Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grilled Skirt Steak with Tomato-Mango Salsa and Coconut Rice

I think skirt steak is one of the most interesting cuts of beef—and most delicious as well. If you’re not familiar with this cut, be aware that the piece you buy will likely be folded in the butcher’s case or in the package. When you unfold it, the steak will roll out to over two-feet long and about one-third-inch thick. The one I purchased was about 28 inches long, so I cut it into three pieces to fit the grill rack.

Folded Skirt Steak as Sold 
Unfolded Skirt Steak
Like any meat, resting after cooking is an important step in ensuring tender, juicy bites—and it’s especially true for a thin cut of beef like skirt steak. Equally important is how you cut it: against the grain

The grilled pieces will still be too long to cut against the grain into reasonably sized slices, so here’s all you do: After the pieces have rested, cut each one into four- to five-inch sections crosswise (with the grain), then cut those pieces into thin serving slices against the grain.

A simple, fresh salsa made with tomatoes and mango tops the beef with fruity sweetness, and a base of tender rice flavored with coconut milk and cilantro finishes this dish with tasty Caribbean pizzazz.

Tip: If you're making the dish for fewer people, save the leftover skirt steak for scrumptious fajitas—the only authentic cut of beef for fajitas in Texas!

Serves 6


For the Rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, finely chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice, soaked in cold water 30 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (from a 15-oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the Steak and Salsa
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2-lb skirt steak (24-28 inches long), trimmed of membrane, cut crosswise into 2-3 pieces
  • olive oil, for rubbing
Salsa Ingredients

For the Rice
  1. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the jalapeno and shallot and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry 1 minute.
Scallions and Jalapeno

Rice Added
  1. Pour the coconut milk into the rice mixture and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 18-20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, fluffing the rice as you stir.
Coconut Milk Added
Cooked Rice
For the Steak and Salsa
  1. Combine the mango, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Tomato-Mango Salsa
  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Rub the skirt steak with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred outside and pink inside, 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness, for medium (or until desired degree of doneness).
Skirt Steak Beginning to Grill
Steak after Turning
  1. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut the rested steak crosswise (with the grain) into 4- to 5-inch pieces. Cut each piece against the grain into thin slices. 
Resting Steak

To serve, divide the rice among 6 plates. Lay steak slices on top of or next to the rice and spoon a little salsa on top.

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