Tacos al Carbon, Homemade Tortillas, Fresh Roasted Salsa and Frida
Sometime life just comes together and offers you up something really special. A few weeks ago I was introduced to the wonderful NYC blog Homesick Texan, something we all know I can relate to. Scrolling through her blog I was drooling at all the wonderful recipes and came to her Tacos al Carbon and that was it. I had to make it. So I thought I’d also take the opportunity to make homemade flour tortillas which lo and behold my talented and beautiful photography friend in Boston just posted on her blog Isela Maria Photography her family recipe for just that! So I grabbed my salsa recipe, my tex-mex know-how and got to cookin! Now I know Tex-Mex has nothing to do with Frida and her life in Mexico but something about all the colors in the film with the colors of the food and the spiciness of the salsa and hand making tortillas just went together. As a woman in the arts I like to watch this movie every now and then not only from the inspiring paintings but from the strength of Frida Kahlo and her endurance through so much, “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” Her story is incredible, her art is magnificent and well, I think her style is truly amazing as in these photographs.
Tacos al Carbon
by: Homesick Texan
2 pounds skirt steak (I used chicken) Juice of 4 limes 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup cilantro 1 jalapeno 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 teaspoon canola oil or nonstick cooking spray Four green onions (we grilled 1/2 a white onion)
by: Isela Maria
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard 1 cup of warm water
4 medium tomatoes 1/2 white onion 1 jalapeno 1 seranno pepper 2 tbls black pepper 1/2 tbls garlic powder salt and cilantro to taste 2 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon cumin 1 lime juiced
Salsa: Over an open flame burn seranno pepper until black and place in a sealed paper sack to steam. Burn the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno in a cast iron skillet. After they are cooked place in a blender or food processor along with the steamed seranno pepper (this salsa is HOT, HOT, HOT! If you want it mild remove the seeds in both peppers). Add the 2 tbls black pepper, 1/2 tbls garlic powder, salt, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, juice of 1 lime and cilantro to taste in the blender and pulse until desired consistency.
Tacos al Carbon (by Homesick Texan):
To make the marinade, in a blender mix all the ingredients except for the skirt steak, canola oil and green onions. Pour over skirt steak and let it marinate for 2 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
* I used the cheaper chicken
On a medium high heat I warmed my grill, adding the chicken and cooking for about 5 mins per side or until the grill marks become a dark brown and the chicken is cooked through. If you are using skirt steak as in the original recipe, follow her directions as they very slightly. I then thew 1/2 a white onion on the grill until cooked through and charred.
Homemade Flour Tortillas (by Isela Maria):
Mix dry ingredients. Add shortening or lard and mix with either your hands or a fork. Add water a little at a time until the dough is not sticky but is soft and moist. Knead the dough for a few minutes then separate into smaller balls – about 6 balls, let rest for about 10 minutes.
Press or roll out (we pressed ours out with two pots and tin foil and then we rolled them out further with a rolling pin, this is where the tortilla press would have come in handy)
heat on comal or cask iron skillet on medium to high heat for a few minutes until there are spots of golden brown on both sides.
I served the meal on a wood tray with fresh cilantro, lime, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, freshly sliced avocado, tortillas wrapped in a festive dish towel, bowel of warm tortilla chips and the fresh salsa. Crack a couple of beers and it’s a Frida Fiesta!