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Cast Iron Cinco de Mayo!

Cast Iron Cinco de Mayo!

Welcome to Everyday Cast Iron! This blog is designed to not only teach you some basics of cast iron (and maybe convince you to start using cast iron), but also share some delicious recipes that real people eat! You never know what interesting tips you may uncover or what might just show up on your dinner table.
Speaking of good eats, I LOVE Mexican food. I go to Zumba classes sometimes just because the music reminds me of chips and salsa. Seriously. Start the music and I salivate! Dancing aside, Cinco de Mayo is coming up and I wanted to share a fun, not too complicated recipe to share with all your Mexican food lovin’ peeps. This recipe is a take on Tyler Florence’s carne asada. Now, I know he is not technically native to Mexico (or anywhere in South America for that matter), but he does know his way around the kitchen!

This recipe requires a grill. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love to grill, however, I am always bothered by the fact that sometimes yummy things get sacrificed to the fire gods below. Since this carne asada recipe has some serious YUM to it, I decided to try a grill pan. Cast iron? Of course! Here is what it looks like:

I have included the full-meal-deal below with a few pictures to help you on your way. Plan on spending a few bucks on flank steak. It bothers me that I could have gotten a T-Bone steak cheaper per pound than flank steak, but once I took a bite, I felt a little better. You won’t want to miss making this one! (PS I have also included a homemade tortilla recipe at the end of the post…made with a plain ol’ cast iron skillet.)

Carne Asada with Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 recipe Mojo, recipe follows
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tortillas (homemade or store bought. However you do it, just serve them warmed)
  • Shredded cheese or cotija
  • 1/2 cup Pico de Gallo, recipe follows
  • Springs of cilantro
  • Sliced avocado
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges

Directions:

  1. Lay the flank steak in a large baking dish and pour the mojo over it.
  2. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours, so the flavors can sink into the meat.
  3. Don’t marinate the steak for more than 8 hours though, or the fibers break down too much and the meat gets mushy.
  4. Preheat an outdoor grill or a ridged grill pan over medium-high flame (you can also use a broiler).
  5. Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
  6. Pull the steak out of the mojo marinade.
  7. Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare.
  8. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

To make the tacos, start with a tortilla, lay 2-4 strips of beef and finish with cheese, avocado, cilantro, a spoonful of pico and a wedge of lime.

Mojo

Ingredients:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a food processor (or mortar and pestle), mash together the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper to make a paste.
  2. Put the paste in a glass jar or plastic container.
  3. Add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil.
  4. Shake it up really well to combine.
  5. Use as a marinade for chicken or beef or as a table condiment.

Pico De Gallo:

Ingredients:

  • 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Serrano chile, minced
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together.
  2. Toss thoroughly.
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes and serve.

Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal.
  3. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic (adding more flour as needed).
  4. Roll into a ball, place on a lightly floured surface and cover with a bowl. Let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  6. Cover balls with a damp towel.
  7. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla (Think thin. I rolled mine until I could see the counter top through it!).
  9. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side.
  10. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer or oven; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

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