Tag Archives: carne asada

Tex-Mex Enchiladas

22 Oct
Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Tex-Mex Enchiladas

It’s been a gloomy, rainy, and WINDY few days here on the high desert, and my taste buds wanted comfort food. And when you’re a Texas gal like me, sometimes that translates into Tex-Mex. I had some leftover shredded carne asada beef in the freezer, and of course the obligatory package of dried ancho chiles in the pantry. (What, you don’t keep those hanging around, just in case??) So of course, enchiladas are on the menu!

My Texas buddy Adam provided the inspiration for these, because Adam is connoisseur of all food Tex-Mex. No really, he is! I grabbed this recipe out of his archives, because a good enchilada sauce is timeless. Do yourself a favor and read his post about it, you might be enlightened!

Tex-Mex Enchiladas
Adapted from Joe Gracey’s Tex-Mex Enchiladas, via The Unorthodox Epicure

2 cups homemade chicken broth, or water
3 large dried ancho chiles
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped (reserve 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Ground black pepper, and salt, to taste
1 tablespoon honey, if needed
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
3 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese
3 cups shredded cooked meat, heated through (can be beef, chicken, pork, whatever you have!)
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Sour cream, for topping

Tear the tops off the ancho chiles and remove as many seeds as possible. Place the chiles in a sauce pan of simmering chicken broth until rehydrated and soft, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a large skillet with a tablespoon of oil until softened.  Add the garlic in the last couple minutes.

Remove the chiles when softened, reserving the liquid. Add them to a food processor or blender along with the cooked onions and garlic and blend to a purée.

In the same skillet, stir in 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons flour and cook until starting to turn golden brown. Pour the chile purée into the skillet, along with the reserved chile liquid. Stir in the cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper. Sometimes the ancho chiles can be bitter (haven’t figured out why yet) so add a tablespoon of honey and a bit more salt to mellow it out, if needed. Bring to a simmer and then cook on low for about 30 minutes. Add additional water if it gets too thick.

When ready to assemble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using tongs, dip a tortilla into the enchilada sauce on both sides, then place on a plate. Top with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons of meat, roll up and place seam side down in a greased baking dish. Repeat until baking dish is full. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining grated cheese along with the reserved onion. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling. Remove and top with cilantro and offer sour cream on top, if you want. Serve with pinto beans and Mexican rice.

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!


My Big Announcement

22 Apr

I know some of my readers have been chomping at the bit to hear my latest news. As many of you know, I was unceremoniously laid off from my job recently as a geeky software business analyst of almost 16 years with the company in one fashion or other.

One of my friends asked me, “So now what are you going to do with your life?” My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Well I guess get another business analyst job.”

But then I woke up that night with an epiphany. Do I REALLY have to go back into the same profession? My future is a blank slate! I have many skills besides being an analyst and writer. I like to cook, I like like to make great food and serve it to others (and I’ve been blogging about it for over 6 freakin’ years). WHY NOT OPEN MY OWN FOOD TRUCK???

And so I did.

My Food Cart

My Food Cart

Well, technically it’s a Class IV food cart, but to me it’s my own food truck and my future. The permitting process has been tedious at best, but we are getting so close to the final stretch.

I’ll be selling Texas-style street tacos on a busy riverfront plaza downtown where I live, and have the option to work events and festivals (with more permits, of course). I’ll serve breakfast tacos for the morning downtown workers, then regular street tacos for lunch and weekend nights (beef, pork and chicken). And my creamy spicy pinto beans will be served up all day!

Creamy Spicy Pinto Beans

Creamy Spicy Pinto Beans

The logo and website designs are still in process, as well as the final street vendor permit. I don’t want to say much more about that part lest I jinx any outcomes. Of course I’ll be using the standard social media platforms to also promote my new business.

I’ve been cooking up a storm with my recipe development, and my poor family is about taco-ed out, ha!

Carne Asada Street Tacos

Carne Asada Street Tacos

I’ve also landed my first gig catering a breakfast taco brunch, which will be a good test for cooking larger quantities. I have a commissary/commercial kitchen at my disposal for my food prep, but all food will be dished up fresh and hot on the cart, complete with cast-iron warmed corn and flour tortillas. I also have three signature salsas for patrons (my Texas Green Sauce has been getting raves) to choose from, as well as the other standard street taco garnishes.

