Friday, June 08, 2007

Carne Asada Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa and Guajillo Hot Sauce

I love street tacos. The truck-turned-taco-stand that drives up onto the beach, the greasy little street carts or outdoor huts or really anywhere in Mexico (and beyond) selling these.

Usually priced at $1 each, I think they taste even better eaten standing up and with a cold Tecate.

My favorite place to go in Mexico for it's proximity and price is Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) and I eat lots of these when I'm down there.

I'll focus on the recipe, but let me take a little detour here to introduce my darling friend Melanie and her travel blog Leave Your Watch. Take a peek - she goes into much more detail about Rocky Point and beyond. Feliz Viaje!

Back to the tacos. I used flour tortillas here because at the grocery store today they were making them fresh and I couldn't resist. Typically I would go traditional and use corn. Double wrapping the tortillas can help prevent breakage.

I can't get enough of the creamy avocado salsa that is typically served with the tacos, so I improvised a recipe. I also made my own hot sauce with dried guajillo chilis and it's very hot, but delicious.

Here are links to some other recipes for carne asada.
A narrative recipe for a Carne Asada feast from Immaeatchu
The Guilty Carnivore's recipe for creating an at-home taqueria
Elise's beautiful carne asada recipe from Simply Recipes

Carne Asada Street Tacos:
(makes about 12 tacos, depending on size of tortillas and how much you fill them)

1 lb eye of round or top round beef
2 dozen small corn tortillas (or flour, although corn is traditional)
Chopped onion
Chopped cilantro
Chili powder
Salt & Pepper

Chop beef into small strips or cubes. Toss with juice of 3-4 limes and other seasonings and let sit (can do way ahead for best flavor).

Using a grill pan (or a griddle or saute pan if you don't have one), grill meat over high heat just until done. Meanwhile, lay tortillas over grill to heat through. Serve tacos by placing the beef on the tortilla, topping with cilantro and onion and salsas to taste. Squeeze a lime over the taco just before eating.

Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa:

3 tomatillos, grilled or roasted whole
2 whole serrano chili peppers
2 avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic
2 tbs chopped onion
2 tbs chopped cilantro

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Makes about 2 cups.

Guajillo Hot Sauce:

5-6 whole dried guajillo chilis (seeds dumped if you are worried about heat)
1 c hot water
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 c vinegar
2 tbs chopped onion

Blend all ingredients until liquified. Serve. Warning - this is HOT sauce. Makes about 1.5 cups.


Troy said...

Looks like a winner, Kirsten, thanks! Do you think it goes with Modelo, too? 'Cuz I'm drinking one right now at work...

BTW, was the book idea THAT bad? ;)

Christine said...

These look so good and remind me of our trips to Mexico as well. We usually go to San Carlos, its further, but we can dive there. Our first stop is always for some fish tacos. I think my boyfriend would love your hot sauce. I'll have to make some the next time I make tacos - or anything that requires a bit of heat! :)

Deborah Dowd said...

These look incredible and a great way to eat on a hot summer day! I'll have mine with a glass of sangria!

Terry B said...

Perfect timing, Kirsten. We've recently moved into a predominantly Latino neighborhood, and I'm looking for ways to use the cuts of meats, plentiful peppers and tomatillos in the markets here. This recipe sounds great--and I'll have to click through to the others as well.

Peabody said...

If I could eat it I would...allergic to too much of it...but my hubby would be all over it.

Kristen said...

Seriously... I so want to come and live with you. It might be worth it to leave the kids behind and just start a new life, eating your food. You cook the most delicious things!

Anonymous said...

I'm making that avocado salsa today with the two nice ripe avocados I have.

Oh, and a side note...I found the Smoking Loon Viognier at a Super Target in Gilbert. I can't wait to try it!


Kirsten said...

Hey Troy! I am sure Modelo is perfect too. :)

noo...the book ideas was NOT bad, but I have been very, very rude and haven't written back. It is an unusual idea, but I like it. I promise I'll write back ASAP!

Christine - I have been wanting to make it down to San Carlos - I need to do that this year. Yes! Make your boyfriend the hot sauce, it's awesome (and HOT).

Thanks Deborah! Sangria would be perfect too.

Hi Terry - that is what I love about Phoenix - such easy access to ingredients for Mexican and Latin American cooking.

Darn Peabody. :( Sorry!!

Kristen - you are always welcome...even if just for a quick break from the kids - poolside cocktails and food like this would await. :)

Maureen, I do hope your avocado salsa is great, and that is SO exciting you found the Smoking Loon Viognier - let me know if you like it.

Melanie said...

K -

Thank you for mentioning my humble little blog! I'm still pretty new to the blogging world but I hope that some of your readers are travel lovers too - it blends so well with food/wine!

By the way, your "street tacos" look fantastic! I'm sure they rival our favorites in Mexico. :)


Steve said...

Hi Kirsten, the Avocado-Tomatillo recipe was great! Made it for our carne asada BBQ yesterday.

TheRanch said...

I stumbled upon your recipe and it looks nice and a good way. You say that the guajillo chilis are HOT? You must have a secret source because those peppers are usually not a hot pepper, any that I've gotten are never hot. I wouldn't mind finding some in NJ.