Consider the taco. A delicious, meat-filled security blanket, it is as comforting and reassuring as it is bold and daring. Eating a taco can make someone feel they can take on the world, even if they can’t. But who cares? They just ate a taco. The taco is there for us in times of trouble and in times of joy. And we should be there for the taco, and not just on Tuesdays. Read on for some history on this virtuous dish that proves not all meals are created equal.
HISTORIA Y MISTERIO: THE ORIGINS OF THE TACO
While it’s easy to imagine that the sublime taco was gifted unto humanity by some benevolent deity, its origins are somewhat unknown. It really only emerged as a major food player in the 20th century, its earliest mention in archives not much before then, suggesting the taco is not a food that dates back to time immemorial. So where did it all start? Let us take a ride on the taco time machine.
TACO TUESDAY EVERY DAY!
What would Tuesdays be without tacos? Just the day between Monday and Wednesday. But why stop at Tuesday? Tacos can and should be enjoyed every day. A far cry from the box-o-tacos from years past, the Taco Mania Crate has all the elements Señor Sabor needs to build the best taco your face has ever run into, any day of the week. And it’s a great excuse to get his pals together for too many margaritas and not enough regrets.
WHERE WORDS FAIL, TACOS SPEAK
Where the taco truly came from may remain a mystery, but we can all agree upon where it should go: in your mouth. Today, Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos a year. Whether for breakfast—cereal’s got nothing on the breakfast taco—or a late-night, post-booze recharger, tacos are a favorite go-to. Get your taco on with this Carne Asada recipe.
KILLER CARNE ASADA TACOS
- 2 pounds flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
- Olive oil for coating the grill
- Salt and pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pico de Gallo:
- 4 chopped tomatoes
- ½ chopped medium red onion
- 2 chopped shallots
- 1 minced jalapeno
- 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 (7-inch) corn tortillas for serving
- Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce for serving
- Chopped white onion for serving
- Shredded Jack cheese for serving
- 2 limes cut in wedges for serving
Mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper to make a paste; Put the paste in a container, add the lime juice, orange juice, lemon juice and oil and shake well to combine.
Pico De Gallo:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Lay the flank steak in a large baking dish. Combine mojo ingredients and cover steak. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour (no more than 8 hours). Preheat an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium-high flame (or use a broiler). Brush grates lightly with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Remove steak from marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the steak until medium-rare, 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once. Remove the steak and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.
Warm the tortillas on each side until toasty and pliable. Stack 2 of the warm tortillas, lay 4 oz. of beef down the center, and top with some lettuce, onion and cheese. Top each taco with a spoonful of Pico de Gallo and garnish with lime wedges.
Serves 4 at 2 tacos per person. Or, possibly, 1 at 8 tacos per person.