Wild Rice, Charred Corn,Tomatillo and Skirt Steak Salad with Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

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True story, gang: I almost ran over a bear cub this weekend. On my return from Eugene, Oregon (where I’d I just helped my brother relocate for grad school–how fast they grow up), I was cruising down the highway through Lassen National Forest at dusk when IT ALL HAPPENED, so fast. At first I thought it was a dog, but no–looking through the rearview mirror, I saw him/her continue scampering across the road–distinct bearlike outline, distinct bearlike movement.

So, that makes my running total for that area: two deer encounters, one speeding ticket, and one bear encounter. It’s not like I even go there very much.

At least the view was nice.

That story has nothing to do with this dish–I just needed to tell you before I forget. I mean, I guess I could have made bear claws for the occasion (ooooh, bear claws), but clearly I don’t have that kind of focus.

Anyhow. Let’s talk dinner.

Sometimes you just need a big bowl of “all the things I want.” This is just that type of situation–it tends to happen to me toward a season’s end. Cling to the past, you say? Whatever. It’s 90 degrees out, and what is here and now is corn, hatch chiles, and only the most delicious tomatillos ever.

Seriously, these tomatillos were killer. I think a raw tomatillo with a little salt might be my new favorite snack… But also, I eat strangely.

You’ll need to warm up a grill for your steak, so while you’re at it…  Let’s throw some other gorgeous produce on there.

Charred, peeled, and seeded chile peppers make for a delicious, if unattractive, salad dressing.

Steak, however, is always attractive–just needs just a touch of olive oil and cumin, s&p…

…And lots of hot direct heat, really quickly. Look at that smoke. Can you hear this sizzle?

Let us all linger in the present, and celebrate that we (hopefully) haven’t killed any adorable wildlife lately. Shall we?

Wild Rice, Charred Corn,Tomatillo and Skirt Steak Salad with Hatch Chile Vinaigrette
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
For vinaigrette
  1. 2-3 fresh Hatch chiles
  2. 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  3. 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
  5. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For steak
  1. 1/2 lb skirt steak
  2. 1 tablespoon grapeseed, olive or vegetable oil
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon each
For salad
  1. 1 ear fresh corn
  2. 2 cups wild or brown (or a blend of the two) rice, cooked
  3. 2 cups raw, thinly sliced tomatillos
  4. Small handful fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high and grill ear of corn (husk on or off, whichever you prefer) until cooked through and charred, about 15-20 minutes (longer if you're lazy like me and leave the husk on). Simultaneously grill chile peppers until blistered, dark and cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove both from grill. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the corn cob and stem, peel and seed the Hatch chiles.
  3. Turn up the grill to hot and, when grill is very hot, grill skirt steak, turning once, until grill marks appear, around 4-6 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to plate or cutting board and loosely cover with foil, letting the steaks rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the vinaigrette, process Hatch chiles, garlic and vinegar in a food processor until smooth, then add oil in a steady stream. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
  5. Slice steak into strips across the grain. Toss corn, rice and tomatillos with about 2/3 of the dressing. Top with cilantro, steak and a drizzle of additional vinaigrette. Serve with lime wedges. Serves about 2 hungry people.
10th Kitchen http://www.10thkitchen.com/
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  1. Mike "the Human Cow" says

    What is it with bears and volcanoes at dusk? I almost murdered a full sized critter just south of Shasta one fine evening…or more like he almost murdered me. 400 lb animals and cars don’t mix well.

    While we’re on the subject, I’m disappointed by your lack of focus. Bear claws make the world go round. Still, this looks really damn tasty. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Danguole says

      I’m glad I’m not alone–who knew this happens so often? Also, since I was in a monstrous loaner Chevy Avalanche, I would have won … unless his mother was nearby.

  2. Rachel says

    This looks delicious and healthy! Clearly it needs to be balanced with some bear claws. Let me know when that’s happening!

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