This is a guest post from Chef Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, of Muy Bueno, cookbook author, foodie and long time Avocados From Mexico fan.
I was born and raised in El Paso and am a border town girl all the way. If you ask anyone who lives or has lived in El Paso you will hear the same thing — The food is so unique and delicious there. So many people assume since it’s Texas the cuisine must be Tex-Mex. On the contrary, El Paso is so close to Mexico that the home we grew up in is literally a one-mile walk to the Juarez, Mexico border. Growing up I ate the most authentic Mexican food made with love by my grandmother who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and my mother- born and raised in El Paso – both fantastic cooks!
I left El Paso right out of high school, but my taste buds did not! I moved to Arizona and constantly craved the food from El Paso, and this tampiqueña steak was one of the meals I often craved. As soon as I visited El Paso we would go out to eat at some of our favorite restaurants and I would always order this steak. When you order this dish at a restaurant it normally is quite the large platter. This steak is usually served with an enchilada, refried beans, arroz, guacamole, tortilla chips, and tortillas. As you can imagine it can be quite filling and so I’ve redesigned this famous dish to be lighter and let the grilled avocado share the spotlight.
The word “tampiqueña” refers to a Mexican style of cooking steak. This recipe originated from the Tampico Club in Mexico City in 1939 and is still a very popular recipe today. The dish is basically a melted cheese-topped steak. Of course, there is more to this recipe than that. The steak is seasoned and grilled with salt and pepper then freshly roasted long green chile and shredded Mexican cheese is added and the steak is broiled until all the ingredients are hot and juicy and the meat is cooked to perfection. This dish is quite a simple concept. The chiles add a lively flavor and the cheese complements the meat!
Remember that grilled avocado I mentioned? I’m sure you might be wondering, why would you grill an avocado. I guarantee you will be surprised of the soft, warm, and smoky flavor of the avocado.
The avocado and the grill were simply made for each other. Grilling the avocado intensifies its flavor and makes it smoky. It’s shockingly delicious and not at all what is expected of an avocado. Grilling your avocados amps up their southwestern flair. When ripe, these fruits remain sturdy on the grill and are delicious when served warm with a meal, alone as an appetizer, or mash them up to add a smoky flavor to your guacamole.
Creamy, buttery, and luxurious, avocados are a natural fit with Mexican dishes like this tampiqueña steak. My husband is a huge fan of this meal, so I plan to take over the grill on Father’s Day and serve it to him with a cold cheleda to drink. Ole!
Tampiqueña Steaks served with Grilled Avocados
4 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, and cut into ½-inch strips
4 New York strips, 2 to 3-inches thick
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded Oaxaca or asadero cheese
2 Avocados from Mexico
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Seasoned salt, to taste
Fresh basil, chopped
Rajas (Chile Strips):
Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles. Rinse thoroughly to remove dust particles.
Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pierce each chile with a knife.
Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 3 to 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.
Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a wet kitchen towel and when cool, peel off blackened skin. Tear open and pull out the seed pod. Cut the stem off and make slices that are about a 1/2″ inch wide.
Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat grill on medium high heat. Place steaks on grill and cook the meat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, with the lid down for medium-rare to medium steaks. Cook longer depending on your desired done-ness.
Remove the steaks and transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and allow them to rest a few minutes.
Add chile strips and sprinkle cheese and place in broiler till cheese melts and bubbles for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Drizzle with fresh lime or lemon juice and brush lightly with olive oil. Gently place cut-side down and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve in shell or sliced.
Serve the tampiqueña steak with half a grilled avocado, frijoles de la olla, and cebollitas asadas.
By: Muy Bueno