There are some people who follow the old adage about what to eat when you are traveling: You don’t order beef when you’re on the coasts, and you don’t order seafood when you’re in the heart of cattle country.
Well, I was in cattle country last week — in western Nebraska — for a youth baseball tournament. One of the places we went to eat was a place called Steel Grill Restaurant and Bar in Gering. Of course, its specialty was steak, and the one I had — a rib-eye — was perhaps the best ever to cross my palate.
But a bunch of us also shared some delicious steak nachos, which we received for free with a coupon on the tournament program. The nachos were loaded with jalapenos and served with sides of sour cream and salsa.
The experience had me scouring the Internet when I returned home to find a recipe that we might try. And here’s what I found.
8 ounces skirt or flank steak
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1½ cups shredded reduced-fat Jack cheese
½ cup bottled salsa verde
4 ounces tortilla chips
½ 14- to 16-ounce can pinto beans
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (optional)
Preheat a grill, grill pan, or cast-iron skillet. Season the steak with the chili powder, salt and pepper and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until medium-rare. Let the steak rest.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, then slowly whisk in the stock. Simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the cheese and salsa and continue stirring until the cheese is fully melted.
Chop the steak into small pieces. Arrange the chips in a single layer on a large cookie sheet or baking pan. Top evenly with the beans and steak, then drizzle on three-quarters of the cheese sauce. Top with the jalapeno and onion. Bake for about 15 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese sauce, tomatoes, and cilantro if using.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 360 calories, 14 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 610 milligrams sodium.