Monday, September 5, 2011

Salsa Steak Tacos

Of course everyone knows that one of the great things about summer is all the wonderful produce you can get and all the lovely fresh dishes you can make with that produce.  Last week, Superking and I combined such great fresh veggies with one of our new favorites pastimes...grilling.

We had picked up a couple nice steaks from the Organic Butcher and were trying to decide what to do with them when I remembered I had picked up some ingredients to make fresh salsa.  Bingo! Salsa Steak Tacos!

Though technically I think what I make is more like pico de gallo or salsa fresca because its more chunky fresh veggies rather than a tomatoey sauce used as a dip. Pico de gallo usually consists of tomatoes, onion, and a mixture of chilis or peppers. 

I usually like to use Roma tomatoes or tomatoes-on-the-vine because they have a nice fresh tomato flavor though you can use just about any kind of tomato as long as its fresh and still firm. Slice and dice each tomato into small chunks. Depending on how much you want to make, 3 or 4 small tomatoes makes plenty for  2 people to share over a couple meals. 

Superking and I love red onion. I feel like we use it in almost every recipe.  It adds a little spicy flavor when its diced up fresh which is a nice addition to a salsa, especially if you don't want a lot of heat but you do want a lot of flavor. 

Chilis or can use whatever kind you want.  I personally can't handle a lot of heat so I stick to the Anaheim peppers, sometimes a little green bell pepper, or poblanos.  All these peppers add a good peppery flavor without a lot of heat.  The Anaheim are probably my favorite.  And its the closest thing to a hot pepper that I can actually enjoy (but they're not hot at all).  Sometimes I'll get a few hot ones for Superking to add to his own portion of salsa since he likes the heat...jalapenos and fresnos are good if want a little heat but still want to enjoy the other flavors. If you're just really into the hotness and don't care about flavor but want to burn all your tastebuds off, go for habaneros, scotch bonnets, or (God forbid) the ghost peppers.  Any way you slice it, whatever kind of peppers you use is up to your personal tastes and heat-tolerance.  Use one or two or six.

Once my three main ingredients are chopped and diced, I chop a few big clumps of cilantro. I love cilantro! Its aroma is just intoxicating and invigorating.  Another important ingredient for this recipe is lime juice. I usually get a couple limes, and squeeze a half of one (or sometimes a whole one) into the salsa and save the rest to squeeze over my finished dish just before I take a bite. Then I add a sprinkling of salt and pepper and cumin over the veggies and stir it all up.  Heres where you get to do a taste test to see if its seasoned properly and has the right ratio of tomato to onion to pepper to lime etc. And then take a big whiff...the spices, the herbs, the cumin, the should smell amazing like you just want to dive right in the bowl!

We pulled our steaks off the grill and sliced them thinly before putting the meat onto a soft warm flour tortilla.  We topped the steak with a couple spoonfuls of our freshly made pico de gallo salsa and some finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, maybe another squeeze of lime and a cilantro leaf to make it look pretty. Voila! Simple spicy salsa steak tacos!

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