Steak Fingers with Salsa Verde
These impossibly good steak fingers—twice-dredged and deep-fried—hooked us at first crunch. Hiebert's Fine Food (the restaurant in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where we encountered them) wouldn't divulge the secret recipe for their house specialty, but we did some detective work, fried up a lot of skirt steak, and came very close.
FOR THE SALSA VERDE:
6 poblano or anaheim chiles
1⁄4 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp. onion powder
1⁄4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp. flour
FOR THE STEAK FINGERS:
1 1⁄2 cups of flour
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. skirt steak, cut into 1⁄2"-thick strips
4 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
1. For the salsa verde: Preheat broiler. Put chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning them as their skin blisters and chars on all sides, about 5 minutes per side Transfer chiles to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until cool. Pull off stems, peel, then tear chiles open and scrape out seeds. Discard stems and seeds. Chop chiles and set aside.
2. Put tomatoes, oil, garlic and onion powders, pepper flakes, reserved chiles, and 3⁄4 cup water into a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk together flour and 1 tbsp. water in a bowl, then whisk into salsa. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm over low heat.
3. For the steak fingers: Pour oil into a medium pot to a depth of 1" and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Fill another bowl with cold water. Working in batches, dredge meat in flour, dip into water, then dredge in flour again, shaking off excess. Fry until coating is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.
4. Transfer meat with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly. Divide steak fingers between two warm plates, sprinkle each with some of the cheese, and spoon salsa verde on top.