This is a nutritious, delicious meal the whole family can make together. There’s lots of chopping, as well as the dipping and breading of the steaks. Maybe even Dad could help out and fry the steaks!
Milanesa steak was one of my favorite childhood meals from my mom’s regular repertoire. I loved the textural combination of the thinly sliced meat with the crunch from the breadcrumbs. Because these steaks are so thin, they cook up in just a few minutes, which makes them a great weeknight option. It doesn’t hurt that they’re really inexpensive as well.
I cut this old-time favorite of mine into strips and used it to top a warm salad of cooked vegetables and quinoa flavored with chimichurri. Quinoa has deep roots in South America. It is native to the regions surrounding the Andes, and the Incas considered it to be the “mother of all grains.” This makes sense, as this grain is actually a complete protein. So if you’d prefer a vegetarian dinner, simply skip the steak and use veggie stock or water instead of chicken, and you’ll still have a complete meal.
Chimichurri is an Argentine condiment traditionally served with meats, and here I paired them indirectly, using the chimichurri to flavor the quinoa base. I used a store-bought version to pack in a whole lot of flavor fast, but if you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it.
You may want to make this ahead of time or make extra, because the flavors in the quinoa are even better the second day.
I served this dish garnished with a little parsley and accompanied by a simply dressed green salad.
4 milanesa or sandwich cut steaks, about ¾ to 1 lb, cut into strips
½ c balsamic vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ t onion powder
¾ c bread crumbs, or as needed
1 egg, whisked
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Cooking oil, as needed
- Rinse off the steak strips and pat dry.
- Whisk the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
- Place the steak strips in the vinegar mixture and allow meat to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- Drain excess liquid from the steak strips.
- Dip steak strips in whisked egg.
- Coat steak strips in breadcrumbs.
- Heat oil in a large pan.
- Fry the steak strips until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Once golden, remove the steak strips from the pan and place on a plate with paper towels to drain. Reserve.
½ large onion, or 1 small to medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, lightly smashed
1 c quinoa, rinsed
2 chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1 medium zucchini, diced (Note: I used a yellow zucchini I found at the farmer’s market because I was inspired by the beautiful color, but the regular green variety will work just as well.)
1 medium red bell, diced
1 roma or plum tomato, seeds and pulp removed, and diced
2-3 T store-bought chimichurri sauce, or to taste
Olive oil, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Gently heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened.
- Add the quinoa and toss with the oil and onions. Stir over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until thoroughly heated.
- Add the smashed garlic clove and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Cover the quinoa and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is fully absorbed. Once cooked, remove from heat.
- While the quinoa cooks, heat oil in a separate pan over medium-high heat, add the zucchini and bell pepper, and cook until crisp tender (about 7 to 10 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Once the zucchini and bell peppers are done, add the diced tomato and cook for another 2 minutes, or just until the tomato has softened.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the chimichurri and toss to combine.
- Add the vegetable mixture and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, mound quinoa in the center of the plate and top with steak strips.