Sunday, December 27, 2015

37. Marinated Strip Steak-Caesar Salad Tacos


This recipe is one that I squeezed in during the week leading up to Christmas.  You'll notice that it's specifically "for two".  I usually try to plan my recipes to serve about four.  In a normal world, where people aren't trying to make tacos 100 times in a year, it's probably nice to have leftovers.

Well . . . when I made these tacos, we were in the throes of holiday shopping (most of it online, if the truth be known), and baking.  We didn't want leftovers.  Under any circumstances.  Ha ha.

This recipe is perfect for an occasion when you want something simple and classy for only two people.  Steak - classy.  Caesar salad - classy.  Tacos - well . . . sort of classy.  It works.  These are kind of fun.  I thought about doing chicken caesar salad tacos, but that seemed too obvious.  Also, recipe number 35 was a (delicious) chicken taco, and I'm trying to to rotate my protein/main ingredient as I progress through these recipes.

I seem to be making progress in my steak-cooking skills.  As a former vegetarian, cooking steak still feels a little bit outside my comfort zone.  I've come a long way since recipe five, though.  I'm getting better!

I realize that my "caesar salad" has some issues.  It doesn't have any egg in the dressing.  It contains tomatoes.  (It needed some color!)  Well.  That's just the way it turned out.  Trust me - it's good!

Here's the recipe:

Marinated Strip Steak-Caesar Salad Tacos for Two

Serves 2 (about 4-6 tacos, depending on how large your strip steak is)


For the marinated meat:

A New York strip steak, about 3/4 lb.
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 small orange
juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 medium cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil for cooking

For the caesar salad topping:

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 anchovy fillet
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large clove garlic
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
About 10 grape tomatoes, halved

8 to 12 small corn tortillas (You can double these up if you wish, but mine were thick enough to just use one per taco.)

An ounce or two of grated Parmesan cheese

Lemon wedges for garnish, if desired

1.  Prepare the meat:  Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and add the steak.  Cover tightly and marinate at room temperature for up to an hour.  Turn it every now and then.

2.  Make the dressing:  Place all of the dressing ingredients in a glass liquid measuring cup and blend with a hand blender until smooth.  (Alternately, you can use a regular blender.)  Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

3.  Cook the steak:  Heat a generous amount of canola oil (about 2 tbsp.) in a medium skillet over high heat.  Add the steak (drained of excess marinade) and cook for a few minutes on each side until the steak is slightly blackened and reaches your desired level of doneness.  We prefer our steak medium-rare.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.  Cover with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

4.  Prepare the tortillas:  While the steak is resting, heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, one by one, until browned but still soft, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.  

As they are done, stack them on a sheet of foil.  When you have as many as you want, wrap in the foil and set aside.  You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven if you wish.  

5. Prepare the salad:  Place the lettuce and tomatoes in a medium bowl.  Toss with some of the Caesar dressing.  You may not want to use it all.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Slice the steak into thin strips.  If desired, you can gently microwave the strips to heat them a bit more.  (Ours had cooled down.)

7.  Assemble the tacos:  For each taco, place a tortilla on a plate.  (You can use two per taco if your corn tortillas are thin.)  Place a few strips of the steak down the center of each tortilla.  Drizzle with some of the dressing.  Top with a small amount of the salad.  Finish with a sprinkle of the cheese and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.  Enjoy!

We liked these.  They were fairly easy, and I was very glad that I didn't have much left!  They were also on lighter side, which was nice to experience during this season of excess!

While we were eating them, Steve asked, "Why didn't you do a chicken caesar taco?"

O.o  Ha ha.

I'm trying to be creative.  And not use chicken for every other taco filling!

Steak caesar salad is a thing.  I know I've seen recipes for it in more than one cookbook.

Anyway, these were a solid addition to my repertoire.

Feel free to comment on this recipe!  Did you try them?  What did you think?  Can you remember seeing a steak caesar salad anywhere, or am I just imagining it?

Thanks for reading!

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