Monday, June 14, 2010

Steak Tacos with Mexican not-Rice

What a busy month it has been! I've been absent from the cooking scene thanks to a variety of reasons (end of the school year, family vacation, work-work-work). This week I will be doing plenty of cooking, though, since I am on a daywalker's schedule for a change. It'll be interesting to see how the other half lives....

Tonight we had steak tacos. This is a simple enough meal with a ton of flavor. Because I'm a fan of irony and new ventures in cuisine, I stole my friend Amber's recipe for a vegan, raw, substitute for the traditional Mexican rice (which of course I added my own touches to). She illustrates beautifully on her page the preparation of this squash-based side dish. Meanwhile, I was lucky to get a photo of my own finished product. Seriously, you try fighting off two hungry spawn who could easily toss you over the balcony if you stood between them and dinner....

Not that I blame them. I mean, us girls gotta eat!

Steak Tacos

1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c dark Mexican beer (I used Negro Modelo)
1/4 c tamari
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp each fresh cracked pepper and salt
2 tbs oil (chili oil for a little heat)
1.5 pounds flat iron steaks
8 tortillas

In a resealable plastic bag, combine all ingredients except tortillas. Marinate steaks at room temperature for at least an hour (if marinating longer than 2 hours, refrigerate).

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Add steaks and grill to desired doneness (3 min each side for med-rare). Remove from pan and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Warm the tortillas according to your favorite method (I like to warm them one at a time in a skillet over medium heat, about a minute each side). Slice the steak into thin strips and divide among warmed tortillas. Add your favorite taco fillings and serve.

[In the photo we have sour cream, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, and a little shredded cheese in addition to the steak.]

Squashed Mexican "Rice"

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 2 cups)
1/2 c tomatoes, diced
1 tbs green chilis, diced
1/4 c red onion, diced
1/8 c chopped cilantro
1/8 c arugula, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch garlic powder
juice of 1/2 lime

Place the squash cubes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into small, rice-sized pieces.
Transfer to mixing bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix well and serve.

[I used half cilantro and half arugula instead of all cilantro, because my oldest offspring is not a big fan of cilantro. Were she not a factor, I'd have used all cilantro as Amber does in her recipe; the arugula did add a nice peppery touch, however!]


  1. Yay! So happy to hear it was a success. I bet the arugula-cilantro mix was tasty indeed, and the green chiles are a nice touch too.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I was pondering how the "rice" would taste with sweet potato instead (but then, I have been on a sweet potato kick lately). Or maybe made with Asian flavors for a fried "rice" feel?

  3. I've actually put shredded raw sweet potato atop a pizza before, and really liked it, so I'd say it's worth a try. Or maybe a 50/50 mix of squash and SP to start?
    Raw Asian UNfried "rice" (oh my god, this is getting ridiculous, haha!) is a great idea. I'd use jicama or cauliflower as the "rice" in that, to start with a nice white palette onto which soy sauce and sesame oil could be generously splashed to lend a nice toasty-brown color.