Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cilantro Lime Steak Tacos with Hilo Avocado and Fresh Salsa

     Each Thursday from 3-6:30 the high school parking lot near our house is populated by Makeke Kapolei (the Kapolei farmer's market). The market is small. One parking lot row of vendors as diverse at the town: several farmers; Thai, taco, cupcake, cajun shrimp, brick oven pizza (we had one with Kalua pork, Maui onions, and spicy BBQ sauce once), and Hawaiian food trucks; food stands selling Korean BBQ, Filipino food, ice cream fried in lumpia wrappers, poi and haupia, more Hawaiian, etc etc; a random guy selling jewelry, a random group selling plants, another selling various macadamia nut butters and sauces. There's also a small local dairy farmer selling butter (we bought jalapeno pineapple butter), yogurt cheese, and yogurt. Another man sells organic, grain-fed beef from Molokai.

     A couple of weeks ago we bought a 1.5ish pound piece of london broil (it was the smallest piece he had, and I didn't have the cash to buy a bigger flank steak) from the Molokai meat guy, and a giant Hilo avocado. As you can see, these avocados are HUGE. That's a sandwich bag, and I don't have small hands. The pits of these suckers are the size of my toddler's fist. They are not only huge, but so delicious and smooth. I am in love. I also bought a small bag of cherry tomatoes from the farmer (I am growing my own now, so we'll see how that goes!).

     I decided to make tacos from the beautiful piece of beef. It really was lovely compared to what beef often looks like from the store. Since I knew it was going to be tough, I decided to marinate it all day. I put the meat in a 9x13 Pyrex and salt and peppered both sides and sprinkled it with cumin and chili powder. I then added the following:

1/2 cup or so of lime juice (I have Key lime juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T minced garlic
some chopped fresh cilantro
I'm totally guessing on my measurements, because I just made it right into the pan. I guess the most important thing would be that the meat is either covered or at least half covered. If only half covered it'll be important to shake the container or flip the beef at least once during the marinating process.

I marinated the steak from about 10 am until 5 pm, when my darling husband was home and fired up our charcoal grill. We then grilled that sucker up (it was kind of thick, so it took a little while) and grilled our corn tortillas for a few minutes as well to make them more pliant and delicious.

While my husband was out tending the grill, I threw some cherry tomatoes, garlic, a fresh sliced jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro (I also would have thrown in about 1/4 of an onion, but I was out to be honest) and salt and pepper into my Magic Bullet blender and blended that up for some salsa. I cut the avocado into chunks (albeit HUGE chunks), removed it from the skin, and salted it to let it sweat and become even more delicious for a minute.

When the steak was done I sliced it up and we made the tacos using a corn tortilla, the meat, a little shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, and salsa. I would have used Greek yogurt (my constant replacement for sour cream) but it had been growing something oddly reddish in the fridge, so I had to pitch it. The tacos were AMAZING. I probably ate 5 or 6, and I don't feel bad at all, because they were so fresh and delicious. We'll likely repeat this or something similar. I'll bring more cash for a more tender cut of meat and maybe we'll grill some onions and peppers too.

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