Friday, March 09, 2007

Carne Asada Tacos

A simple carne asada taco
My husband is currently in Minnesota and one of the things he misses the most from San Diego (besides me!) is carne asada tacos. Carne asada is Mexican barbecue and it basically translates to "grilled meat." During the summertime, you can smell carne asada grilling in just about every neighborhood here in SD. Talk about yummers! Usually, we buy our carne asada already prepared from the butcher. Lindsey also recently found out that Trader Joe's also sells prepared carne asada, and it is excellent. If you want to prepare your own carne asada, I highly recommend you use trimmed and thin flank steaks, or the thinnest skirt steaks you can get. But "trimmed" of fat is the keyword here. Then, just set out all the fixings and get ready for a party!

INGREDIENTS (4 to 6 servings, depending on how many tacos each person eats)

  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat and pounded thin to about 1/4"
  • A dozen corn tortillas
  • Guacamole (or sliced avocados if you, prefer)
  • Queso fresco (a Mexican fresh, farmer’s cheese--this is optional, but I loves me cheese!)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • Fresh salsa, preferably homemade
  • Beans (refried or pinto), optional
MOJO (aka Marinade)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
To make the marinade:

In a mortar and pestle or bowl, mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper to make a paste. Put the paste in a glass jar or plastic container. Add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Shake it up really well to combine. Use as a marinade for chicken or beef or as a table condiment.

Prepare the carne asada: Marinate the flank or skirt steak in the mojo for a minimum of 1 hour, and up to 6 hours. Season with a little more salt and pepper and place in the refrigerator while it marinates.

When ready to grill, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grates with oil to prevent meat from sticking. Pull the steak out of the mojo marinade and grill the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium to medium-well. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Lindsey, master griller!

In the meantime, set out all the fixings (guacamole, queso, limes, onions, salsa and beans, if using) on the table, and warm up the tortillas in the grill or in the microwave.

With a butcher’s knife or any sharp knife, chop the meat into bite size pieces. chopped up carne asadaTo fix your carne asada taco, take a warm, corn tortilla, fill it with a smear of beans (if using), a few pieces of meat, a dollop of guacamole, queso fresco, onions and salsa. Squeeze a little lime over it and enjoy the goodness of being a Mexican!

1 comment:

Miss B said...

Hi Armida,
I did try your carne asada recipe and I loved it! I like Mexican food it is delicious! But have you tried to cook Belizean food (from the country of Belize, C.A.)? If you have what dishes have you tried?
Anyhoo, you are a great cook!
Provecho!
Bea