Ay Chihuahua -- steak tacos salad!

People often ask what my favorite dish is or my favorite cuisine. I always tell them it depends on the weather.

When it's cold out, my favorite dishes are stews and roasts. But when it's hot and muggy, like now, I want salad, including main-course salads.

Below is a recipe for just such a salad. It updates the typical fast-food taco salad into something lighter and fresher with plenty of flavor.


STEAK TACO SALAD
Makes 6 servings

What if you could make a taco salad at home that didn't taste like it came from a fast-food restaurant? You can, and it's easy.

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or other chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Salad:
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or other chili powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound skirt steak, flank steak or hanger steak
1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
6 green onions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels, or frozen, thawed
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips

To make dressing: Whisk all ingredients except oil in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until completely emulsified.

To make salad: Prepare grill for hot fire (medium-high to high heat) or preheat grill pan.

Combine chili powder, oil and lime juice. Rub over steak. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes a side for medium. Transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil to keep warm.

Combine lettuce, green onion, tomato and corn in a large bowl. Add some of dressing. Toss to coat. Divide among six plates.

Cut steak across grain into thin slices. Arrange over salad. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with tortilla chips.

PER SERVING : 350 calories; 19 g protein; 18 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 24 g fat (4 g saturated); 43 mg cholesterol; 305 mg sodium