Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tyler... Mm...

tyler florence. ah... what can i say that i haven't already said? love the man, love the way he cooks, love his cookbooks... i'm a fan. i admit it. this evening, we decided to make something easy, yummy and reminiscent of grab and go mexican food at home... los angeles... whatever. i have two tyler florence books and i use them both regularly. this particular recipe is one i've never dried before although it's a dish i get with frequency at one of my favorite places called El Tarasco. this one is from EAT THIS BOOK by Tyler Florence (named this because he wanted to have this be a book you use so frequently and with such passion, it would be oil stained, pages falling apart and the book itself all around weathered with vast use). the recipe is MEXICAN STREET TACOS and when my sons heard what we were having for dinner last night, they couldn't wait. they're both mexican food afficianados. ah, yes.

2 ponds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
Mojo (recipe follows)
olive oil, for coating the grill
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (7-inch) corn totillas
shredded romaine or iceberg lettice
chopped onion
crumbled queso fresco or grated monterey jack cheese
1 recipe pico de gallo
2 limes, cut into wedges

mojo ingredients:
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 large handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 2 limes
juice of 2 oranges
2 tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

what to do for mojo: cuz you're gonna need the mojo first
with a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, salt and pepper to make a paste. put it in a glass jar. add the lime and orange juices, the vinegar and the oil, shake it up to combine.

what to do for everything:
1. lay the flank steak in a large baking dish and pour the mojo over it. wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour for up to 8 hours, so the flavors can sink into the meat. (don't marinate the steak for more than 8 hours or the fibers will break down too much and the meat will get mushy.)
2. preheat an outdoor grill or a ridged grill pan over a medium-high flame (can also use a broiler). take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. blot a small amount of oil on the towels, then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates to make a nonstick grilling surface. pul the steak out of the mojo and season both sides with salt and pepper. grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. remove to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. slice thin on an angle, across the grain.
3. while the steak is resting, warm the tortillas for 30 sconds on each side in a dry skillet or on the grill, until toasty and pliable. to serve, put two of the warm tortillas on your work surface. lay about an eighth of the beef down on the center of each, sprinkle with the condiments and garnish with the lime wedges. repeat to make 6 more tacos.

here's what we did:
once more, we did not have the jalapenos, so we used red pepper flakes. i've got to buy some jalapenos next market trip. we cook way too much of this stuff for it not to be here. okay, and, yes, i had a flank steak and oranges limes, garlic, cilantro, and so forth. so it was the jalapenos that we didn't have, otherwise we were fine. we let the steak marinate for just over an hour then grilled it on -- yep -- my george foreman grill. tyler florence, a george foreman grill -- who could ask for anything more?

so we had this, some grapes and sat back in heaven. this was a terrific meal, simple, flavorful and good. we felt, for just a moment, that we were walking down Olvera Street in Los Angeles, listening to the music and just hanging.

sometimes it's just nice to disappear for a minute.
with good food and family.
that'll work.

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