These are a few of my favorite things.

There are few things I love more in this world than the following:

1)  The first grill of the season (in spite of the ominous clouds on the horizon — hell, I dig living on the edge).

2)  Fresh Mexican (in this case, carne asada — my first attempt, mind you).

3)  Sharing the two of these things with the one I love.

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While there are many components to this meal, it’s really quite simple (save the endless amounts of chopping!).  You can also pull a Sandra Lee and buy the things you don’t want to make (pico, guacamole, etc).  But you know me:  I like fresh all the way around.  And Mexican is something I do well.  Plus, this was a celebratory dinner date (for myself!), so I felt like putting in as much kitchen time as possible.

So here we have it!

Carne Asada

What you’ll need:

For the carne…

  • Flank steak (mine was just shy of 2 lbs and we have PLENTY of leftovers between the two of us — you choose the size)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • half jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar (or red wine — anything mostly clear)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pico…

  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • half jalapeno, diced (mostly seeded)
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 packet truvia (or stevia)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the guacamole…

  • 1 large ripe avocado, smashed
  • 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the beans…

  • 1 can black beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 1/2 bag frozen corn, rinsed
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 glug olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Everything else…

  • tortillas (of any variety — the healthier the better, obviously!)
  • cabbage, chopped (a taco topped with cabbage: divine!)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • small handful of cilantro, finely chopped

How to do it:

Create your marinade by mixing all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.  Transfer to a large, shallow dish and add your steak.  Coat well and let rest for an hour (can last in the fridge up to 8).

Make your pico (it’s best after it sits for a while).  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside, stirring every once in a while to be sure the flavors get to know one another.

Mix up your guacamole in a medium sized bowl.  It should be on the zippy side (I LOVE limey guac!).  Cover immediately and throw in the refrigerator (the less contact with oxygen your avo has the better — it’ll slow the browning process).

Preheat your grill to medium heat!

Toss your beans and corn in a small bowl.  In a saute pan, over medium heat, add your olive oil, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and cumin.  Heat for a minute or so, then add bean and corn mixture.  Stir frequently for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine your remaining cilantro and onions.  This makes a most excellent addition to your taco!

Toss your steak on and grill each side for 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak and how well done you like your beef.  Remove and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Slice diagonally against the grain.  Serve warm.

DIG IN!!!

These bad boys are MESSY, but worth every drip and splash.  Easily one of my favorite date night meals.

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