October 27, 2011

Tecate Skirt Steak Tacos

tecate skirt steak tacos

I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about my love for Mexican food on this blog or not…. (The majority of you reading this blog know me personally, but my goal is to reach an audience who has never met me. So sharing some personal details is imperative). I believe my passion for chips and salsa, tacos and a cheesy enchilada was instilled in me at birth. My mom craves Mexican food unlike any other person I’ve ever met. She has always said that she could eat Tex-Mex food morning, noon and night, every day of the week. I, without a doubt, believe that statement to be true. Therefore, I’d like to think that my need for Mexican cuisine is genetic; an inherited trait passed on from my mother.

AZ Taco Festival Taco #1

Luckily, for me, Jon shares the same passion. He too, can eat Mexican food every day of the week. One of our greatest commonalities is our shared love of food, whether it be cooking, eating, dining out or ordering in, I can always count on him to share a good meal. However, when it comes to Mexican food, Jon likes things just a tad bit spicier than I do. A tad bit spicier might be an understatement… This guy can swallow an extraordinary amount of spice, and I thought I liked things spicy!

AZ Taco Festival Taco #2

You can imagine our delight when we found out about the 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival. It was almost as if this festival was created with the two of us in mind. A whole day of sampling tacos… after tacos… after tacos. Oh yeah, and lots of tequila. It was a day of pure bliss.

mustache anyone

I tried to prepare myself in advance. I studied the taco vendors that would be peddling their incarnation of the ideal street taco. I wanted to have a plan of which taco stands were an absolute must to try out. Did I mention there were 42 of them? I had to use my time (and money) wisely.

AZ Taco Festival Taco #3

Ok… So here is the point where I was going to, oh so eloquently, describe the “best of the best” tacos I consumed on that glorious day. But, as it just so happens, I am, at this very moment, sitting on a plane on my way to Chicago, trying to use my time wisely by writing this blog post and I just realized I forgot my Taco Festival notes at home… I knew, standing in that security line, that I had most definitely left something behind. Damn. I guess I’ll just have to describe what I can from memory…

AZ Taco Festival Taco #4

There are two tacos that stand out in my mind. I’d have to assume that those are the two I’d consider to be the “best” or at least most memorable…

golf ball sized tortilla rounds

#1: The Duck Confit Tacos from El Hefe
The flavor of the duck was exceptional, with a delicious cherry compote reduction.

tortilla tortilla

#2: The Wild Mushroom Tacos from T. Cook’s
Not exactly the biggest fan of vegetarian tacos, I’d have to say these were the most original in my opinion. The flavor was earthy and complex. Bonus: amazing corn tortillas, thick with an almost “al dente” like texture.

smoky chipotle salsa

From here, the plan was to recreate my favorite taco from the festival for this blog, however, out of the 20 plus tacos I tried, the duck tacos from El Hefe won me over. Sorry, but at this point in my life, I don’t exactly have the time to confit anything. So, instead, I decided to create a taco that I would have served if given the opportunity to auction off tacos from a humble tent in the Arizona heat. I present to you a Tecate Skirt Steak Taco. The Arizona Taco Festival, in my opinion, was lacking steak tacos, so I thought I’d fill that void. I tried my best at some homemade tortillas, marinated the steak for 24 hours and made a chipotle salsa. I was pretty pleased with the results, especially the flavor of the steak, which was the only component of the taco that I completely came up with myself, thank you very much. Overall though, it is a pretty tasty taco. Jon even gave his approval, and considering his taste for tacos, I’d have to say my Tecate Skirt Steak Tacos are a winner. Try ‘em for yourself, and let me know what you think!

taco, burrito, what's comin' out of...

Tecate Skirt Steak Tacos 
Recipe by Karlie (with the help of others) 

Basic Ingredients:
Tortillas (see recipe below)
Tecate marinated skirt steak (see recipe below)
Smoky chipotle salsa (see recipe below)
1 avocado
1 fresno chili
¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
¼ cup cilantro leaves
lime wedges

1. Make sure the tortillas are warm and ready to use. Top each tortilla with a few slices of warm skirt steak, a spoonful of chipotle salsa, a slice of avocado, a slice or two of Fresno chili, cotija cheese, cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

Enough for about 10-12 tacos

Flour Tortillas (Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ cup (plus the optional addition of 1-2 tbsp) shortening
¾ cup hot water (just under boiling)

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Drop the shortening, in small clumps, into the bowl and rub into the flour mixture by hand until the mixture looks crumbly. At this point, if the mixture does not resemble course corn meal, add 1-2 tablespoons of shortening. Add the hot water, so that the mixture is moist.

2. Using the dough hook of a stand mixture (or your hands) knead the dough until it all comes together and forms a soft round shape. If the dough is still to crumbly, or won’t come together at this point, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.

3. Separate the dough into about 15-18 golf ball sized balls. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

4. Lightly flour a work space, and roll each ball with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thickness. The edges will be rough. You can use the top of a round glass, coffee mug or Tupperware to cut out a perfectly round tortilla if you like.

5. Using a cast iron skillet on medium heat, cook each tortilla for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla starts to brown slightly. Keep the tortillas warm until ready to use.

Makes about 15-18 4 inch tortillas

Marinated Skirt Steak (Recipe by Karlie Kiser)

1 lb skirt steak
1, 12oz can Tecate beer
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
½ lime, juiced
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1. Lay the skirt steak on a cutting board, or flat surface. Using a meat tenderizer (I used a potato masher) pound the meat on both sides several times to break down the tissue. Place steak in a small casserole dish or large Ziplock bag if you like.

2. Mix the Tecate beer, soy sauce, liquid smoke, lime juice, garlic, brown sugar and ginger in a medium sized bowl until combined. Pour over the steak and let marinate for at least 12 hours, or up to 1 day. If using a casserole dish, be sure to flip the steak half way through the marinating process.

3. Heat either an outside grill or stove top grill to medium high heat. Cook the steak for about 5-6 min on each side for medium rare. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.

Smoky Chipotle Salsa (Recipe adapted from Men’s Health, September 2011)

3 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, plus 1 ½ tbsp adobo sauce
2 cups canned fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
½ cup sliced sweet Vidalia onion
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp honey
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp grated orange zest, plus 2 tbsp of juice from the orange
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
½ jalapeno sliced
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a blender or food processor, puree all the ingredients until smooth.

2. In a medium sized saucepan, bring the puree to a boil; lower the heat and simmer until it no longer tastes raw, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a large, freshly washed jar. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Makes about 2 cups

1 comment :

  1. I am gonna make these this weekend! I Picked up skirt steak yesterday at Costco and was hoping to find a good recipe online. Lucky for me you were already two steps ahead of me. Actually, way more than two steps:)