Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Corn Salsa
I love August, when the days are long and markets are bursting with fresh produce. As a kid, I looked forward to late summer when we could eat from my grandparents' garden: candy-sweet corn on the cob, steaming hot and dripping with butter, served with steamed squash, green beans, and a plate of ruby red sliced tomatoes. With vegetables this fresh, you don't even miss the meat.
Corn on the cob still holds a special place in my heart, and when I saw the 2-for-$1 special at Whole Foods the other day, I was inspired to make a grilled corn salsa to go with a smoky cumin-rubbed skirt steak. Skirt steak—the long, thin strip of meat that runs underneath a cow's belly—is one of the most flavorful cuts (in my opinion) and one of the best values. It's only $12.99 a pound and–after sitting in a marinade for half an hour—cooks in 8 minutes flat. This dish would be great on its own (perhaps on a bed of arugula), and even better wrapped in a warm tortilla with sliced avocados. I made this for my husband the other night and he declared it “the greatest thing I've ever made.” I'm not sure I fully agree, but I certainly appreciated the compliment! Try it out and let me know what you think...
GRILLED SKIRT STEAK TACOSServes 2
4 medium whole wheat (or white) tortillas
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Grilled Skirt Steak with Cumin Lime Rub (recipe below)
Grilled Corn Salsa (recipe below)
Heat the tortillas in a nonstick skillet over medium heat—about 1 minute per side. Arrange several avocado slices in the center of each tortilla and top with grilled skirt steak and corn salsa. Fold in half and serve warm or room temperature.
The finished product—the perfect summertime meal with a pitcher of margaritas!
GRILLED SKIRT STEAK WITH CUMIN LIME RUB1 pound skirt steak, cut 4 pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the skirt steak in a shallow (non-metal) baking dish. Sprinkle the meat with cumin and garlic, and drizzle with lime juice and two tablespoons of olive oil. Using your hands, rub the seasoning into the meat until evenly coating. Let sit for half an hour at room temperature (or up to two hours in the refrigerator).
Rub the remaining tablespoon of oil onto a grill pan and place over high heat until beginning to smoke. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks for four minutes per side for medium rare. (I wouldn't recommend cooking skirt steak much longer or it will get tough.) The steaks should be rosy on the inside with a nice dark crust on the outside.
Let the steak sit for 5 to 10 minutes (preferably on a plate to catch the juices) then transfer to a cutting board. Cut the meat against the grain in thin slices and serve on a platter drizzled with the extra juices.
GRILLED CORN SALSA2 ears corn (in the husk)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half horizontally
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Remove the corn from the husks and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Grill the corn for 10 to 12 minutes or until the corn becomes tender and brown grill marks appear. (Alternately, you can grill the corn for 4 to 5 minutes and finish roasting the corn in a 400-degree oven.) Let cool.
Slice the corn kernels from the cob into a bowl. Add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. And—as I'm never a believer in following recipes to the "T"—feel free to add extra of any ingredient based on your taste. If you love lime or cilantro, add more. Too much lime? Add a little extra olive oil. Don't like cilantro? Substitute basil instead. If you want more or less garlic, add to suit your taste. Basically this recipe is a starting point for your own experimentation. Have fun!