and that is why this week i’m cooking several recipes from his book, Mexico One Plate at a Time. i adore his cooking style, but even more than that, i love the obvious respect and reverence he has for his ingredients, the dishes themselves, and the culture. i’m mexican and i love everything about my culture, especially the food. even the bastardized form of it which is my beloved tex-mex. i recommend that book if you love mexican food and like trying out new things. i made the griddle baked chicken quesadillas (made with freshly done corn tortillas) last week and they were delicious. and surprisingly easy despite my corn tortilla making deficiency (i’m also a bad mexican because corn tortillas are so hard for me to make, did i mention this? even following directions completely i can’t get the dough right and then they stick to the press and then they come out all wonky. it’s a very frustrating experience for me. that’s why i usually have erik make them. he is an excellent corn tortilla maker.)
last night required dinner-to-go, as erik had to work as a fill in at the liquor store (he’s friends with the owners). everything had to be quick and easily portable. instead of grilling, i used my wok. this particular dish, carne asada with seared onion strips and jalapenos, actually was better on the wok because i didn’t lose any onions or jalapeno halves in between the grill grates. that’s always a good thing. i think of the bottom of our grill as a graveyard for the burnt up remains of lost food bits, most notably onions and peppers of some sort. maybe some asparagus, too.
Carne Asada with seared jalapeno halves and onion slices
skirt steak, trimmed of that thin layer of fat that sometimes covers the backs of the meat and cut into thin pieces (not strips, but just squares)
salt and pepper
a white onion, cut into thin slices
jalapenos, cut in half, deseeded and deveined
warmed corn tortillas
your favorite salsa
squeeze lime juice on the beef. salt and pepper them. let them hang out for a minute while you heat up a large skillet or grill pan on high with some oil rubbed all over. in that pan, quickly sear the jalapeno slices and onions, until both are browned and the jalapenos are blistery but not burnt. set these aside. in the same pan (with a little more oil if you need it) sear your meat. usually in mexican taco stands the meat is cooked well done, but if you want yours a little pink, go for it. set these on a large cutting board when done and let them rest for like 5 minutes. with a cleaver or large knife, cut the meat into strips, then into smaller pieces. cut the jalapeno halves into strips as well. serve these in your corn tortillas with the onion slices and jalapeno strips with some cilantro sprinkled on top, your favorite salsa, and with a lime slice for squeezing more juice. if you want to add some sour cream, cool with me. i won’t tell you not to do that. i will however, not recommend that you add cheese to these tacos.
cooking music: the rocky horror picture show, because i was listening to the movie play while i cooked.