April 29, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
So, I figure it's good to take a break from crazy land and figure out how to make those roadside "authentic California tacos" that are popping up everywhere in my town. I scanned my favorite forums for a good recipe and came up with this:

Salsa Ranchera
(Makes ~1 Cup)

1/4 lb. white onions, peeled
1/4 lb ripe tomatoes, unpeeled but halved
3 sprigs cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt

-Chop the onions and tomatoes into regular cubes, about 1/4 inch on each side.
-Pull out the big stems and chop the cilantro finely.
-Combine onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and salt in a bowl and toss to combine.

Salsa Roja
(Makes ~1/4 Cup)

1/8 cup dried arbol chiles
1/2 small tomato, trimmed and halved
1/8 tsp salt

-Snap the stems off the chiles and toast them in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until dark but not black. Discard all the seeds that fall out while you toast them but don't otherwise seed the chiles.
-Place the tomato halves in a small saucepan and add water just to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until you get an orange foam.
-Put the toasted chiles in a blender, add tomato cooking water just to cover, add the tomato halves and the salt, and puree until the only solids remaining in the sauce are the chili seeds.

Carne Asada
(Makes ~8 tacos)

1 2lb flank steaks
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
2 cloves garlic

-Place flank steak flat on cutting board with one hand flat on the top surface of the steak.
-Using a long, thin-bladed knife, slice the flanksteak into 2 thin sheets of meat (between your hand and the cutting board).
-Prepare the marinade by combining the orange juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and olive oil and whisking with a fork. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add to marinade.
-20-30 mins. before grilling immerse all the two pieces of meat in the marinade.
-Brush off any garlic stuck to the meat and grill over a very hot fire (add some wet wood chips if possible for smoke flavor).
-Grill each piece until the outside is crisp and even charred in places but still medium rare and juicy inside. As each piece finishes put it in a covered pot kept in a warm place.
-With a thin, sharp cleaver or heavy knife, chop the meat into small chunks with a maximum dimension of 1/4 inch.
-Save any juice that collected in the pot to spoon over the meat as you scoop it into the tortillas.

To Assemble:
-Warm your (preferably fresh) tortilla on a griddle.
-Hold the tortilla in the palm of your hand.
-Add a heaping 1/4 cup of chopped grilled beef and some beef juices.
-Add 1 Tbs. salsa ranchera, 1 tsp. salsa roja.
-Sprinkle on a bit of salt and squeeze a wedge of lime over the top.
-Add shredded cabbage.

Mmmm boy. I know what I'm eating tomorrow.
np category: cooking


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