Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leftovers

It may not be photogenic, but an aversion to throwing things out led to a tasty meal. I ate two of these, in fact.

The result of an embarrassment of riches -- some leftover beef from the Liberty Steak, infra, an extra avocado and some cilantro from making a load of guacamole for an office potluck (I'll cover the guacamole in the near future. It's not a tough thing to make well, and it's a crowd pleaser, if not a ubiquitous one. A few batches of the stuff may have landed me my current job, which, it goes without saying, is not in food service.), some aging garden bounty, and what was lying around in the fridge -- produced the pic above. I'll break it down by taco, sauce, and toppings. Here's what happened:

Taco
Ingredients:
- Leftover cooked steak, diced (Best if it's on the rare side. Pork, tofu, or just about any other non-seafaring protein would work as well.)
- Soy sauce
- Oil
- Salt and pepper
- Corn tortillas (Two per taco.)
Method:
- Heat a dry pan or griddle for the tortillas (Cast iron ideal.)
- Place the tortillas in stacks of two on the hot pan or griddle
- Flip the tortillas, heating up both sides until soft
- While that's happening . . .
- Heat oil in very hot wok or nonstick pan
- Add diced steak and brown up a bit
- Season the cooking meat
- Add a just a few shakes of soy sauce and simmer for about a minute
- Turn off heat leave meat in pan to keep warm

Sauce
Ingredients:
- Ripe avocado
- Lime
- Sweetened Mexican Cream
- Green onion/scallion (greens and whites)
- Hot sauce (I used Tapatio Mexican-style hot sauce, but I suspect a Sriracha would work very well.)
- Honey
- Water
- Salt and pepper
Method:
- Squeeze lime juice into a bowl
- Cut and peel avocado and place it in bowl with lime juice (Mix around so avocado is coated with lime juice to slow down discoloration.)
- Add salt and pepper
- Mash avocado (I used two forks. A food processor would work for this recipe.)
- When smooth add some of the Mexican Cream to taste
- Add hot sauce to taste
- Add honey to taste
- Thin with water, if you'd like
- Add thinly sliced rounds of green onion greens and diced green onion whites

Toppings:
- Finely diced shallots
- Chopped cilantro (Don't be afraid of the stems.)
- Chopped leaf lettuce (I chopped a few leaves of Black Seeded Simpson lettuce with a sharp knife -- it didn't discolor. I never trusted those plastic knife people.)
- Diced tomatilloes

Assembly is obvious. Lots of other toppings are possible. Basics are diced tomatoes, shredded cheese (which may be gilding the lily with the avocado sauce), sunflower seeds . . . it's limitless.

It's also great to make this with just the tortillas, meat, diced onion, cilantro, and a wedge of lime. After all, this is really just a rip-off of a taqueria carne asada taco. And, in all honesty, a good carne asada taco from a taqueria of questionable cleanliness may be better than this gussied up version. But, sadly, such a taco is something that's just not readily available where I live,* and I had some stuff to put to good use.

*If you find yourself craving a taco in the Portland, OR area I recommend, in any order, the following:

- El Taco Express #2, 5447 NE 42nd Ave., Portland;

- La Taqueria Guadalajara, 2032 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove (or any taco truck in the area); and

- King Burrito, 2924 N Lombard St., Portland.

Several years have passed since I enjoyed these places, but if they're still there, they're good, or at least they were. At the P-town spots leave any pretentiousness at the door, and valuables locked in the trunk.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you used an infra cite in your post. I didn't realize tomatoe's were so nerdy...it must be due to the cage free upbringing.

CFT said...

Thank you for your comment Anonymous. It is the nerdy tomato upbringing that allows us at The CFT to use apostrophes properly. We hope to hear from you again, and in the meantime recommend Woe Is I, by Patricia T. O'Connor.