Monday, 9 February 2015

ScotMex Steak, Egg and Chips

A Super Tasty Fusion of Scottish and Mexican Cuisine

Fajita spiced rib eye steak with egg, chips and Mexican dips

TexMex is the name given to the food culture that has sprung up in Texas, USA, related closely to Mexican cuisine and traditional ingredients. I love both Mexican and TexMex food so decided to conduct a little experiment of my own and take the concept a little bit further. What I did was take the classic British dish that is steak, egg and chips and spice it up a little bit with Mexican/TexMex spices and other related accompaniments. I used a Scottish rib eye steak so have branded this a ScotMex dish but it could equally be labelled BritMex. I hope you'll give this a try as it was exceptionally enjoyable.

Fajita spices are scattered over Scottish rib eye steak

Ingredients (Serves One)

1/2 pound Scottish rib eye steak
2 teaspoons Mexican fajita spice (available in packs in supermarkets)
1 medium tomato
2 inch (5cm) piece of cucumber
2 garlic cloves (1 each for salsa and guacamole)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 ripe haas avocado
Juice of half a fresh lime
1 red chilli pepper
Vegetable oil
1 egg
Homemade chips to serve*

*I've detailed many times both on this blog and elsewhere around the Web how I make homemade chips with the three step method but you can use any method you choose - or even use bought frozen chips if you prefer...

Fajita spice is rubbed in to rib eye steak

Put the steak on to a plate and scatter with the fajita spice powder. Use your hands to carefully rub the spice in to the meat all over. Cover and set aside to dry marinate for a couple of hours.

Simple salsa ingredients

The salsa and guacamole should be prepared as soon as the spice is rubbed in to the steak as this will give all the flavours a chance to infuse.

Seeding tomato and cucumber for salsa

Cut the tomato and cucumber in half and deseed with a teaspoon.

Seeded and diced tomato and cucumber

Moderately finely dice the tomato and cucumber before adding to a bowl with a peeled and grated garlic clove, half the coriander and a good splash of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until required.

Combining simple salsa ingredients

Removing the stone from an avocado can be achieved in several ways but the way I am about to describe is the method I find the easiest and always use.

Begin by sitting the avocado on its broad end on a chopping board and use a very sharp knife to cut down through the top until you hit the stone. Slowly but steadily rotate the avocado around the knife blade until you have gone right around the circumference. Remove the knife, twist the two halves in opposite directions and gently pull apart.

Avocado is carefully cut in half

The stone will be embedded in one half of the avocado. To remove, begin by protecting your upturned weaker hand with a thick, folded towel (safety first always!) and sit the half avocado  on top as shown below.

Towel protects hand when stoning avocado

Sit the blade of the knife gently on top of the centre of the stone before lifting the knife and chopping down with medium force to embed it in the stone. Twist the knife gently and pull the stone free.

Stoned avocado

Remove the flesh from each half of the avocado with a teaspoon. Put it in a bowl and squeeze over the lime juice. Mash with a fork.

Avocado flesh scooped out of skin

The avocado skin halves would normally be discarded but in this instance I am using them to serve the salsa and guacamole. To prevent the inside oxidising and discolouring, I stuck them immediately in to a  bowl of cold water where they should remain until required.

Avocado skin cups submerged in cold water

The chilli should be topped, seeded and finely chopped before it is added to the bowl with the mashed avocado, the peeled and grated remaining garlic clove and the second lot of coriander.

Sundry ingredients for basic guacamole

Season the guacamole with salt and pepper, stir, cover and refrigerate.

Preparing simple guacamole

You could of course simply pan fry the steak but I am using a ridged griddle pan. It is important that the dry pan be brought up to a very high, smoking hot heat before the steak is added.

Oil the steak with a pastry brush (never the griddle) and lay it carefully on the pan. Do not move it as it cooks.

Starting to griddle fajita spiced rib eye steak

People like their steaks cooked to different extents. I cooked this one for three minutes each side for medium rare. Note that the steak is not "burned" - it is merely the spices on the outside charring.

Fajita spiced rib eye steak is turned on griddle pan

Lift the steak to a clean plate and leave it to rest for five minutes while you attend to the egg and your chips.

Fajita spiced steak is left to rest

I always break an egg I am about to fry in to a small bowl first. It simply makes it much easier to add it to the frying pan without risking breaking the yolk.

Egg ready for frying

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a little oil using some scrunched up kitchen paper. Bring it up to a medium heat before carefully pouring in the egg. Reduce the heat after twenty seconds or so. The egg is ready sunny side up when you can see the white is set all the way up to and around the yolk.

Starting to fry egg

While the egg is frying, plate your steak. Take the avocado skin shells from the water and dry with kitchen paper before filling with the salsa and guacamole. Lay on the plate with the steak and your chips.

Steak, chips and dips are plated

Lift the egg from the frying pan with a spatula and sit it on top of the steak.

Fried egg is laid on top of steak

Garnish the egg, salsa and guacamole with the remaining coriander for service.

Tucking in to ScotMex steak, egg and chips

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