Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Steak Tacos

Steak tacos so good you'll fool a Texan!
Build these at the table for a fun, personalized dinner.
Living in Kirksville You get either settle for restaurant food, or you learn to cook. These little beauties are the result of living with a native Texan that just will not settle. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Fresh ingredients are the key to great taste

  • Garlic - 1 head peeled and coarsely chopped 
  • Yellow Onion
  • Lime 
  • Red Bell Pepper - here we use mixed sweet peppers
  • Fresh Cilantro 
  • Cherry Tomatos - a handful
  • Avocado 
  • Black Beans - no salt added is best
  • Mission Tortillas - yellow corn and the small ones!
  • Steak 10 oz - we use what ever is cheapest at the butcher counter 
  • Cotija Cheese - crumbly white cheese with a subtle flavor 
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Vegetable Oil - 2tbs 
Steak Rub: 
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes -1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper - dash
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin - 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt - dash
Begin by getting the prep work out of the way, once we start cooking everything goes fast. Thoroughly coat the steaks in the rub mixture, making sure to get every edge. Once the lime is cut up, squeeze once slice over the steaks and discard the rind. 

Steaks rubbed and waiting 
Peel and coarsely chop the entire head of garlic, not just a few cloves, set aside. Next slice the onion in half and peel, then slice into 1/8" slices and set aside. Slice the lime into multiple slices and place half in a small serving dish and set the other half aside. Next wash and clean out the bell pepper, create long thin slices and set them aside. The tomatoes come next, dice them into quarters and place in a small serving dish. The cheese crumbles easily using our hands, crumble a small serving dish full and place aside. 
Amazing what fresh toppings can do!

Frijoles Negros 
Frijoles Negros, black beans, make a great topping and side dish for our tacos. In a small sauce pan combine the whole can of black beans with 1 tsp of chopped garlic and 1 tbs of finely chopped onion, dice up a few slices we pepper earlier. Add a few twists of a pepper  grinder, a couple chopped cilantro leaves and stir the ingredients. Put the heat on low and allow the pot to simmer with the lid on while we continue. 
Now it's time to make the guacamole. Add a 1/2 tsp of the chopped garlic to a small mixing bowl along with the juice from two lime slices. Finely dice up to slices of red pepper and three slices of onion, add to the garlic and lime. Add the flesh from our ripe avocado to the bowl and using a fork mash the ingredients together, make it as thick or as smooth as you like. Finely chop a few cilantro leaves and add to taste. 

Fajita Vegetables
On a taco? Oh yes! Add a touch of oil to the bottom of a large frying pan on high heat, we are going to cook these quickly and even sear them a touch. Give the oil a moment to heat up and toss in the remaining garlic. Once it is browning, won't take long, add the onions and peppers and stir frequently. We don't want them to burn, so once we start seeing the garlic turn dark brown and some of the onions are really close to burn looking empty the frying pan onto a serving plater and set on the lowest rack of the oven with the broiler on low. 
Healthy and beautiful

Living in northeastern Missouri its a rare day you will find me outside grilling in December, but the broiler does a fine job when I don't want to freeze! Using the pan from the vegetables (if its oven safe) or another handy baking dish place a touch of oil in the bottom of the pan and set under the broiler to heat (it should be on low already). We place the pan on the highest oven rack, right under the broiler, we want to sear the steak not bake it. Turn the broiler to high, and once the oil is good and hot place the steak into the pan. There should be a nice sizzling sound as the meat hits the hot oil, slide the rack under the heating element and cook the steaks roughly 3 minutes on each side (we like the meat medium rare). Slice into thin strips and place on the platter next to our vegetables. 

Taco Shells
Tossing the corn tortillas under the broiler on low for a few moments while we set the table and place all the toppings around the table really brings out their full flavor. Don't skip this, warm those babies up and get the most out of dinner. Building your own tacos at the table is fun and personal, try difference combinations of toppings and enjoy!