Monday, February 1, 2010

Carne Asada

I love Mexican/Latin inspired food. I say inspired because well, I'm not Hispanic and only they can do it right. I miss living in my home town where there is a big Hispanic population. I miss the flavors, textures and smells from all the wonderful foods that the girls I worked with, would bring in to eat. Empanadas, rice and beans, and things that I could never even try to pronounce! I love the freshness and flavors in Carne Asada. The cilantro and lime juice really permeate the steak and give it an incredible taste. The lime juice also helps  to make the meat tender which is what makes using a flank steak in this recipe work so well. There are a lot of components to put together the entire dish, with all the fixings, and the meat itself has to marinate for at least 24 hours if not longer, but it is totally worth it in the end.

What you need: (this is the complete list of ingredients for the marinade, Pico de Gallo and Guacamole)

A nice sized flank or sirloin steak
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Jalapeno peppers, minced
2 bunches cilantro
4 limes
2 tbs white vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1 medium tomato, seeds and pulp removed, then diced
1 red onion, minced
3 ripe avocados

What to do:
In a medium bowl combine 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 minced jalapeno, the cumin, 1 bunch of cilantro leaves and steams chopped fine, a pinch of salt and pepper, the juice of 2 limes, the vinegar, sugar and 1/2 c olive oil. Whisk well. Place the steak into a resealable, ziptop bag and pour the marinade over the steak. Press the air out and seal it. Place on a plate and in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but I recommend marinating it for 48 hour, flipping the meat over half way through.

Pico De Gallo:
In a small bowl, combine the 3 diced tomatoes together with 1/2 of the diced red onion, 1 minced jalapeno (remove the seeds for less heat), the juice of 1 lime, a handful of cilantro leaves that have been finely chopped and some salt and pepper. Mix well and let sit for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Remove the flesh from the avocados and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the last lime over them and mash with a fork. This will not only give it some flavor but will also prevent the avocados from turning brown. Combine the avocado with the remaining half of red onion, the remaining jalapeno (seeds removed for less heat) 2 tbs of chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp coarse salt, a pinch of pepper and if desired the tomato that has the pulp and seeds removed.

To finish your steak, preheat a grill to high. Once it's nice and hot, remove the steak from the marinade and scrape off the marinade if desired but I leave it on. Grill for a few minutes on each side for medium rare or cook to your desired done-ness level. Remove to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Garnish with some chopped cilantro on top if desired.

To assemble:
Place a few pieces of the grilled steak onto a warmed flour tortilla. Then add some or all of the following:
Pico De Gallo
Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese

You can serve refried beans and/or Mexican style rice (pictured left) along side or add it into your wrap.

H A P P Y  C O O K I N G !!

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