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Today, it seems like it is hot everywhere but Seattle. I woke up to bright sunshine and reports that we’d hit 70 for the first day in way too long, and was determined to wear short sleeves, NO sweater allowed. I made it until 2 pm before covering up. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is talking about milkshakes for lunch, no-cook dinners and afternoons in the lake to beat the heat. I promise, I’m not pouting, not even really jealous (other than the lake part) because I am a delicate, wilting flower when it comes to heat. That’s why I live in, and love the weather in, Seattle. You can have your humidity.

If it was hot in Seattle — and it will be, for 3 or maybe 4 days in July, perhaps another day or two in August– I would make these flank steak tacos for dinner. They are so quick, very light and refreshing; other than the time spent marinating, dinner is ready to go in about 15 mins., tops. You can cook the steak on the grill to keep the heat outdoors, or on the stove top in just minutes. This recipe makes about 4 tacos but is easy to multiply to feed a crew. The slaw is great as a stand-alone, too. Enjoy, and stay cool!

Flank Steak Tacos with Jalapeno-Lime Slaw (makes 4 tacos)

For the steak:

  • 3/4 lb. flank steak
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime; reserve 2 tsp. for the slaw
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced; reserve 2 tsp. for the slaw
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt & pepper

For the slaw:

  • 1 c. shredded green cabbage
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. minced jalapenos
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)

4 flour tortillas

cilantro to garnish

Combine all the ingredients for the steak marinade– remember to reserve lime juice and jalapenos for the slaw– in a bowl or gallon Ziploc bag. Add the steak and  turn it to coat thoroughly; marinate for one hour at room temperature or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. If you refrigerate the meat, make sure to remove it at least 30 mins. before cooking and allow it to come to room temperature. I prefer flank steak cooked medium, so I grill it for 4-5 mins. per side; you can adjust the cooking time to suit your preference. Allow the steak to rest, covered and off the heat, while you warm the tortillas and put the slaw together.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 tsp. lime juice, salt, 2 tsp. jalapenos and sugar, if using. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Easy, yes? To assemble the tacos, divide the slaw among the tortillas; top with thinly sliced steak and a handful of cilantro leaves. An ear of grilled corn is the perfect accompaniment to this meal.

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