What signals the end of the week better than Mexican food?
I leave for Florida in a little more than a week and the only thing more alluring than 80-degree heat in February is the promise of seafood in the sun.
As of late, I have been dreaming of the best fish tacos that I ever tasted in an al fresco eatery under the palm trees on Marco Island. That and a recent vintage Bruce Springsteen (a live in Paris version of “I’m On Fire,” in particular) awakening on YouTube have dominated a disturbing amount of my mental capacity for days now.
But, alas, I digress. So, not wanting to cheapen my memory of said fish tacos and fearing that my rendition might not do justice to the original, I decided to seek out a recipe for steak tacos to make midweek.
What I find is a supremely tasty and easy to make version from the Food Network website. Being a cheese fanatic, I added queso blanco to my version and omitted the salsa and cabbage. My only qualm with this dish is that it was a bit dry, so you might want to add the salsa when you make this yourself.
Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos (Source: Food Network.com)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
A pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/4 pound top sirloin steaks cut 1-inch thick
12 small corn tortillas (5 to 6 inches in diameter)
3 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 cups Avocado Lime Salsa, recipe follows
In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Rub spice mixture on both sides of steaks.
Grill or broil steaks for 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium rare, turning once. Remove from grill and let meat sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve into thin slices.
Warm tortillas by placing them on the grill for about 30 seconds, turning once. Or, place six tortillas at a time between two moist paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds. Wrap in cloth napkin or place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm. Place the carved steak, warm tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime and Avocado Lime Salsa in serving dishes and let diners make their own tacos at the table.
Avocado Lime Salsa
1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 avocados, cut into chunks
1/2 red onion, diced
2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 jalapeno chiles, chopped, plus more to taste
Place cucumber, avocado and onion in a large bowl and add lime juice and salt. Add cilantro and chiles and toss gently.