Lane A. McFarland
Lane’s weekly recipe: Marinated steak tacos with avocado
I try to incorporate ingredients outside of my comfort zone, not to punish my palate, but to expand my repertoire. I hope that be doing this, I will be able to shed new light on an ingredient and shed new light on a dish.
One ingredient my girlfriend has been pushing me to use is avocados. The avocado to me is an interesting fruit. Dry, thick-skinned and more buttery than sweet. So, when I finally decided to agree to her request, I figured I could incorporate it with a tasty steak. Lo and behold the combination of lime, cayenne and the buttery texture of the avocado had a surprisingly pleasant effect on the senses. Upon dining on this delectable twist on a traditional steak taco, I finally had to admit that she was right: Avocados can be delicious.
Steak marinade (Serves 2)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
½ Tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ small red onion
1 lb. flat iron steak or skirt steak cut in ¼ inch thick slices
8 flour tortilla shells, 5-6 inches
3 ripe avocados
Basil Lime Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh crushed black pepper
2 tsp white sugar
½ oz fresh basil leaves, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
In a small bowl, add all of the ingredients starting with the olive oil, Worcestershire and liquid smoke. (I added the liquid smoke because I did not have a wood-fired grill for that nice, smoky flavoring you gain. Just a ½ Tbsp of flavoring adds a nice wood-smoked hint to your dish.)
After all the ingredients for the marinade are mixed, place in a 9x9 baking pan with the cut steak. Allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours. If you are trying to do it quickly, allow it to marinate for at least 45 minutes to gain some of the flavor you need. While the steak is marinating, you may begin the vinaigrette.
In a medium bowl, or with a stand mixer, whisk the olive oil with the lime juice until thoroughly incorporated. While whisking, add the salt, black pepper, sugar, basil leaves and garlic. Whisk the ingredients at a high speed until fully incorporated.
Now, it’s time to eat! Over medium heat, in a nonstick skillet, grill the steak to your desired temperature. Remember the steaks are marinated so it will be difficult to visually see the difference. While the steaks are cooking, heat your tortilla shells either in the oven or on a skillet. Once the steak is cooked, place on your tortillas, lay the avocados on top and drizzle with the lime vinaigrette.
In the words of Julia Child, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” Web columnist, chef and blogger Lane A. McFarland is the executive chef at Beechies Place in Meadow Lands. Here at O-R online, he shares his recipes and stresses having fun in the kitchen! Visit McFarland’s blog Leather Bound Recipes, visit him on Facebook or hop over to Beechies Place.