Cola-Marinated Flank Steak With Frito Chilaquiles

To make his version of chilaquiles (fried tortilla chips lightly cooked in salsa or other ingredients like chiles, cheeses and meats), Jamie Bissonnette unabashedly opts for Fritos. “They have great corn flavor, and they are crunchier than I could ever get tortillas by frying them myself.”

I have to agree. It was secretly fun to buy 2 things that you wouldn’t normally find in my pantry, fritos and cola. Having given up a rather potent addiction to the chemical-laden Diet Coke, I bought Virgil’s Real Cola which is made with natural ingredients like clove bud oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cassia oil, citrus oils, and lime juice. You don’t have to marinate the steak for very long for all the great flavors to come through. This was an absolutely delicious dish and I can’t wait to use the rest of the cola to make it again. We served this with a salad and strawberry chile margaritas.

lightly from: Food & Wine
serves: 4-6

3 cups cola, preferably made with cane sugar (I used Virgil’s Real Cola)
2 teaspoons jarred Thai green curry paste
2 Fresno chiles or jalapenos, thinly sliced crosswise
one 1 ½ pound flank steak
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
one 16-oz jar salsa verde
8 oz Fritos
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, diced
3 tablespoons freshly crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges, for serving

In a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish whisk the cola with the green curry paste and sliced chiles. Add the flank steak and turn to coat thoroughly. Let the steaks marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill and oil the grate. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and pat dry. Brush the steak with canola oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until the steaks are medium-rare (130-135 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Don’t let it go past 135, or you will have chewy flank steak.), about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Let the steak rest uncovered at room temperature for 10 minutes.

While the steak is resting, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over moderate heat in a large skillet. Add the salsa verde and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until salsa is slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the Fritos to the salsa and cook, stirring, until the chips are soft with some crunchy bits but not falling apart, about 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of the cilantro and transfer the chilaquiles to a platter, or divide among plates.

Thinly slice the steaks across the grain, then cut into smaller pieces if the strips are too long. Top the chilaquiles with the sliced steak and any accumulated meat juices. Scatter the avocados, Cotija cheese and remaining ¼ cup of cilantro on top and serve immediately with lime wedges.

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