I am a sucker for tacos. I love them, in all kinds of varieties. I love the traditional beef or chicken tacos I get from our local taqueria. I love the fancy tacos from the gourmet food trucks that pop up all over the Bay Area. Crispy tacos, soft tacos, corn tortilla, flour tortilla, vegetarian tacos, meat tacos, fish tacos, it doesn't matter, there is just something about food wrapped up in a handy shell that appeals to me. This weekend we were on a taco spree. Fish tacos for dinner Friday night and on Saturday we had lunch at the Oxbow Market in Napa- home of C-Casa Taqueria and their ridiculously delicious tacos. Pancho had a steak taco with caramelized onions & blue cheese crumbles. I had a Duck taco with Serrano Chilies. They were both amazing. One would think come Sunday we would be taco'd out, but no, tacos were exactly what we were craving.
With apologies to anyone who is in a cold climate right now, the weather here in the Bay Area has been fantastic (It's been in the mid to upper 60's for days, and sunny, really really sunny), which has made me want to pull the cover off the grill & fire it up. Pancho and I rarely eat red meat, so steak tacos are a treat- perfect for Sunday dinner. I had some tomatoes from the farmers market and a ton of onions, so ended up making these delicious steak tacos with onion-tomato jam.
I didn't get a chance to post the recipe Sunday night, but since it's Taco Tuesday, this recipe seems apropos!
Steak Tacos with Onion-Tomato Jam
For the Chipotle sauce
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp cilantro
pinch of salt
For the Jam
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup small grape tomatoes (or any kind of small sweet tomato)
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
For the Steak
8 to 10 oz lean steak, (flank steak or tri-tip work great)
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
For the Tacos
Soft Flour Tortillas
1 avocado, diced
- Season the Steak. Season both sides of the steak with some garlic powder, salt & pepper. Brush with a little olive oil and set aside.
- Create the Onion Jam. I use the term Jam loosely here, it's not really a jam, but because the onions & tomatoes cook down so much, they end up with a jam-like texture. Heat up some olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook over medium heat for at least 20 minutes or so, until the onions are very soft and starting to turn a deep golden color. Add in the whole grape tomatoes, season with some salt, and continue to cook over medium heat for another 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes will eventually burst open releasing their juices. When this happens, mash down the tomatoes and stir well with the caramelized onions and remove the heat
- Create the Chipotle Sauce. While the onions are cooking make the chipotle cream sauce. In a small dish combine the Greek yogurt, the lime zest, the cilantro, the juice from 1/2 a large lime, the cumin, the chipotle powder & some salt. Mix well. Feel free to add as much chipotle powder as you like. Pancho doesn't like things too spicy so I only add about a 1 tsp.
- Grill the steak. Get the grill super hot (about 400 F) and then grill the steak until it is medium rare, flipping once while grilling. How long you grill it depends on how thick the steak is and how well you like it done. We like ours fairly rare, and I had a 1 1/2" piece of meat, so I cooked it about 4 minutes a side. Once the steak is grilled to your liking, remove it from the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. If the weather is not right for grilling you can cook the steak just as well using a cast-iron grill pan on your stove top. Once the steak has rested for a few minutes. Slice it into thin strips.
- Assemble the Tacos. Heat up the tortillas ( I like to throw mine on the grill for a minute after I remove the steak). Spread some of the onion-tomato mixture down the middle of the warmed tortilla. Add a layer of the sliced steak, top with the chipotle cream sauce and then crumble some cotija cheese over the top. Finally, add a couple pieces of diced avocado and a squirt of fresh lime juice. If you want to add some green to the tacos, a layer of arugula works well on top of the steak.
- Serve! I served my tacos with some simmered black beans on the side (recipe below).
Simmered Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 small jalapeño, diced (optional)
Salt & Pepper
- Sauté the onions & garlic. In a small pot sauté the onions in a little olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so. Add in the cumin powder, some salt & some pepper & stir well. If you are adding jalapeno, toss it in now.
- Add in the Beans & Tomatoes. Add the drained beans and the can of the fire-roasted tomatoes (juice & all). Stir everything together well.
- Cover & Simmer. Cover the pot & simmer over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid & let simmer with the lid off for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve! These make a great side dish for the tacos above, and are also good over rice as a main dish. When I make them as a main dish I like to add 1 green bell pepper, diced, as well. I just add the diced peppers in when I add the garlic.
No wine with these babies!. Taco's must be eaten alongside cold Mexican Beer. Negra Modelo or Dos Equis Ambar are always a good choice.