Southwestern Steak & Rice Bowls

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On Father’s Day, my girls and I left on vacation to visit my dad in Minnesota for a few days.  Shortly after stepping through his door, he told me he had some jobs for me to do, one of which was organizing his two pantry closets.  Awesome!  Little did he know that it would turn into a larger project than he had envisioned, relocating his spice cupboard and all.  (I wonder if he misses the falling spice jars yet…)

Since my return 10 days ago , there have been several instances that have elicited comments along the lines of  “since we live in the rain forest” and “so glad we moved back to Florida” from my husband.  We have had an abundance of rain (as in, it’s rained at least a little bit every day for the past 17 days). Everything is green. Everything is damp. Thankfully, nothing in our personal part of the “rain forest” of Central Ohio is flooded. However, 90 degrees with dew points in the 70s is not fun.  It’s hot.  It’s sticky.  It’s exactly what I didn’t miss when we moved from Florida back to the Midwest 6-1/2 years ago.  

So, what does one do when it’s raining?  I sorted through and organized my own spice cupboard.  I now have a pint jar of homemade taco seasoning, which came in handy for supper this past Tuesday.  This meal is less Florida, more Arizona.

I had a cheap cut of round sirloin tip steak in the freezer, enough for fajitas or something, but with no peppers in the house and none ready on the plants outside, I tried a different approach.  I call them Southwestern Steak & Rice Bowls.  They aren’t difficult by any means; perhaps a bit fussy, but well worth it.  It’s not often my seven-year-old says, “This is delicious, Mom!” more than once and, “You should put this in a cookbook!” while eating supper.  The six-year-old didn’t choke on the steak.  There was no threatening the three-year-old with no dessert.  It was an oddly pleasant meal all around.

Whatever it takes, I guess.  I’m just glad it’s stopped raining.

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Southwestern Steak & Rice Bowls

Feel free to use chicken in place of the steak. Then you would call them “Southwestern Chicken & Rice Bowls.”   Or try pork.  Or avocado.  Or shrimp.  Perhaps I should just change the name…  

Anyway, the crisped tortillas can be omitted or corn tortillas used in place of the flour ones to make this a gluten-free meal.

  • 1 round sirloin tip steak, 1-2 pounds
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 six-inch flour tortillas (soft taco size)
  • salt
  • one medium onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sour cream
  • 6 lime wedges (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Rub kosher salt over all sides of steak; let sit on plate at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Combine rice and water; bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Add beans.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 10 minutes.  Add taco seasoning and cook until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in large skillet till shimmering.  Place one tortilla in skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp (about 2 minutes); use tongs and flip, cooking until golden brown and crisp, about 1-2 minutes.  As the second side is cooking, sprinkle top of tortilla with salt.  Place cooked tortilla on paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding  1 Tbsp. oil to skillet as needed (about every 2 tortillas).
  4. After tortillas are cooked, heat 1 Tbsp. oil to just smoking in now empty skillet.  As oil is heating, blot steak with paper towels to dry.  Add steak to skillet, cooking till deep crusty brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Turn and repeat with other side.  Place steak on plate and let rest.
  5. Cook corn according to microwave directions.
  6. While steak is resting, add 1 more Tbsp. oil to skillet and heat till shimmering.  Add onions and cook till tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook till fragrant, about one more minute.  Remove from heat.

Assembly

Break cooked tortillas in half. On six shallow bowls or plates, place two tortilla halves.  Scoop about 1/3 cup rice over tortilla pieces. Divide corn, onions, steak, and cheese between plates.  Squeeze juice from lime wedges over each serving, if desired.  Serve with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!

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