With all the summer fun I’ve been having this year I’ve missed a few more weeks of posting here than I’d like. After two years of saving up my vacation days, I told myself to say yes to any opportunities that came my way and to follow through on promises to visit friends that I’ve been putting off for years. A partially off-the-grid trip to the mountains in Lassen County, followed by a girls getaway weekend to Pismo Beach has left me feeling relaxed and fulfilled in life, but definitely left this blog by the wayside. So, before I jet off to New York to visit one of my oldest friends tomorrow I leave you with these grilled ribeye lettuce wraps with salsa criolla.
This recipe is a sort of California spin on Argentinian favorites and is, in my humble opinion, a perfect balance between the two. In college I got to spend a month in Bueno Aires on a summer study abroad and ate and drank my weight in choripanes, steaks, french fries, and red wine. Typical Argentine food is definitely not light or delicate in any way, but boy is it good if you like meat and potatoes. The french fries there are beyond comparison by the way, but that’s a topic for another post (psst..I think the secret is sunflower oil).
This recipe takes a ribeye, a fattier cut you might save for a special occasion, and not only lightens it up, but stretches it further so you don’t feel so guilty dropping $15 on a good quality one. Grilling a good steak is the way to go and most of the restaurants in Buenos Aires cook their beef over wood charcoal, providing intense heat and char. We’ll stick with our normal home grills for this one…
These lettuce wraps have two sauces that you can mix and match. The first is salsa criolla, Argentina’s answer to pico de gallo, made with tomatoes, onions, red wine vinegar, and oregano. We let it marinate so that the tomatoes soften and release their juices and all the flavors meld. The second is a california version of chimichurri. Any porteño would be appalled that I’ve added cilantro, but it brightens the flavor and is a damn good addition if I do say so myself. If you haven’t noticed, I love cilantro and add it to nearly everything, but if you’re a cilantro hater just use all parsley or a combination of parsley and fresh oregano. Bonus points if you pick up a fresh baguette to dip in the chimichurri. It’s highly addictive and you’re going to want to put it on everything, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My dog agrees…
- 1 lb ribeye steak
- Lettuce, washed and leaves separated
- Flake salt to garnish (optional)
- ¼ c. soy sauce
- 3 T. olive oil
- Juice of ½ large lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 2 t. black pepper
- Splash of red wine (optional)
- ½ c. parsley, stems removed and chopped
- ½ c. cilantro, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- ⅓ c. red wine vinegar
- ½ c. olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt & pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 shallot
- 3 T. chimichurri
- 1 T. red wine vinegar
- ¼ t. dried oregano
- Kosher salt & pepper
- Begin by making the marinade. Add the soy sauce, olive oil and lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Using a microplane, grate the garlic into the liquids. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano and black pepper. Add the steak to a large ziploc bag and pour the marinade over, smooshing to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature while you’re making the sauces, or refrigerate up to a day.
- To make the chimichurri add the parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar and olive oil to a blender or food processor. Blend until herbs and garlic are minced, about 30 seconds. If you're having any trouble blending add more olive oil or vinegar at your discretion. Remove to a bowl, add the red pepper flakes and season liberally with salt & pepper.
- To make the salsa dice the tomatoes, mince the shallot, and add both to a bowl. Season with chimichurri, vinegar, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have released some of their juices.
- When you’re ready to make the steak, heat your grill to high (or light a chimney of charcoal briquettes). Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place the steaks on the grill and cook to medium rare - about 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temp reaches 130°. Of course, if you like your steak more done, feel free to cook it to your liking!
- Remove steaks to a cutting board and let rest ~10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with lettuce and both sauces.