Friday, October 25, 2013

California Dreaming - Carne Asada Tacos

     The big news around here is that Jenn is moving to California.  She's young, single and ready to spread her wings and fly!  While there is no doubt I will miss her being close to home, I am proud of her adventurous spirit and glad she has this opportunity.  I'm also excited that we now have a wonderful place to visit.  She and I spent last weekend exploring her new city and finding an apartment.  While we were familiarizing ourselves with the area, I discovered a specialty in Southern California - Carne Asada. It's thin, citrus marinated grilled steak served in tacos or burritos.  I had it twice while we were there and each time it was served with salsa and guacamole.  I had to try it once we got home and no one here was disappointed with the results - these are yummy!

 Carne Asada Tacos:  Lime Marinated Steak, Salsa, and Guacamole 


Ingredients for enough marinade for 2 pounds of flank, skirt, or flat iron steak:

4 garlic cloves, put through a press

2 teaspoons jalapeño or Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped

 1/4 cup lime juice 

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch pepper

 *This marinade recipe is modified from


Take a serrated knife and "butterfly" the steak by cutting it through the middle so it becomes a larger but thinner cut of meat. Whisk the marinade ingredients together.  Place the steak in a glass dish and pour the marinade over it.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

While the steak is marinating, make the salsa and the guacamole...

Ingredients for 2 cups salsa:

3 tomatoes, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped

1 tablespoon diced jalapeno or Serrano pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper 


 Combine the salsa ingredients together and serve with chips or tacos

Ingredients for 2 cups guacamole:

2 ripe avocados

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno or Serrano pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, put through a press

2 tablespoons finely diced onion

2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 tomato, chopped


Put all the ingredients but the chopped tomato into a bowl.  Use the bottom of a glass to smash and combine everything together.  After it is well blended, stir in the chopped tomato.

To Assemble the Carne Asada Tacos:

Grill the steak about 7 minutes per side.  Slice into strips.

Heat corn tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds or covered with foil in a 350 degree oven until warm.  Use two tortillas per taco.  Place steak strips, salsa, and guacamole on one side and then fold over.  This is great served with rice and black beans seasoned with a sprinkle of lime juice and a pinch of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Also nice is simple salad made of cabbage, diced tomatoes, and red onions that have soaked in white vinegar for about 10 minutes. Dress the salad with a drizzle of a basic oil and vinegar mixture: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.


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