Apparently, the two beastly burritos i had engulfed over a 24-hour time period did not fulfill my need for mexican food. Either that, or eating-out for the two last meals just didn’t cut it. I needed something homemade, something…from the little yellow kitchen (come on, I couldn’t resist). While scheming up the mexican meal I would tackle next, I stumbled upon this little jewel: Tacos Carne Asada courtesy of Tyler Florence. Oh, not to mention I noticed that Henry’s market had a”carne asada” cut of meat on sale for $3.99 a lb. Score!
Also, Catherine had given me a hearty bundle of organic italian cilantro a few days ago, and I have been so excited to put it’s herb-arific powers to work. This particular cilantro, characterized by the tiny, feather-like leaves, is much different than the kind I normally purchase. But she knows that I’m always up for an adventure, so she gifted me the extra herbs from her CSA box, which consists of locally grown goodness.
Honestly, I’m all about supporting local taco stands, too, because they bring some of the best authentic mexican food from just south of the border. Yet, sometimes the “NO LARD” sign on a few of them, makes me wonder about the taco stands without the sign. To be specific, the ones that I just might have stumbled upon at 1 am, after cruising the Pacific Beach bars. Yikes.
So, all that to say this: here’s how to bring a simple, healthful and tasty mexican dish to your table.
Make the marinade. Shake furiously.
Make the meat happy; pour the marinade on top of the meat, shuffle them around a bit to distribute evenly, cover and exile to the fridge for a few hours.
Grill the meat. When it’s finished cooking and had time to rest, slice and dice for bite-sized pieces. Assemble the taco, we used: carne asada, shredded red romaine lettuce, fresh guacamole, cilantro, and a squirt of lime, all atop a warm corn tortilla.
Carne Asada Tacos
adapted from: Tyler Florence, Food Network
Recipe updated June 8, 2011: Added a little more garlic, lime and cilantro, to make the flavors stand out!
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapenos, finely chopped*
- 1 cup fresh italian cilantro leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper
- juice of 3 limes, zest of 1 lime (LYK addition)
- juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1.5 lbs skirt steak/flank steak or “carne asada” steak
*Little Yellow Note: don’t be afraid of a little jalapeno action. If spicy isn’t your thing, discard seeds before chopping. We used about 1/2 of the seeds, and discarded the rest, for a medium spice level.
- corn tortillas, heated
- fresh, homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon!)
- shredded red romaine lettuce
- hot sauce (I want to say “optional”, but it shouldn’t be…)
- lime wedges
Mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper; this can be done by either using the back of a knife and crushing ingredients on a cutting board, or by mashing in a bowl. Put the mixture in a sealable container; a reused glass jar works wonders. Pour in the orange and lime juices, white vinegar, oil, and lime zest. Secure the lid onto the container, and shake shake shake it up! Meanwhile, lay the flank steak out on a plastic-wrap covered cutting board. Trim any visible fat, then cover with more plastic wrap, and pound the meat with a rolling pin or another heavy object, to tenderize. Pour a 1/4 of the marinade on the bottom of a glass baking dish, then lay the carne asada meat, flat. Pour the rest of the marinade mixture over the meat, cover dish with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1-4 hours.
Heat up the BBQ**, and throw the marinaded meat onto the grill for about 7 minutes on medium heat. No need to turn them, they cook fast. Let meat rest for about 5-10 minutes. Then make thin slices, against the grain of the meat, and and then dice into bite-size pieces!
Assemble tacos to liking, and serve with a nice, cold mexican cerveza.
**Little Yellow Note: you don’t have to BBQ, an indoor grill or even skillet will work just fine.
From the Little Yellow Kitchen,