Monday, January 5, 2009

Carne Asada Tacos

I just realized that my last 5 out of 6 posts were desserts. Too funny considering that up until the last 6 months I never considered myself a baker! Today is the start of my diet, and the end of the sweet posts for a bit. I'm going with the South Beach Diet since I saw results from it in the past. I'm also doing a fitness boot camp 3 mornings a week to help kick start a healthier 2009. Don't worry, the desserts will be back shortly I just need to get myself on a healthy track before I can go back to indulging every once in awhile.

With that in mind I wanted to have one final day of bad stuff yesterday. That included my Chocolate Raspberry Tart for breakfast, some Doritos for an afternoon snack and carne asada tacos and beers for dinner. I decided on the tacos for 2 reason (1) when we stopped at the grocery store in Vermont on our drive home they had soft corn tortillas which are not easy to come by in Toronto; (2) I love carne asada and it is made using flank steak (a South Beach approved cut of beef) which we can use the leftovers to top a caesar salad for dinner this week.

As I do with any Mexican dishes I checked out Simply Recipes since Elise's Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes are always spot on. This one was no exception, full of flavor and so tasty! Here you go:

Carne Asada
from Simply Recipes

2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeƱo chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed (best to lightly toast the seeds first, then grind them)
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped (great flavor in the stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Lay the flank steak in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
2. Preheat your grill over medium-high flame (you can also use a cast iron grill pan on high heat for stove-top cooking) (Since it's a bit too cold here to grill I broiled my steak, approx 7 minutes per side for medium rare). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade. If you are cooking indoors, you may want to brush off excess marinade as the bits may burn and smoke on the hot pan. Season both sides of the steak pieces with salt and pepper. Grill the pieces for a few minutes only, on each side, depending on how thin they are, until medium rare to well done, to your preference. You may need to work in batches. Remove the steak pieces to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

(Optional) Serve with warm tortillas (flour or corn). Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side in a dry skillet or on the grill, until toasty and pliable. Alternatively, you can warm tortillas in a microwave: heating just one or two at a time, place tortillas on a paper towel and microwave them for 15 to 20 seconds each on high.

(Optional) Serve with pico dde gallo and chopped avocados.

I served ours with warmed corn tortillas (soft for me hard for the boy), chopped tomatoes, shredded romaine, shredded cheese, and black beans on the side. Personally a great taco and a beer is up there on my list of favorite easy meals. Once this South Beach Diet who-hah is over I may institute a weekly taco night at home. Something tells me the boy won't object. Enjoy!

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