When we go on our Subway Fare excursions the foodstuffs we see at the markets we visit always tempts us. In order justify buying more during each stop, we will begin working up a recipe or two from what we find that looks great, alternating weekly with the Subway Fare dispatches.
After re-casing the joint, we settled on buying some pork, marinated carne enchilada style, queso cotija, corn tortillas and vegetables to make salsa verde. Since carne asada was also on our mind we grabbed some strip steaks (cut ½ inch thin) on the way home – we know that flank or skirt steak is more appropriate, but our local spot was out of both.
Most everything about tacos is interchangeable, so if you like chicken instead of steak, flour tortillas over corn, or prefer Pico de Gallo or Guacamole to Salsa Verde, just swap.
Since the pork came pre-marinated we just pulled it out of the fridge to come up to room temperature while we prepped the rest of the meal – here is a good recipe if you want to do it from scratch. For the carne asada here is the plan for one pound of meat:
Carne Asada marinade:
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped cilantro – feel free to use stems, and save the leaves for salsa verde
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ orange – sour orange if possible
2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded and sliced thin
Marinade steak whole in a non-reactive bowl for 1 hour at room temperature while you prep the salsa verde. When ready to cook wipe the marinade off completely, dry the steak with paper towels and season with salt.
If possible cook both meats on the grill over a charcoal or wood fire. Failing that, cook them in separate batches using a very hot cast iron pan. Due to the multiple variables at play precise cooking instructions are tough to provide. In general, we suggest that you only cook the meat once on each side, don’t overcook it, and be sure to let it rest a few minutes before slicing after taking it out of the pan. While the meat is marinating prepare the salsa verde, here is the recipe:
7 medium tomatillos – husked & washed, then shocked, blanched and quartered
1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, finely chopped
½ small onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ teaspoon cumin seed, lightly toasted in a dry pan
¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 juicy lime juiced – or more to taste
Salt to taste – approximately ½ tablespoon
1 leaf romaine lettuce
¼ purslane leaves
½ corn tortilla – toasted or stale
Pinch of canela (Mexican cinnamon)
Blend until it’s a coarse paste in a food processor or blender. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or mince all ingredients very finely into a paste.
To serve tacos, crumble the queso for easy access and warm the tortillas. We like to warm them in a cast iron pan set to medium heat, turning them a few times until pliable and very warm. Many places, as well as our pal Colin, like to wrap them in a wet towel and put them in the microwave. Don’t forget a sprinkling of fresh lime juice on top of the meat in each taco.
Crack yourself a Dos Equis and enjoy.