Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grilled Steak Tacos with Pineapple-Mango Salsa and Mexican Street Corn

One of many taco stands that line the streets of Mexico City.
¡Hola, vamanos! I left Philly on a 12 p.m. “flight,” and I arrived in Mexico City at 6 p.m., just in time for dinner. In the United States, dinner is usually the big meal of the day, but in Mexico, the main formal meal is lunch. So, tonight, I decided to hit the road for some traditional Mexican street food instead.

For my take on antijitos, or little cravings, I just had to try the tacos—after all, they are the most popular street dish. Grilled meat (carne asada) tacos usually make an appearance in the evening and night, so I chose to make grilled flank steak tacos for my Mexican feast.

The spicy chipotle marinade needed a sweet element for balance, so I paired it with a well-known topping—salsa. But this salsa was no ordinary salsa: pineapple and mango took it to the next level. To spice things up even more, I put my own spin on some Mexican street corn, a traditional side that is a favorite in Mexico City. After I cut the kernels off, I mixed them with bold flavors that mirror those in the tacos to make a dish called esquites

Street vendors truly make Mexico a unique culinary hotspot, so I hope you enjoy my trip to the taqueria as much as I did. Enjoy the meal, and I’ll see you in France for dessert next week!

Carne asada tacos:

8 medium flour or corn tortillas
1-1.5 lb flank steak
For the marinade:
            ½ a 7oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
            2 tbsp canola oil
            1 tbsp lime juice
            1 tbsp cilantro
            ¼ of a jalapeño
            2 tbsp brown sugar
            1 tsp cumin
            ½ tsp salt
            Dash of pepper
For the salsa:
            ¼ of a pineapple
            1 mango
            ¼ of a jalapeño
            ¼ of a red onion
            1 tbsp cilantro
            1 tbsp of lime juice
            Pinch of cumin
            Dash of salt

Mexican street corn:

5 ears of corn
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 tbsp cilantro
¼ of a jalapeño
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp of parmesan cheese
Cilantro, for garnish

1. First, chop the chipotle peppers roughly, and mix them in a bowl with the oil, lime juice, chopped cilantro, minced jalapeño, brown sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper to make the marinade. Then, put the steak into a plastic bag and pour the marinade on top. Seal tightly and set aside for 1-2 hours.

2. Next, start grilling the corn. Spray them with cooking spray and place on an outside grill or a hot grill pan. Turn them slightly every 5 minutes for 20 minutes to get good grill marks all over.

3. While the corn is cooking, mix the softened butter with the chopped cilantro, minced jalapeño, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

4. After the corn comes off the grill, let it cool. Cut the kernels off of the cob and place them in a large serving bowl. Mix the kernels with the spicy butter. Garnish with lime juice, parmesan cheese, and more cilantro.

5. Next, place the marinated steak on the grill or the grill pan and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Let it rest 5 minutes before cutting.

6. While the steak is on the grill, peel and dice the pineapple, mango, and red onion. Combine with the chopped cilantro, minced jalapeño, lime juice, cumin, and salt, and set aside.

7. Warm the tortillas by throwing them on the grill, in a skillet, or in the microwave. Then, cut the meat against the grain and assemble the tacos. Put a few pieces of meat in each tortilla along with a scoop of salsa. Enjoy one (or two…or three) with a side of Mexican street corn!

The best plate of food I've ever eaten. Delicioso!

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