If you are feeling like some fresh Mexican food, this menu can be put together in less than an hour. This is also a fun menu to make with friends in the kitchen.
1 skirt steak (about 1.5 lbs)
3 medium tomatoes
2 tsp of olive oil
1 bunch cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 of a large, red onion
2 Haas avocados
1 small container of sour cream (about 8 oz)
1 pkg of masa mix (like Maseca brand in ethnic foods section)
1 wheel of Queso Fresco cheese
In a large bowl, combine the juice of two limes, 1 tsp of minced garlic, and 2 TB of finely chopped, fresh cilantro. Take the skirt steak out of the package and salt on both sides. Place in the bowl and coat with the marinade. Cover and let sit for about 20 minutes. (It needs to have the chill of the fridge off before you grill it anyway, otherwise the inside will be raw while the outside will be charred.) Done this way, it comes out uniformly cooked and perfect. The marbled fat on the outside will grill off during cooking and melt into the meat keeping it moist and juicy.
Skirt steak marinating in a glass bowl, smelling fantastic. (Elizabeth Dougherty/Photo)
Chop tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. Place in a medium non-reactive bowl. Chop the onion into the same size pieces and put HALF the chopped onion in with the tomato. Finely chop 1 TB of cilantro and add. Add the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Finely chop one jalapeno and add. Stir with a spoon and test for seasoning. Adjust if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Mix masa according to package directions. Form into small balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. Using a tortilla press (found in Mexican stores) press them forming a circle. (Hint: wrap both surfaces of the press with plastic wrap for easy removal.) Toast them in a frying pan over medium high heat for about 5 seconds on each side. Stack on an oven-safe plate, cover with aluminum foil and keep warm on the lowest setting of the oven.
Fresh salsa/pico is the only way to go. (Elizabeth Dougherty/Photo)
Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pit and scoop out the meat with a spoon. Place in a medium non-reactive bowl. Zest the remaining lime and set the zest aside for the crema. Add juice of 1/2 of the lime. Mash with a fork, allowing some small chunks to remain. Add 1 TB minced cilantro and the remaining chopped onion. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt and the other jalapeno (finely minced). Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Place plastic wrap over the top of the guac mixture touching the surface of the guac and keeping the air out. Place in the fridge until serving time. (It will start to oxidize, so the closer to serving time it’s made, the better.)
Combine 5 oz of sour cream with the remaining lime half. Add a pinch of sea salt and the zest. Stir. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
Heat a cast iron grill (or outside grill to high heat). Place the skirt steak on (sometimes it’s easier to cut a long steak into two pieces first) and grill on each side for about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. You can usually look at the deep ridges of this steak while cooking to see how done it is inside. I grill it medium rare.
Slice the steak on the bias diagonally in thin slices (very important as this way of cutting keeps it tender and not chewy). On each plate, add a warm tortilla, some steak slices, guacamole, salsa, Queso Fresco (crumbled) and a bit of the lime crema. Eat!