Friday, March 9, 2018

A Paleo Puerto Rican Dinner Menu

What a week. In our second snow bomb storm of the season, the power in our block where "the power never goes out"—went out. Not for thirty minutes. Or an hour. Or the evening.

No, it went out for 24 hours.

Thank goodness it went out after I had pulled the steak tips we were having for dinner from the fridge. AND our stove is gas, so we could light her up and keep cooking. By candlelight.

So, despite the awkwardness of cooking without really being able to clearly see our food, Chef Reiton and I still forged ahead to start our month of going paleo to get these two bodies back on track.

So, here you go, folks: a paleo Puerto Rican dinner, prepared and eaten by candlelight:

  • Pan-Seared Cumin-Lime Steak Tips
  • Simple Avocado Salad
  • Tostones


For the steak tips:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the steak. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt, ground cumin, garlic powder, freshly squeezed lime juice and freshly ground black pepper. Rub it all in. Let meat rest for 15 minutes (while you prep the rest of the dinner).
  2. Cut off the top and bottom of one onion, halve it lengthwise, remove the peel, then slice the onion halves lengthwise into slivers.
  3. Sear meat in a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in a skillet until starting to char. Add onion slivers, and continue cooking steak, turning tips to sear all sides. Toss the onions occasionally.
  4. You want medium-rare to medium in doneness on the steak. Rest under foil on a plate for 10 minutes with the onions. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
For the avocado salad:
  1. Wash and halve avocado(s). Whack into the seed with a chef's knife blade, then twist the blade gently to pop out the seed.
  2. Hold a half in your palm. With a paring knife, CAREFULLY slice through the avocado flesh but NOT the skin, cutting it into cubes.
  3. Take a silverware tablespoon and, sliding the edge of it between the avocado skin and the flesh, scoop the chunks out into a bowl.
  4. Repeat as necessary on additional avocados.
  5. Salt and pepper the avocado chunks, squirt with some fresh lime juice, and toss gently. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
For the tostones:
  1. Heat coconut oil in a small skillet or saucepan to a depth of about 1/2-inch. You can save and reuse this oil several times for this.
  2. Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut the top and bottom tips off a very green plantain.
  3. Score through the skin of the plantain, following along the natural ridges of the skin.
  4. Take your thumbnail and wedge it under one of the skin strips. Pop up the skin, then slide your thumb up the plantain, peeling off the strip. Repeat the whole way around. Repeat on additional plantains as necessary.
  5. Slice the plantains into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks.
  6. Fry the plantain slices in batches to a golden brown, turning once to get both sides. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Smash the fried plantain chunks to about 1/4-inch thick with a plate, tostone smasher, or what have you.
  8. Refry the smashed chunks (tostones) in the hot oil. Remove to a paper towel to drain and immediately sprinkle with adobo seasoning (you can readily find this in your grocery store in the ethnic aisle). Serve.
Paleo Puerto Rican dinner of steak tips, tostones and avocado salad

And there you have it, folks. A paleo Puerto Rican dinner—by candlelight.

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