Monday, August 30, 2010

I've returned!

Finally, things are starting to fall in place and I can get back to doing things I enjoy.

Because of scheduling issues, we didn't have our usual Thursday night dinner with Megan and Caleb last week, or this week until yesterday afternoon. Instead of dinner, we had Saturday lunch and swam in the pool. It was a great time.

I made steak tacos with sweet and spicy pickled onions and it was so very, very good.

Steak Tacos with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Onions
as seen in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2010

Pickled Onions
1 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 jalepeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin rings
1/4 tsp salt

Herb Paste
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
3 scallions, roughly chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 jalepeno chile, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped (leave ribs and seeds for more heat)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb) flank steak, trimed and cut lengthwise (with the grain) into 4 equal pieces
1 Tbsp kosher salt or 1 1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. For the pickled onions: Put onions in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, put red wine vinegar, sugar, jalepeno, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions, cover loosely, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.Once cooled, discard the liquid.
2. For the herb paste: Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine until it resembles pesto. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the paste to a medium bowl; whisk in the lime juice and set aside.
3. For the steak: With a dinner fork, poke each piece of the steak 10 to 12 times on each side. Place in a dish. Rub all sides of the steak pieces evenly with the salt and then coat with the remaining herb paste. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to an hour.
Scrape herb paste off of the steak. Sprinkle all sides evenly with the sugar and pepper. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the steak in the skillet about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Use tongs to stand the meat on its side and cook every side, turning as necessary. (Alternatively, as we did, grill the steak for about 4 minutes per side.) Transfer steak to a cutting board and let side 5 minutes. Slice the steak 1/4 inch thick across the grain.

To assemble: Put some of the set aside herb paste on the tortilla and spread it around. Then pile steak and pickled onions. Enjoy.

Looking back, we skipped a few steps on accident. But it still tasted really good. I think this is one of those recipes that you can screw up pretty well and it will still turn out tasty.

Sorry about the lack of pictures, I'm still not sure where I put everything during the move, and that includes my camera. But at least I posted something :)

Next time I'll post the recipe for the side dish we had with this. Yummy.

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