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PUBLISHED: 2:15 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Samba Beef Salad

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutesMarinating time: 30 minutes to 2 hours

2 beef shoulder center steaks (Ranch Steaks), cut 3/4" thick (8 oz. each) or 1 boneless beeftop sirloin steak, cut 3/4" thick (1 lb.)

Salt

1 package (5 oz.) mixed salad greens (6 cups)

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries or cherries

1/4 cup pepitas, toasted

1/4 cup prepared tomatillo salsa

2 Tbsp. crumbled queso fresco cheese or crumbled goat cheese

Dressing:

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 to 2 minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. coarse grind black pepper

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steaks and 2/3 cup dressing in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and reserve remaining dressing in refrigerator. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness (top sirloin steak, 13 to 16 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness), turning once. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt, as desired. Toss greens with cranberries, pepitas and reserved dressing. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Arrange steak slices over greens. Spoon salsa over steak slices; sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Cook's Tip: Pepita is the Mexican term for a hulled pumpkin seed. Dark-green pepitas have a delicate flavor that is even better when toasted. To toast pepitas, heat in ungreased skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Toasted pine nuts may be substituted for pepitas.


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