People often ask me for quick weeknight meals. These days, more often than not a household requires two incomes, leaving less free time for planning and cooking meals. With that in mind, I decided to create a series of recipes that are quick, but delicious meals for any day of the week. I must confess that I am bad about sharing prep and cooking time on my recipes here. When I was developing recipes for Que Rica Vida, they required that as part of the recipe. It’s really not a bad habit to get into to. I mean I know everyone works at a different pace, but for the most part you will get an idea on how long from start to finish the meals can take. For today’s blog post, I found myself at the grocery store on a Friday late afternoon, hungry and not sure what was for dinner. Hambugers? Quick and easy, but these days I really prefer them cooked on the grill and that was not an option for a quick meal this day. Chicken breast? Yes, fairly quick, but sometimes in a hurry chicken breast can be overcooked, flavorless and dry. Next best option, for us, thin sliced milanesa beef steaks. A quick seasoning, two minutes at high heat and a little fresh lime juice squeezed on while it’s still hot! This is a non breaded version of milanesa. Some of the best steak sandwiches , torta de milanesa, in a hurry. The Habanero Salsa was prepared earlier that week, but you can certainly prepare it at the same time. And because these are quick meals, there may not be as many prep pictures included, but you will get the idea.
Milanesa Steak Sandwiches with Habanero Salsa (Torta de Milanesa)
Tips~ If can’t find the thin steak labeled milanesa, any thin beef steaks would work for this recipe. Not the ones in the freezer section in a box. Not quite the same thing.
For Habanero Salsa~ My favorite!!!!! This salsa recipe was inpired by a bottled hot sauce that mt friend Jenn introduced me to. It was only available in select places. A few years back I began preparing my version of it when the bottled version was not available anymore. It’s much more economical as well! You won’t even taste the carrots. It just adds a subtle sweet note.
6 to 8 large habanero peppers, stems removed
2 medium carrots
1/2 white onion
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Tips~For a milder version of this salsa, you could add 1/2 the habanero and substitute the other half with 1/2 of an orange or yellow bell pepper into the mix. Just add it to the water when cooking the rest.
For Milanesa Steak(With No Breading)
1 pound milanesa style beef
You favorite steak seasoning
Juice of 1 lime
1 small red onion, sliced
2large jalapeños, sliced or you can use a larger milder pepper such as 1 poblano
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano, crushed
2 roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges
4 Bolillo rolls or a small baguette (enough for 4)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Tips~ You could certainly add a good melting cheese to top off the steak, onions and peppers. A few seconds under the broiler is all it takes.
1. For salsa, combine the habaneros, carrots and onion in a saucepan. Cover with water and heat to medium. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until carrots are tender. Using a slotted spoons, remove salsa ingredients from water and transfer to the blender. Add the garlic, lime juice, 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Set aside.
2. Season the milanesa style steak with steak seasoning of your choice on both sides. Preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Sear the milanesa steak for 2 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan or it will just steam.
3. As you cook the steaks, place them in a covered dish to keep warm. Once done with steaks, set aside. In that same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium. After a few minutes, add the onions and jalapeños. Season lightly with salt and pepper and continue to cook until they soften and just begin to caramelize. Add the cumin, oregano and tomatoes. Add a little more oil and saute for just a minute or two, remove from pan.
4. Toast the bolillo rolls. While they toast, slice the milanesa steak thin and against the grain. Toss the steak with the sauteed vegetables and tomatoes. Squeeze on the fresh lime juice and toss to combine. Add refried beans, avocado slices milanesa mixture, cilantro and habanero salsa. Yields 4 servings.