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Dreaming of Mexico City - Coffee-Crusted Skirt Steak With Herbed Corn Salsa

My friend Rolando tells me that for a food lover like me, Mexico City is a wonderful place to visit. And while I can’t do that at the moment, I got to thinking about flavors from Mexico.

This recipe is hardly authentic, but it’s easy and delicious and hints at the flavors I was looking for.



¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon ground mustard

2 strip steaks or a large skirt steak


4 ears corn

1/3 cup chopped herbs, such as cilantro and basil

3 tablespoons diced sweet onion

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 jalapeño pepper, diced

2 limes, freshly juiced

3 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper

Olive oil

tomato and avocado for garnish (optional)

Take the steak out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes to take the chill off. Preheat your grill to the highest setting.

In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ground coffee, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and ground mustard. Rub it all over both sides of the steak. Set aside.

Brush the corn lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper it. Sprinkle the chili powder on the corn and place it on the grill grate. Cook for ten minutes, but turn it every couple of minutes so it cooks evenly.

When it’s done, set aside to cool. Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob.

Place the steak on the grill grates and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. I prefer my steak on the rare side, but cook it a little longer if you prefer.

Remove the steaks and let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

In a bowl, stir together the corn, herbs, onion, garlic, peppers, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss a few times to combine it well.

Slice the steak against the grain. Top it with the corn salsa and add some tomato and avocado if you like.

I had considered a frozen margarita to go with this dish, but it’s really chilly outside, so I came up with a margarita for chilly fall days. I think it’s my new favorite drink!

Autumn Margarita

1/2 ounce honey

1 ounce Triple Sec or orange liqueur

3 ounces hot water

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce tequila

Mix and sip slowly in front of the first fire of the season.

I bet it’s nice and warm in Mexico City.

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