Recipes

Recipe: TACO WEEK: CARNE ASADA TACOS

It's hard to beat the standard American taco -- ground beef flavored with a packet of taco seasoning piled with toppings into a crispy, store-bought shell. But with a little extra effort, you can create more gourmet tacos that are appropriate even for a special occasion. Today's taco recipe comes from grill master and Food Network chef Tyler Florence.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat

1 recipe Mojo (recipe follows)

Olive oil, for coating the grill

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 (7-inch) corn tortillas

Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce, for serving

Chopped white onion, for serving

Shredded Jack cheese, for serving

1/2 cup pico de gallo (recipe follows)

2 limes, cut in wedges for serving

DIRECTIONS

Lay the flank steak in a large baking dish and pour the mojo over it. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours, so the flavors can sink into the meat. Don't marinate the steak for more than 8 hours though, or the fibers break down too much and the meat gets mushy.

Preheat an outdoor grill or a ridged grill pan over medium-high flame (you can also use a broiler). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Pull the steak out of the mojo marinade and season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side in a dry skillet or on the grill, until toasty and pliable.

To make the tacos, stack up 2 of the warm tortillas, lay about 4 ounces of beef down the center, and sprinkle with some lettuce, onion, and cheese. Top each taco with a spoonful of the Pico de Gallo salsa and garnish with lime wedges. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Mojo:

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 limes, juiced

1 orange, juiced

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

In a mortar and pestle or bowl, mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper to make a paste. Put the paste in a glass jar or plastic container. Add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Shake it up really well to combine. Use as a marinade for chicken or beef or as a table condiment.

Yield: Approximately 1 1/4 cups

Pico de gallo:

4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced

1 Serrano chile, minced

1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry.

Yield: 2 cups

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