In honor of today’s holiday and our devotion to Mexican cuisine, this will be the first of two Cinco de Mayo posts (lucky you!). On a lovely spring evening a few weeks ago, we got together for a quick weeknight dinner featuring homemade salsa verde and grilled steak tacos, the results of which we are sharing with you in case you need to inject some last-minute festivity into your day.
For meat-eaters and vegetarians, kids and adults, breakfast and dinner, tacos are basically the perfect food. They are easy to dress up with homemade toppings and expensive local meats, but just as delicious with last night’s Costco rotisserie chicken and a can of Herdez salsa found lurking in the back of a kitchen cabinet. Because of this, I like to think of the taco as a metaphor for the two of us: versatile, relaxed, and ready for some unexpected combinations. And, for the most part, pretty easy on the eyes. I mean, look at that flame-grilled tortilla.
With this recipe, salsa verde has become one of my favorite things to make; smoky and tangy with a kick of heat, it’s a perfect addition to Mexican dishes, an appetizer spread, even salad dressing. It’s also surprisingly fun to make. The vegetables must be grilled to an intoxicating charred perfection before being blended noisily into the final product, a process which fills your house with the scent of roasted peppers and garlic. The addition of avocado lends a creaminess – and a degree of mood-lifting fattiness – to the sauce. It was a miracle the salsa was not devoured by enthusiastic “testers” before the steak was even on the grill, but iron self-will ensured that enough was left for dinner. The steak itself was easy – four to five minutes a side on a hot grill before a quick rest on the cutting board (where it, too, fell prey to sneaky nibblers). Since I don’t have a grill at home, I am qualified to advise you that broiling flank steak also yields a nicely browned exterior and juicy middle perfect for taco filling. Whatever route you choose, a generous spoonful of the salsa verde, a little chopped cilantro, and a spritz of lime is all you need to add for a delicious meal.
Stay tuned for more Cinco de Mayo fun!
Grilled Steak Tacos with Salsa Verde (First We Eat)
For the Salsa Verde
- 7-8 Tomatillos, husks peeled and washed
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 3 Jalapenos, chopped lengthwise & seeded
- 1 Yellow Onion, quartered
- 3 Avocados
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Lime, juiced
Set oven to broil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno and onion into a roasting dish and under the broiler until the tomatillos get slightly burnt on the skins, turn everything a few times to get the char on all sides. In your food processor, combine the charred tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and onion with a fresh bunch of cilantro (stems included) and 3 avocados. Blend until your salsa reaches a smooth consistency. Squeeze in the lime juice and salt and pulse a few more times. Spoon onto your steak tacos and serve with chips.
For the Grilled Steak Tacos
- 1 3/4 Pounds Skirt Steak
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
- Corn Tortillas – we bought a packet of 18 small corn tortillas
- extra limes, cilantro, and avocado for serving and anything else you like with your taco
Pre-heat your grill to about 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub your steak with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Once the grill is hot, put steak on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, rotating 4 times total so that your grill marks make a square pattern on your steak. Once your steak is cooked to your liking (we opted for medium rare) take it off the grill and cover with tinfoil. Let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into slices against the grain.
In the meantime, heat corn tortillas on the grill about 2 minutes per side until they get nice grill marks and are hot. Wrap in a kitchen towel and bring inside to start assembling those tacos!