Egg, Potato and Cheese Breakfast Taco with Texas Green Sauce

Egg, Potato and Cheese Breakfast Taco with Texas Green Sauce

So that’s it! Oh, you want to know the name of my business too? Well I’m sorry you’ll have to wait longer on that one until everything is finalized. I know, I am such a tease. Many of my close friends and family know, but I’d really like to kick off with my new logo. Stay tuned! XOXO

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Sous Vide or Grilled

5 Mar
Carne Asada Street Tacos

Carne Asada Street Tacos

I had a gorgeous hunk of flank steak in our freezer from our quarter cow we bought last year, and carne asada street tacos were calling my name! Typically skirt steak is used for these tacos, but I figured the leaner flank steak would work just as well provided it was marinated in a citrusy sauce for a spell.  I decided to cook this via the sous-vide method, but grilling the steak would work just as great.

Total thumbs up all the way around for the tacos! We had plenty of leftovers for another dinner even with my daughter eating three of them in one sitting. I made some fresh pico de gallo to serve these with along with the avocado, but you can use any condiments of choice for these tasty tacos.

Carne Asada Ingredients

Many of the delicious Carne Asada ingredients

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Sous Vide or Grilled
Adapted from Serious Eats

3 whole dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
3 whole dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 whole chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
3/4 cup fresh juice from 2 to 3 oranges (I used Cara Cara)
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 to 3 limes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
6 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Sea salt, to taste
1.5 to 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Warm corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, diced onion, additional fresh cilantro (or Pico de Gallo), and avocado, for serving

Place dried ancho and guajillo chilies in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep for 20 minutes until soft and pliable. Drain water, then transfer chiles to a food processor or blender.

Toasting the Cumin and Coriander

Toasting the Cumin and Coriander

Toast the ground cumin and coriander in a hot dry skillet until fragrant and add to the chiles. (You could toast the seeds and grind yourself, but I’m not that fancy.)

Ready to Process the Marinade

Ready to Process the Marinade

Add the rest of the ingredients except steak and condiments. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed. Transfer half of the sauce to a gallon-sized zip-top bag and refrigerate or freeze the other half in a sealed container for future use.

BONUS! Here’s my quick recipe for homemade Pico de Gallo. Double or triple as needed:

Pico de Gallo

1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 jalapeño or serrano chile, finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, and let marinate for an hour or so. That’s it!

For cooking via sous-vide method:

Add steak to the marinade in the bag, squishing around to coat.

Steak in Marinade

Steak in Marinade

Vacuum-seal the bag using the water immersion method. Set temperature on the sous vide to 131 F, then place the bag in the pot and cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Cook for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, preheat a cast-iron pan on high. Remove the bag from the sous-vide pot, then remove the steak from the marinade and wipe off excess. Discard marinade. Char the steak in the hot pan for a minute or two on each side until well-browned. Transfer to a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain.

Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and garnishes.

Sliced Carne Asada Flank Steak

Sliced Carne Asada Flank Steak

For cooking on a grill:

Add steak to the marinade in the bag, squishing around to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat your grill on one side to the highest temperature. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover; if using a charcoal grill, leave open. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.

Serve immediately warmed tortillas and garnishes.


Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Carne Asada Tacos

4 Aug
Carne Asada Taco

Carne Asada Taco

Summer is sizzling and so is our grill! We grilled four dinners this week and here is one of the concoctions that ended up on our plates. I came across a good deal on some thin-sliced skirt steak at the grocery, and knew some kind of tacos would be in the making for them. It was my husband’s “turn” to cook for the night, and aside from the marinating time, dinner only took about 15 minutes to cook and assemble.  I had to tell him what to use for the marinade, and then he surprised me by adding a “secret ingredient” to it which I finally extracted from him later that evening. The tacos also made good use of some leftover white beans we had with our grilled chicken the night before. You can put whatever toppings you want on these tacos, but Carne Asada is traditionally served at least with cilantro and onion. My tacos ended up with baby lettuce and cilantro from the garden, chopped green onion and tomatoes, beans, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. So yummy!

Carne Asada Tacos

1 pound thin-sliced skirt or flank steak (1/4-inch thick or less)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon Mexican red chile powder
Pinch of cumin
Black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (the secret ingredient!)

Place the steak in a large Ziploc bag. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together well and immediately pour into the bag. Seal and let rest for about an hour on the countertop. This will allow the steak to come to room temperature which makes for better grilling. Meanwhile, chop up your toppings, then sit back with a beverage. When ready to grill, heat the grill to medium-high heat, and grill each side about four to five minutes. Remove steak to platter and tent with foil and let rest five minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve on corn or flour tortillas.

P.S. (My husband said adding the baking soda to the marinade will make even the toughest cuts of beef more tender. While I can’t prove or disprove this, the meat did come out fork-cutting tender.)

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