Thursday, April 26, 2012

South-of-the-Border Salisbury Steaks w/ Polenta

So when someone says Salisbury Steak I think of TV dinners with a mini meatloaf thingy swimming in cheap gravy along side mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.  Just another classic American creation.  I wondered why they call it Salisbury Steak, because obviously it is not a steak. So of course I Wikipedia'd it.

Salisbury steak is a dish made from a blend of minced beef and other ingredients, which is shaped to resemble a steak, and is usually served with gravy or brown sauce.  Salisbury steak was invented by an American physician, Dr. J. H. Salisbury (1823–1905), an early proponent of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss; the term "Salisbury steak" has been in use in the United States since 1897. The dish is popular in the United States, where it is traditionally served with gravy and mashed potatoes or noodles.

Recap: a poor man's steak that helps cut carbs...

Anyway, the whole thing sounds a bit gross to me, so maybe I should have named the recipe something like Mexican Turkey Patties with salsa/guacamole comb alongside veggie packed polenta.  But that is wayyyyy to long of a title.  So really that is what I am going to make: a healthy, lighter, spicy and way more fun take on SS. (Which will serve about 4 people)  Make this when your tired of tacos (or chicken)!


  • 1 1/2 lb of ground turkey
  • spices for turkey: 1 heaping tablespoon of cumin, 1 tsp of oregano, 1 heaping tablespoon of chili powder, 2 tsp of salt, couple grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 chipolte in adobe minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 slices of pepper jack cheese (or cheddar is good here too)
  • 1 box of quick cooking polenta**
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup of corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of non fat plain yogurt
  • 2 limes
  • salt
  • more cumin for salsa


  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Shape into something that looks like a steak.  About 1/2 inch thick. Kind of a like a burger, but thin.  (Some people like to add egg and breadcrumbs, I didn't find it necessary here, but do it if you like)
  2. In a skillet heat some canola oil on high. Brown both sides and cook until done. (about 7 minutes each side, depending on how thick you made them)  Remember you need to cook ground turkey all the way through, if using beef you can cook until desired doneness.  As soon as almost done, top with cheese and let melt on top
  3. Roast your poblano peppers over an open flame and then clean off charred skin and chop. Reserve in a bowl with the corn. (Roast them same as red peppers)
  4. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, jalapenos and onion and reserve in a bowl.  Squeeze first lime over the salsa. Add salt to taste and about a 1/2 to 1 tsp of cumin. Mix to combine.
  5. Another bowl add the avocado, lime juice of second lime (I used only half the lime actually) and yogurt. Combine until creamy and almost saucy. Add salt to taste.
  6. Quick cooking polenta should take about 5 minutes, follow the directions on the box.  When that is done stir in your reserved poblano peppers and corn.
  7. To assemble: Take a steak and top with a dollop (yea had to check the spelling lol) of guac cream, then your chunky salsa.  Serve alongside your tasty polenta!
¡Buen apetito!

**Side note about polenta: ok so if you've never had it, its like corn grits- something like grainy mashed potatoes that taste like corn. Personally, I like the hard polenta cakes that you fry then eat, but I didn't have time. Also if you can't find quick cooking polenta all you need is cornmeal.  On every package of cornmeal I've ever bought it gave you directions for polenta- pretty easy just add cornmeal, salt and water and heat on heat until thick-stirring often. Anyway, hard polenta cakes are amazing- but you need to prep a day in advance.  Make the polenta then cover and put in the fridge over night.  It sets up and then you cut and fry in a pan until golden brown on each side and warmed through. Yum. Or you could always serve with rice :)

I made it in a sauce pot, then transferred to a baking dish and popped under the broiler for about 10 minutes to get all golden on top

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