Monday, October 7

Weekday Supper Post and recipe--char-grilled steak tacos are simple, yet fresh and delicious

Bridget waited patiently for leftover steak
Straight-off-the-grill steak tacos
Weekday Supper post & recipe 

With the fall season upon us, I like to use the bounties of the season to create my dinners.  Please look for recipes this season; such as butternut squash soup, slow-cooking stews and roasts.  Today, with a busy weekend of activities we longed to grill (we are still pining away a little bit for summer).  Upon arrival at our cottage we unpacked the car, set the table and fired up the grill.  The weather is still gorgeous, and we are in the in-between time when the sun is still shining yet the evening start to bring a chill with the moon looming large.  I love Fall, and especially just before it starts to get cold and blustery.  It is true we must say goodbye for now to our summer vegetables and fruits like corn, fresh ripe tomato and strawberries (unless you are willing to pay big bucks for hot house and far-reaching versions flown in from exotic places) but hello to brussel sprouts, asparagus, potatoes, apples, pumpkins, squash, figs and all the root vegetables.  Soon enough, and maybe next weekend we will be at our favorite pumpkin and apple farm in eastern long island picking gorgeous fall foods.  This weekend was special and let me share with you my favorite all-season dish...

make your own taco ingredients:
1 large can of black beans,
1 onion, caramelized
tomato and onion salsa
one whole cut up lime
flour tortillas charred on the stove top (see below)
two shell steaks (2 inch thick shell steak)
Tamara's guacamole (recipe below)

I like to use a very good, flavorful cut of meat and a shell steak is best.  It may be pricey but we only need two steaks to serve up to six people.  Sear it dark outside but keep it red inside.  My husband uses this rule:  cook for four minutes on each side on a high flame, and it is usually finished to a perfect medium rare.   Let it sit and rest for five minutes then slice it thin (as thin as you get get it).  I create lots of side dishes and add to a large platter for make-yourself taco platter:  My suggestions--I use a special tomatillo sauce (green sauce) in a bottle that I call our "taco secret sauce" and it is perfect.  I buy it from La Fondita in Amagansett, Long Island, but specialty food shops have their own varieties.  Serve tacos with fresh cut lime and make sure to squeeze lots of it.  No heavy cheese, cheese or sour cream.  If you are totally swamped opt out of the homemade tomato salsa and pick up a good quality jarred salsa at your local specialty market -- but make the guacamole fresh -- it makes the dish!   

If you don't have time to make them fresh, buy flour tortillas in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, and just before serving layer them on top of your gas range top (no pan and put them right on the griddle).  Flip them every couple of sections so they brown and toast.   They take on the grilled flavor and with the caramelized onions, the steaks and the sweetness of the salsa and guacamole then coupled with the lime, the flavor is fantastic.  I like to pair this with either a tangy orange/lime margarita or a rich, hearty red wine.  
1.  caramelize the onion, two garlic cloves (sliced) and two slices jalapeno in a pan over medium heat till onions are dark brown - set in a bowl
2. heat up a can of black beans with two slices of jalapeno and two TBS cilantro

3. cut up a handful of cilantro -- add to the platter
4. make a tomato and onion salsa - add to platter
5.  Fire up a grill till hot and sear your steak four minutes per side until medium rare inside.  After the steak rests for five minutes slice it thin and add to the platter.  
6. Make your guacamole (see below) 
7. toast your tortillas just before serving
Add all your ingredients to small bowls and set on one large platter and serve to your guests so they can make their own individualized tacos.  I like to serve it with yellow rice and tortilla chips.  For cocktails--fresh margaritas!
Guacemole ingredients:
3 large avocado
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic smashed
1 whole lime 
1 seeded jalapeno chopped (seeds removed)
1 handful of cilantro chopped
notes on guacamole:
every great cook I know has strong feelings about making guacamole:  each one describes their favorite type of avocado, but many agree to use the juice of fresh squeezed limes (not lemons), fresh cut cilantro, maybe only a little bit of tomato, never puree the avocado but mash it coarsely and never ever put any dairy products (such as sour cream) in the recipe.  Basically, cut the avocado and score the halves into chunks then transfer out of the shell with a large spoon and add to the bowl, chopped onion, mashed garlic, 1 seeded jalapeno and a handful of chopped cilantro.  Squeeze one fresh lime.  That is it!

Make the guacamole only a few minutes before serving so it is very fresh!
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara