Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Carne Asada Tacos

I went to a really fun Cinco de Mayo party a few weeks ago that seemed to wake up the taco-lovin’, guac eatin’, Mexican food aficionado in me. And then when I was browsing food blogs and came across a GORGEOUS one called “I Am a Food Blog” that was featuring a flat iron carne asada recipe, I knew that the Fates were sending me a sign. A cilantro-y, citrus-y, spicy sign.

I love me a simple but flavorful recipe, and this nailed it. I only slightly adjusted a few amounts for the sake of personal taste, and we also used one habanero instead of two chiles. Marinate it for just about an hour and you’ve got tender, juicy steak with cilantro and red onion (and a little sour cream because I can) all wrapped up in a tortilla. It may not be authentically Mexican, but it was good—and that’s really all we’re looking for, right?

1 pound flat-iron steak, sliced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1-2 chilies, minced (to taste)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon pureed kiwi

Mix all the ingredients except for the steak in a bowl. Use whatever chile you like. We used one habanero, which was nice and spicy. But use jalapeno or Serrano or whatever else you like. Slice your steak pretty thinly and add it to the marinade, stirring to cover. Marinate it for up to an hour. Don’t go any further though—the acid in the kiwi will break down your steak, and who wants broken down steak?

Heat up your cast iron skillet until it is really stinkin’ hot (be careful!) and then add the meat. Hopefully you get a nice big sizzle, or else it wasn’t hot enough. Cook until the meat is browned, which won’t take very long. If I was going to nit-pick, my only complaint would be that I wanted the meat to get a little bit of caramelization on the outside. Just a little extra brownness. I think the liquid (from the marinade and released from the meat) is what stopped that from happening. In the future I might drain that out a little or make sure that the cast iron is really, really hot.

We toasted up our tortillas on the grill, which was a nice easy touch. I garnished with cilantro, red onion and sour cream, but pick your favorite toppings and salsas (maybe throw in some guac!). They are small enough that you can have two or three. Or if you’re my husband, six.

(Click for printable recipe)

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