You might think that the beauty of a taco recipe is that you rarely need one. A taco can start with virtually anything delicious, tucked into a warm tortilla, topped with your typical fillings, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, a well-chosen salsa. But it can be delightful to have a lavish taco with some unusually paired elements for that celebratory Taco Tuesday, or just a little something different.
1-2-pound flank steak, or your favorite cut of beef
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted on the grill
12 slices of mild Havarti cheese
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Red Pickled onions (recipe below)
Blueberry Serrano Sauce (recipe below)
1 bunch parsley, chopped fine
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2-4 white or red radishes, chopped small dice
Queso Fresco, or your favotite Mexican Farmers Cheese, crumbled
2 limes, washed and cut into wedges
Microgreens for garnish
Remove the steak from the cooler and allow it to come close to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Fire up the outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and cracked black pepper on both sides, then set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the dry spices and mix them thoroughly. Rub the spice mixture into the salt and peppered beef on both sides.
Clean and oil the grill. Place the beef across the hot grates and do not move the first 4-5 minutes to achieve a deeply caramelized sear.
Turn over and continue the grilling process until the desired internal temperature. Rest for about 8-10 minutes before slicing.
While the steak is resting, reduce the heat on the grill and place the tortillas on indirect heat. Spritz with a bit of water and add cheese. Close the grill lid until cheese melts and tortillas are steamed warmed. Set aside keep covered to keep warm and pliable.
Slice the beef, assemble the tacos by placing the meat directly on the melted cheese tortilla, slather the Serrano-blueberry sauce, add toppings of pickled red onions, chopped parsley, sliced radish, and your favorite micro-greens or cilantro to finish.
For the Spicey Blueberry-Serano Sauce
1 Serrano chili, cleaned and sliced into small dice
3 cups of fresh blueberries, room temperature
1 small yellow onion, large dice
2 cloves fresh garlic, cleaned
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon good quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon neutral-tasting oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Water as needed
In a small, high-sided saucepan, heat the oil on low heat. Add the onions and saute until brown and caramelized. About 4- 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until blueberries become soft about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching, and slowly reduce to a thicker syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat and slightly cool.
Place the blueberry mixture into a standing blender or the bowl of your food processor and blend until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Remove and run through a fine sieve. Place sauce into an airtight container and pop into the fridge! For more fire, leave the seeds in the Serrano chili. For even more excitement, replace the Serrano Chili with a Habanero.
For the Pickled Onions
2 large red onions, sliced paper-thin
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2-4 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 quart-sized Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid for packing
Add the sliced onions, peppercorns, and garlic to a glass mason jar, and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and heat, stirring just until the salt and sugar dissolve about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the garlic clove and peppercorns. Gently pour the brine over the onions and allow the liquid to cool. Seal with a tight-fitting lid, and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before eating. The onions may be stored chilled for up 4 weeks.
How to Assemble the Tacos
To assemble a Taco, spread a tablespoon or more of the Blueberry sauce onto the center of each tortilla, lay one or two pieces of the juicy grilled steak on top of the sauce, top scallions, pickled onions diced radish, and crumbled cheese or your favorite toppings. Fold over to make a taco.
Serve with lime wedges to squeeze directly on the taco filling.