Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Steak Tacos with Charred Tomato Salsa

Recipe updated May 2015

You don’t need to load up your tacos with lots of ingredients—just lots of flavor. Here, that flavor comes from succulent (and simple) grilled steaks and a rich, fresh salsa made with skillet-grilled vegetables.

Keep it simple by preparing everything on the grill. Give the cast-iron skillet time to heat up, then add the tomatoes, scallions, chiles, and pepper. Once charred, remove them, and the grill is ready for the steaks (or for the tortillas, if you’re giving them a little char too).

Tip: It’s good to warm the tortillas because heat makes them very pliable for folding. You can wrap a stack of them in foil and place the packet in a toaster oven at a low temperature for 8-10 minutes, depending on how many are in your stack. Or you can give the tortillas a very quick sear on the grill—very quick, as in 3-4 seconds per side over direct heat to get those nice little char marks.

Makes 8 tacos

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1-2 hot chiles, such as serrano, fatalii, or jalapeƱo, stemmed
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • olive oil, for marinating and grilling
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 8-oz rib-eye steaks, 1-inch thick
  • 8 6-inch flour or white corn tortillas, warmed or lightly grilled
  • guacamole, for serving (optional)
Salsa Ingredients 
Rib-Eye Steaks
  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Place the tomatoes, scallions, chile(s), and bell pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. When the grill is ready, place a cast-iron skillet on it and warm 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet and sear until lightly charred, stirring several times, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Carefully move the skillet to a heatproof surface. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board and let cool. Chop to desired consistency (not too finely—chunky is good). Note: The tomatoes will release considerable juices. Drain off some of it, if desired.
  5. Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl and stir in the garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Re-season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
Ready to Char
Beginning to Char 
Charred Vegetables 
Ready to Chop 
Chopped Vegetables
Charred Tomato Salsa
  1. Rub the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub the grill grate with oil and grill the steaks, turning once or twice, 4-5 minutes per side for medium (or until desired degree of doneness).
  2. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 4 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.
Ready to Grill 
Steaks Beginning to Grill
Grilled Steaks
Sliced Steak
Plate the steak and serve with salsa, tortillas, and guacamole, if desired.

Steak Tacos with Charred Tomato Salsa

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