I have a problem over-buying groceries…sometimes. Yes, only sometimes. I’m usually very good at not letting produce go to waste. It usually happens when I step foot inside Costco. I know what you’re thinking – IT’S COSTCO! I wanted to make carne asada for Kevin and well, instead of going to the normal supermarket or butchers to get enough steak for 2, I ended up picking up a pack of meat from Costco to feed a little army 😉 . A smart shopper would use only what’s needed and freeze the rest. But me, I marinated all of the meat and got my thumbs ready to text friends and family to come over for a home cooked meal. Ah sure, I might not always be a smart shopper but you can always count on me to be a generous host!
I’ve eaten Mexican food all my life – both authentic versions and not so authentic versions like taco bell HAHA. But I only recently (in the last 5 years or so) started experimenting with Mexican recipes at home. It’s deliciously fresh and packed with loads of flavor. I wonder what took me so long to give it a go.
Today, I invited my brother and sister-in-law to join us for a lovely make-your-own carne asada taco lunch! I’ve been trying out different carne asada recipes and I find that marinating the meat overnight packs in more flavor than dry rubs or seasonings. A Salvadoran friend told me to marinate the meat with yellow mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and adobo seasoning. No exact measurements just hand gestures indicating un poquito y mucho. 😉 Gracias mi amigo! I’ve also tried marinades with soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and olive oil. For today’s carne asada I made a simple marinade with fresh minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. It was delicious, I’ll probably use the leftover marinated meat to make a steak sandwich for dinner. Mmm a little horseradish and English mustard on crusty baguette! Yum!
Romaine lettuce, cilantro and lime wedges. I like hosting make-your-own taco nights. My all time favorite combination is made simply with meat, cilantro, lime and really spicy hot sauce – so clean and crisp. I could eat those all day!
Pico de gallo. Pico is extremely easy to prepare. Dice tomatoes and onions, finely chop cilantro, squeeze a bit of lime and add a pinch of salt. Best salsa ever! Some people add jalapeno or serrano peppers as well, but it’s just as delicious and refreshing without.
Carne asada. I love grilling meats…or should I say I love asking Kevin to grill meats on our outdoor grill HAHA. 😉 We’ve been on this propane tank for quite a while now and had our fingers crossed that there was enough juice to last today’s lunch. But we pushed our luck! Unfortunately, it gave out on us just as it reached temperature. Had to finish the steaks indoors and now our house smells deliciously meaty!
Radishes, scallions and cabbage. I love getting those ziplock bags with radishes and pickled cabbage when I order papupas or tostadas at the local latin market/taco shop. Thought I’d give it a try. I made a light coleslaw with mayo, sugar, salt and lime juice and thinly sliced some French Breakfast radishes I got at the Farmers market over the weekend. Crisp and crunchy, they were a great addition to our carne asada tacos. I also sliced fresh scallions, but you can serve them grilled whole.
You can’t have guests over for tacos without offering them a selection of hot sauces (well, you can, but I like to be fancy pants HAHA). Tabasco and Cholula are our staple hot sauce brands. But if you go to Whole Foods, Wegmans or Trader Joes, there are loads of other fun and fancy brands for you to try.
These are the tacos I made for myself today.
The first one is carne asada, cabbage slaw, radishes, Mexican crema, Cojita cheese, cilantro and lime. (Tabasco habanero)
The second one is carne asada, pico de gallo, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, Mexican crema, Cotija cheese and lime. (Cholula original)
Tacos are one of my favorite meals to make when hosting large parties. It’s easy to prepare with very little cooking and everyone can make their plate to their liking. Host a Halloween taco night, it’s sure to be a hit! If you have a good carne asada marinade or other toppings you like to put on your tacos, do share in the comments section below.
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