Boriqua.
Adobo Marinated Flank Steak with “Boriqua Slaw” and Arroz con Gandules, yellow rice with pigeon peas.
Want to learn how to make steak the Boriqua Way? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Here we have a 1lb Flank Steak that’s been marinaded for several hours in an Adobo seasoning blend (we used Penzey’s, as it has less salt than other commercial Latino seasoning blends) and pan seared or griddle cooked until rare or medium-rare.
Slice it up nice.
Don’t forget the onions and peppers to cook up with it and toss in all those great juices.
Arroz con Gandules
The secret ingredient here is Sofrito. Sofrito is an incredibly versatile ingredient, you can use it in meatballs, pasta sauces, soups, or virtually anything that needs to be punched up with flavor. Daisy Martinez’s recipe also contains no oil or fats of any kind, so you can use an awful lot of it. Make a huge batch of the stuff and freeze portions of it into resealable plastic sandwich bags, it’s great with meat, seafood, and poultry.
1 tsp EVOO infused with Achiote
1/2 cup Sofrito
2 Tbs Olives with Pimentos, chopped
1 Tbs Capers, chopped
1 cup Long Grain Brown Rice
2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1 can Pidgeon Peas (Gondules), rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a 2 quart pot, add Sofrito and cook for a few minutes, then add in chopped olives & capers, followed by rice. Stir and cook the rice for a couple minutes, until a few get an opaque look to them. Add the water and salt, stir and bring to a boil. Put on the lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, add the rinsed peas (don’t stir) and put the lid back on for another 10-15 minutes (test rice for doneness at 40 minutes). The keep the lid on and allow to rest/steam for another 10 minutes. Gently stir the rice and beans together into serving dish.
Here’s our Boriqua Slaw. The key ingredient that makes this dish is Vinagre, a home made vinegar made with pineapple rinds, chiles, onions, and garlic. Use it in place of vinegar in any dish and it’s immediately Puerto Rican.
1/4 head Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
2 Carrots, shredded
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Juice of 1 Lime
2 tsp EVOO
1/4 cup Vinagre
Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
You like the Sofrito, papi? Here we’ve got a 1lb flank steak marinaded overnight in Sofrito seasoned with Salt and Pepper.
The rice (made in the same style as the Arroz con Gandules above) is actually Kamut grain, an ancient cereal of Pharonic Egyptian origin, which is similar to whole wheat berries. You can buy it in the Whole Foods bulk bin aisle. It is high in fiber and protein, and works great with the traditional Puerto Rican sofrito, achiote and alcaparrado seasoning.