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Carne asada tacos simple dish to prepare

8/29/13 | By Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

The kids are back in school, which means that it is now time to get ready for Christmas and next summer.  There's simply so much to do.  I have to clean the garage, finish the many projects around the house, get ready for a season of robotics and make sure that the kids all get their homework done.

A milestone year, this is our last of 13 years with a child or children at Showell Elementary.  It will be odd to not have one of our young ones in that marvelous school.  Our oldest is also graduating this year, another monumental event in our life; and then the adventure of college begins.  Where does the time go?

'Breakfast for dinner', the typical meal for the first day of school is done; it's a meal that always seems to comfort the soul since a couple of the kids come home on the first day and jump into pajamas.  To finish the meal, our traditional ice cream cake with the inscription 179 To Go!  was thawing in the middle of the table while we finished our pancakes and bacon.

The day started out as it does for most families; with zombie-like preteens and teens shuffling through the house dreading what will ultimately be a good day; they just didn't believe it.  I remember what the first day of school was like and I was not a huge fan either, so I certainly don't hold anything against them.

After the kids had gone to school, I remembered that I had to do some paperwork and get myself ready to get back to the college the following day.  Since I'm wavering on how to approach the semester, I at least smiled in knowing that the students returning are a formidable bunch.

Having completed my first year of teaching at the college level, I am much more focused and excited for the upcoming year; a normal transition for an educator in a new position.  So, with a group of motivated pupils I trudge forward knowing that there is much to be done in the department.

And then hunger struck me, growling from the depths of my stomach.  Knowing that the opportunity only comes when the kids are in school I ran up to get tacos at my favorite digs in Selbyville, La Sierra on Main Street.

I am a sucker for carne asada.  When I lived in California a carne asada burrito or taco was heaven-sent.  The aromas that would fill the restaurant would indicate freshness and bright and spicy flavors.  And truth be told, nothing could be easier to prepare.

When my brother (a Californian going on 30 years) asked a Mexican chef how to make a proper carne asada, the chef laughed and replied "good beef, salt, pepper and a hot grill.  A very hot grill."  Now that's a recipe that I can handle.

Of course, as you read through the recipe below, there are a few more ingredients, but if you can't handle this one, just sell your kitchen tools and buy a nicer microwave.  This is a very simple recipe and one that will please anyone who loves Mexican food.

And since summer is coming to a close, it is a great fit for the season in which we can use all of those fresh and beautiful vegetables from the Farmer's Market.  With a little luck, it will give us the motivation we need to make it through another school year and get primed for another great summer at the beach.

Now I just need to convince my kids that Mexican food is good.  Then I would have a reason to go to my favorite taqueria more often.

Carne Asada Tacos

enough for 6 people

1.5 pounds Skirt steak, trimmed

5 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt & Pepper to taste

olive oil, any grade

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 bunch cilantro, picked and chopped*

Corn tortillas, as needed

Salsa Roja

Salsa Verde

Pico de gallo and Guacamole

Shredded cabbage, as needed

Radish as garnish, as needed

Large spring onions or cippollini (see note below)

1.     Combine the trimmed skirt steak, garlic, seasoning, oil, juices, onion and cilantro in a bowl and allow to marinate for at least an hour

2.     The key here is to get your grill or pan smoking hot and to sear the meat, so heat up that pan!

3.     Sear or grill the meat until medium rare and remove from the heat

4.     Serve unassembled with all of the sauces and toppings and let your guests build their own tacos.  This is especially helpful when one guest doesn't like guacamole, another can't stand spicy food, etc.



*When I go to authentic Latin restaurants, I always get cilantro that is well-washed but still has a good part of the stems attached.  There is a great deal of flavor in these, which I enjoy.  Some people find it offensive so know your audience!


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