Thursday, October 2, 2008


I get on "kicks" with food and you'll no doubt discern on your own that this week it's Viva Mexico! Seriously, we both love Mexican food, though we don't eat it out that often because it can be loaded with landmines--fat, salt, margaritas (don't tell Larry this is why I won't go for Mexican more often). I've been trying out recipes for Carne Asada for a few years. One of the big problems I've encountered is that most recipes call for tri-tip (a cut of beef) which is virtually unattainable in this part of the country. In the May issue of Bon Appetit, I found a recipe that called for skirt steak, which is available here, so I tried that. A word of caution: skirt steak can be tough. When I make this again, I will use flank steak, which is what I generally use. The taste was excellent; it was just necessary to slice very, very thinly. You'd better like heat or do as I did and serve the chiles on the side. I cut the recipe in half and it still made dinner one night and leftovers for Larry another. I served the carne asada with yellow rice and some yummy and good-for-you black beans that I jazzed up with sauteed onions and Sazon seasoning. If you haven't used Sazon, you're missing out. I use the one with saffron in my fritattas all the time.

Carne Asada (from Bon Appetit, May 2008)
8 poblano chiles
2 bunches scallions, dark green tops trimmed
2 lbs skirt steak, cut crosswise into 6-inch-wide pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
coarse Kosher salt, pepper (I added cumin, BBQ spice, and chipolte chile powder)
flour tortillas (or corn)
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, sliced
lime wedges
Salsa Mexicana

Prepare barbeque (high heat). Grill chiles and onions until charred all over, about 3 minutes for onions and 5 minutes for chiles. Transfer onions to a plate and tent with foil. Transfer chiles to a large bowl, cover with plastic, and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel and seed; cut into 1 inch wide strips. Transfer to plate; tent with foil.

Rub steak with garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper and additional spices, if desired. Grill until desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to work surface and cooll 5 minutes. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side. Cut steak crosswise into strips; transfer to plate.

Serve steak with tortillas, chiles, scallions, avocado slices, lime wedges, and Salsa Mexicana (recipe follows).
Salsa Mexicana
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbs fresh lime juice
coarse Kosher salt
(I omitted the 2-8 chopped serrano or jalapenos called for in the recipe; too much heat for me)

Combine first 4 ingredients. Season to taste with salt.

Serve your Mexican feast with yellow rice and some kind of beans and very, very, very cold Corona. Ole!


  1. Yum! I love carne asada! Thanks for showing us how to make it! :)

  2. You are welcome. Can you get tri-tip in St. Augustine?

  3. Ooh, Arlene. now your talking my language. I love carne asada. Here in El Paso tri tip is easily found. Your salsa completes the dish so perfectly. Thanks for the great post.


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