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July 19, 2007 / Tony

Cumin rubbed steaks with grilled avocado and spicy marinated red onions


The picture above was dinner last night.  Here’s the recipe:

Cumin Rubbed Strip Steak with Grilled Avocado and Spicy Marinated Red Onions

4 New York Strip Steaks, about 2 lbs total
1/4 cup cumin seeds
4 avocados
1 large red onion
3 T lime juice
3 T orange juice
2 T olive oil
2 T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Finely slice the red onion into rings.  (Take your time, the thinner you get them, the better the end product will be.)  In a bowl large enough to hold the onion, mix the citrus juices, olive oil, and chipotle peppers.  Whisk to combine.  Add the red onions and cilantro.  Toss with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Let sit at room temperature for an hour. 

Meanwhile, prepare a hot grill.  Rub the steaks with salt, pepper, and cumin seeds.  Grill until your desired doneness, about 8-9 minutes total for medium.  Remove the steaks from the grill and cover with foil.  Halve and pit avocados, brush with olive oil and liberally season with salt and pepper.  Grill, cut side down, for about 3 minutes total, giving them a 45 degree turn midway through cooking time for some attractive grill markings.  Serve the avocados by placing the marinated red onions in the cavity left by the pit. 

This is a fairly intresting recipe.  My initial reaction was that the steaks were getting a pretty simple rub but when I tasted it, I was astounded at how much flavor just cumin adds.  It added such a nice intense smoky flavor that the steak almost tasted smoked instead of simply grilled.  The marinated red onions were pleasantly citrusy with a nice punch of heat. 

The avocados were another animal altogether.  I had never considered grilling avocados before and I was anxious to see if heat and a smoky flavor would enhance the already excellent flavor of the avocado.  And they did for the most part.  The avocado was even more creamy warm and the grill imparted a slightly charred flavor that intensified its flavors.  It was also a very nice match with the spiciness of the marinated red onions, which with the significant amount of adobo marinated chipotle peppers are very hot.  But I couldn’t help but to think that the avocados were a bit bland.  I think this because the only seasoning opportunity one had was to season the cut side of the avocado which left the majority of the flesh untouched by salt.  As a result, when eating the avocados, it seemed that much of the flesh was lacking in flavor.  Not much mind you but enough to be noticeable. 

I’ve encountered this problem elsewhere.  I have had Scotch Eggs in the past.  In theory, the idea sounds almost too good to be true.  Basically, a hard-cooked egg is surrounded by a layer of ground pork sausage and then breaded and deep fried.  You would think there would be plenty of flavor in such a concoction.  Yet, when eating it, one can’t help but to think that while the outside is perfectly wonderful, the inside of the egg is rather bland.  And it is that way because no salt has touched that part of the dish.  I found myself having to salt the Scotch Eggs at the table (something I do not like to do). 

So, I have an idea to solve my problem.  Instead of serving the avocados whole, I am going to make a simple guacamole out of them next time.  I’ll have the benefit of the slightly cooked flesh and the smokiness of the grill while being able to fully season every last bit of the avocado while I mix it with salt, pepper, onion, lime juice, and tomtato.  No more bland avocados for me. 

The picture below is of my grilled avocado.  I know I overcooked it but hey, I’d never done it before.



One Comment

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  1. nobody / Aug 28 2011 11:45 pm

    You might mention this recipe comes from the book “Let the Flames Begin” by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, which is a really excellent book.

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