Tacos. More specifically, street tacos. I guess they call them that because they are the
size tacos you often see being passed through the window of you local taqueria on wheels. I'm a sucker for just about any food truck, but show me one peddling tacos and I will intentionally cut you off while I hammer the throttle as I dart through a still-slightly-yellow traffic light to catch them before closing. I actually don't think I'm joking about that...
Anyway, this post isn't about taco trucks, or causing accidents to get tacos from a truck. It's about you making awesome tacos, at home. I'm not talking about a packet of red-brown powder sprinkled over ground beef. I mean real, scratch made tacos that, if you share, will likely have your guests grinning from ear to ear with bits of cilantro stuck in their teeth!
Beef Street Tacos with Green Marinade
What you need:
1 pound of steak or chicken
For beef, chose flank, flat iron or skirt steak, for yard bird, chose boneless, skinless thighs
Salt and pepper
Toppings may include: cilantro, diced onion, fresh lime wedges, salsa, hot sauce, avocado, tomato and cheese.
Roughly chop the onion and seed the jalapeño. Place into a mixing bowl with the juice of a lime, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil three cloves of garlic (unpeeled is fine) a handful of cilantro with salt a pepper to taste. I like an immersion blender to prep marinades, but a food processor or blender works as well. Bonus here is that you don't have to get fancy with your chopping. Make it fit and pulverize it! This marinade can be applied overnight, but you'll still benefit just from a quick 20 minute bath while your grill heats up. Place it in a sealed bag, up to overnight, just remember to take it out and give it time to come to room temperature prior to grilling.
Prepare your grill for direct heat. The steaks listed above are thin, and will cook fast. Plan to turn them once and remove it from the grill when your instant read thermometer reaches 125 degrees. For chicken, cook to 165 degrees. Place it on a plate and loosely tent it with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing.
This is the perfect time to grill your tortillas. If you're using corn tortillas (and I hope you are), you'll definitely want to grill them. This makes them less brittle and creates another layer of taste and texture you won't believe. Wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm. Feel free to skip this step if using flour tortillas, better yet, skip using flour tortillas.
To assemble, place the sliced steak or chicken in a tortilla and top with your desired extras. I like it simple with minced onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and dash of hot sauce. Place all of your toppings on a large platter and let your guests build their perfect taco.
I can't think of a quick, weeknight, flavor packed meal that makes me smile more than these tacos. I hope you'll try them and if you do, let me know how it goes.
PS. Forgive me if I ever cut you off while I head for the nearest taco truck! Ole!
Ryan is a foodie by hobby, and by profession he is a physician assistant in the Milwaukee area. He had early inspiration and instruction to cook from his mother. While Ryan was serving in the United States Army, he found himself preparing meals for his fellow soldiers while living off base. Ryan is husband, father and passionate follow of Christ. His roots in cooking have always been found in grilling, and he recently started using a Big Green Egg. Follow Ryan on Instagram @biggreenern.