Southwestern Steak Tacos

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Sorry my posts have been so sporadic (does anyone else think of “Clueless” when they use that word?). Sometimes real life gets in the way. So I’m back, where were we? Right, summer.

It is summer in the Midwest, which means heat indexes above 100 and humidity that makes you feel like you are underwater every time you step outside. Growing up here Nick and I are used to the weather, but it is still nice to get away. Somehow we managed to miss the most brutal week of the summer so far by going on a little road trip to North Carolina. We spent a blissful week visiting family, eating, drinking, and seeing as much of this beautiful state as we could.

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{“High Falls” in Asheville, NC}

We had such a great time! We went to Trader Joe’s for the first time (sad isn’t is?), hiked to waterfalls, went to our first (and last) “juke joint”, swam in the ocean, and made new friends. But I think the best part was getting to spend time with my husband. With 2 full time jobs between us, and Nick also in nursing school we don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like. It was a great change of pace to see each other everyday with only beer runs and platters of fried chicken keeping us apart.

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{Scott (Lex’s Brother), Nick, Alexis, and I at the “Juke Joint”}

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{Still waiting for the recipe for these blueberry dumplings-the best dessert I’ve ever had}

Naturally we brought home a few souvenirs to remind us our trip. Shells from the beach, honey from a local apiary, and remnants of the fruit basket my dad sent us on our last day. Oh and one more thing, a Le Creuset grill pan. On our way home we stopped at a pretty cool outlet mall outside of Raleigh that had a Le Creuset store and it just so happened that my color (Dijon) was on sale. I scooped it up and used it our second night home.

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One of the books I read on our road trip was Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking. I’ll talk more about it on Monday but these steak tacos were good! This flank steak gets a quick marinade before getting thrown on the grill (or in your new grill pan). Toss in some veggies and jazzed up sour cream and dinner is ready. The leftover steak is also really good with eggs for breakfast. (Oh you will also notice the lack of tortillas in the pictures. I didn’t forget, but have to lay off the carbs and sugar (temporarily) for medical reasons. And oh how I miss them both)

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Recipe from Casual Cooking by Sara Foster

Southwestern Steak Tacos with Chopped Charred Summer Vegetables

Serves 2-4

  • 1 1 pound New York Strip steak 1 ½ inches thick
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ears of corns, husks and silks removed
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 bunch scallions, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • Sea salt
  • 4 corn tortillas, warmed
  • ½ cup cilantro-lime sour cream (recipe follows)

Place the steak on a plate and squeeze the lime juice over both sides; sprinkle both sides with the cumin, chili powder, and pepper, and rub the seasonings into the steak. Set the steak aside to rest at room temperature while you grill the vegetables.

Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. (Or prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill.) Put the corn, bell pepper, and scallions in the skillet to grill for about 5 minutes, turning often, until the vegetables are charred in places and the scallions are wilted. Transfer the vegetables to a plate to cool slightly Add the tomatoes to the skillet to char for about 5 minutes, turning often. Remove the tomatoes to the plate with the other vegetables. Roughly chop the pepper, scallions, and tomatoes and return them to the plate. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and mix with the other vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, cover loosely with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Season both sides of the steak with salt and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Move the steak away from the direct fire, close to the grill or cover the steak with foil and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 120 F for medium-rare (for medium cook the steaks a few more minutes, until the thermometer reads 130 F). Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest again for about 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal against the grain.

To assemble the tacos, lay the warmed tortillas on a work surface or platter. Lay the steak slices down the center of the tortillas and spoon the vegetables over the steak, dividing them evenly. Top with mixed greens and a dollop of the cilantro-lime sour cream, fold in half, and serve.

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Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Texas Pete or Tabasco
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

Combine the sour cream, cilantro, cumin, hot sauce, and lime zest and juice in a small bowl and stir to mix. Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve or up to 1 week.

RTK note: While in Wilmington NC, I tried Texas Pete hot sauce for the first time and I love it! 

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{See the hot sauce in the corner? Nick and I also tried oysters for the first time-delicious!}

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