Carne Asada Vampiro-Style Tacos
Susan Feniger joins Cameron in the kitchen on Taco Tuesday.

Ingredients for the Carnes Asada Marinade

  • ⅓ cup cumin seeds
  • 6 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, cut in half, and seeded if desired
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 bunches cilantro
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat

For Serving

  • Arbol Salsa (see recipe below)
  • 16 4-inch corn tortillas
  • Border Guacamole (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups grated Mexican manchego cheese
  • 2 cups grated panela cheese
  • 2 cups grated cotija cheese
  • 4 ears of corn, grilled and cut off the cob
  • Pickled Onions (see recipe below)
  • Habaneros, optional

Ingredients for the Roasted Arbol Salsa

  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 15 to 20 dried arbol chiles, stemmed
  • ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the Border Guacamole

  • 5 ripe California avocados, preferably Hass
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Pickled Onions

  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and sliced
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Carne Asada Vampiro-Style Tacos - Home & Family

Makes 16 tacos

1. Lightly toast cumin seeds in a dry medium skillet over low heat just until aroma is released, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer seeds to a blender.

3. Add jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice and puree until cumin seeds are finely ground.

4. Add cilantro and olive oil and puree until smooth.

5. Cut steak into 6 pieces. Using hands, generously cover meat all over with marinade and roll each piece up into a cylinder.

6. Arrange rolled steaks in a shallow pan and pour on remaining marinade.

7. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

8. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove meat from refrigerator. Unroll steaks and place on a platter.

9. Heat the grill or broiler to very hot.

10. Cook steaks just until seared on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. (Or pan fry in a hot cast-iron skillet lightly coated with oil.)

11. Transfer cooked steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slice across the grain into diagonal strips and then dice. (Tough, yet flavorful steaks like this should always be cut across the grain so that no one bite will contain too much muscle.)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet and broil turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 10 to12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, toast chiles shaking constantly over moderate heat.

3. Combine tomatoes, tomatillos, and chiles with cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

1. Cut the avocados into quarters. Remove the seeds, peel, and place in a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Serve immediately.

2. Build the Tacos.

3. In a bowl, mix together cheeses.

4. Place a handful of cheese on the comal. Add tablespoon of grilled corn and pinch of cayenne pepper on top as the cheese melts and then add the corn tortilla on top.

5. Once the cheese is golden brown lip the tortilla, place the cut up carne asada, and top with Arbol Salsa, and Border Guacamole. Serve immediately.

These pungent purple onion rings are the natural accompaniment to achiote-seasoned foods from the Yucatán. They’re also a good condiment for turkey, barbecued beef, or pork torta.

1. Place the onion rings in a bowl and pour on enough boiling water to cover them.

2. Let sit for 2 minutes.

3. Drain, add the salt, oregano, chile, orange juice, and lime juice, and store in the refrigerator for 4 hours or as long as 2 days.

Copyright © 2019, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

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