En Un Santiamen -- Carne Asada Tacos In A Jiffy

En Un Santiamen Carne Asada Tacos
In-A-Jiffy Steak Tacos

Several years ago, a lovely friend, who is most sadly no longer with us, taught me that when you are on a budget and have company coming (my son and I were company), you can make a wallet-friendly and extremely flavorful meal for family and friends and be satisfied that everybody will be quite happy.  

I made carne asada tacos several evenings ago for three friends for under $15.00 and here is how I did it.  My local grocery store, like all stores across the country, have fantastic monthly sales on their meats.  I bought two packages of thin cut tri-tip steaks for $5.00 per package, an onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, two limes and a package of small flour tortillas. I had cheese at home already. I also have my pantry stocked with a large array of spices and dried herbs. 

First things first, I wanted my asada to be authentically flavored.  I made a batch of my Mexican Spice Blend, added it to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice and a splash of Mirin, sweet rice wine vinegar and some fresh thyme from my potted herb garden. 

Recipe for my Mexican Spice Blend

3 rounded tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons chile molido or your favorite chile powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 partly rounded teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 rounded teaspoon cumin seeds

My finely ground spices and herbs.

I add all of the spices and herbs to my spice grinder and finely ground it all. I added some of the spice blend - about two tablespoons - to both sides of the thinly sliced tri-tip and added those to a pan with the evoo, lime juice and Mirin.  I tossed the steaks about the coat them all and let them marinate for thirty minutes. I had that time available, but if you do not, fifteen minutes would be fine, too. 

In a skillet over medium-high heat, I added two tablespoons of evoo, and, when the oil began to ripple, I added the thinly sliced marinated steaks. I had to sear and saute the steaks in two batches.  Thinly sliced steaks take only three minutes per side over medium-high heat, as I mentioned above. When they finish searing, I removed the steaks, allowed them to rest a few minutes and, after draining some of the steak renderings, I added a tiny splash of evoo and the chopped onion, finely chopped garlic, some of the fresh oregano and thyme and sauteed that until I finished slicing the steaks into small slivers. 

After sauteeing the onion an garlic, I added the steak slivers and sauteed the mixture until the onions were a bit translucent. The aroma of steak and aromatics (onion and garlic with the herbs and spices) filled my kitchen and my friends were thrilled. 

I saute ingredients until the onions become translucent. 

To serve, use whatever tortillas you like, whatever cheese you like, and whatever other condiments you like.  Some like shaved radishes, cilantro, scallions, lime.  I love it all, but simple cheese and my favorite Salsa Ranchero makes me very happy 

My philosophy? Tacos should be a food group!

Everyone has their own recipe, but I thought I would share my recipe, simple, inexpensive, flavorful and a family favorite as it is. Making that recipe brought forth the memory of a dear supportive friend no longer with us. Now, go cook for someone you love!  You will be glad you did!

And as always, Thank You for your time and consideration. 

In-House Cook


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