Sirloin Steak with Panela and Ensalada de Nopales

My husband is a huge fan of red meat, so I find myself making it for dinner at least once a week. I am always trying to find new flavors and combinations for steak. Panela is one of my favorite Mexican cheeses, and I love the way it pairs with the ingredients of the cactus salad. The texture of the nopales is what has me so into them. You can also eat this salad on its own, or with a tostada as a delightful snack. Try this recipe out if you are looking for a new and flavorful way to dress up your next steak night.


  • 2- 8 oz. Sirloin Steak Fillets about 1" thick
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Slices Panela Cheese, About 1/4" Thick
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

For the Cactus Salad:

  • 3 Cups Nopales, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Scallions, Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato, Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 Serrano Chile, Diced (Optional)
  • The juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano Leaves
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste


  • Preheat the broiler.
  • In a medium pot boil about 1-2 inches of salted water, place the Nopales in a steamer basket and cover. Steam for about 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Transfer the steamed Nopales to a bowl of ice water to "shock" them. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat, Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the steaks until desired doneness about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the steaks to a baking sheet, top each with 2 slices of Panela.
  • Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until the cheese has started to melt.
  • Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the Nopales, Scallions, Tomato, Serrano Chile (if using), and Cilantro.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Then slowly whisk in the olive oil.
  • Pour the dressing over the cactus salad, toss to coat.
  • Place the steaks on serving plates and top with the cactus salad. Serve Immediately.