Mt. Si Flank Steak Salad and Tough-it-Out Tacos

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If you’re looking for a challenging hike that really tests your muscles and gives you a much-needed break from the city, there are a bunch of great options within an hour of Seattle. Last Saturday, we headed up to Mt. Si in North Bend and trudged our way up the 4+ miles of switchbacks through a beautiful old growth forest, and were rewarded with an incredible view at the summit.

When we did the hike last year, we were clever enough to bring along bagel sandwiches with all the fixin’s. This year we opted for pb&j sandwiches and when we surprised our friend, Tamara, with her very own, she looked as if she’d hit the Hiker’s MegaMillions. Though Elliott and I weren’t complaining, our bodies began to crave a real meal of protein and vegetables. We dreamed and schemed the whole way down and after a few stumbles and twisted ankles, we came up with this tasty salad.

Mt. Si Salad
Flank steak
Mixed greens
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
Yellow pepper, sliced
1 avocado, cubed (reserve 1/2)
1 bunch of cilantro
4-5 radishes, sliced
1 heirloom tomato, cubed
Poblano pepper, whole
Habañero pepper jack cheese, cubed
Sour cream
Seasoned pepitas
Tortilla chips

Marinade
1/4 cup pineapple, minced or crushed
3 tbsp Lime juice
1/4 cup Cilantro, minced
2 tbsp cup Shallot, minced
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper

Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 avocado
Handful cilantro
Lime juice
Salt and Pepper

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Marinate the flank steak for no more than 30 minutes. We found that the acid in the citrus and enzymes in the pineapple really speed up the tenderizing process. We let the meat marinate for 45 minutes, and in that amount of time the outer layer of steak had been almost pulverized by the citrus. Additionally, When we pulled the meat off the grill, the flank steak had cooked quicker than we were used to. All that said, it tasted great! Meanwhile, caramelize the onion with the yellow pepper and deglaze with some white wine. Grill the poblano pepper on the grill until black and peel under cool water.

To make the dressing, cut the half avocado into smaller pieces and add to a food processor with the lime juice and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste and blend again until smooth. We had to add more lime juice to ours, so taste it to make sure you can pick up all of the key flavors. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until well dressed. Top with toasted pepitas and corn chips.

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I am usually sore after long hikes, but this time even Elliott felt the pain. The next night we massaged our aching muscles and mustered enough strength to make some tacos from the leftovers. With a few tweaks, these zippy treats tasted like a brand new meal!

Tacos
Good corn tortillas
Flank steak, cut into thin slices
Avocado, sliced
1/2 heirloom tomato
Habañero pepper jack cheese, grated
Black beans
1/2 mango, cubed
Poblano, grilled or broiled until black, then chilled, peeled and sliced
Creamy avocado/cilantro dressing

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Who are these jokers? Don’t they know we’re posing for a very important photo?

 

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