Street Taco and Tequila Dinner Party
A few weeks back my husband and I went to our friends', Dave and Julia's, home for a street taco and tequila tasting dinner. Dave is a tequila enthusiast and was turning 40 so he and Julia took a trip to a town in Mexico called Ajijic, which is just outside of Guadalajara. Like Dave, my husband Trevor is also tequila lover at heart, even though he has recently been having quite the love affair with bourbon. I, as you may already know, am a foodie at heart so Dave and Julia were gracious enough to have us over to indulge in some of their favorite treats inspired by their Mexican getaway.
Street tacos are a far more authentic style of Mexican cuisine versus what we get in some of our local Mexican restaurants. The flavors are vibrant, fresh, and not drowning in gooey cheese and sauces. The pairing of the tacos with some great tequila, and awesome friends, certainly made for a fantastic evening. Oh, and to top things off, there was a rain storm which caused the house to lose power. So a natural candlelight ambiance was a necessity!
I still dream about that meal (especially the homemade tomatillo salsa, which I could literally drink out of the mason jar), so I emailed Dave and asked him if he would share with me the recipes and some tequila recommendations. Here are some pictures from our evening, the recipes for the food, and Dave's tequila recommendations. I strongly urge you to give them a try...I promise they will not disappoint!
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1 lb fresh tomatillos (husks removed)
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced (leave seeds in if you like it hot)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp minced garlic clove
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the tomatillos on a lightly greased sheet pan and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Roast the tomatillos for 10 minutes or until the tops look like they are starting to caramelize. When they are done, take them out and let them cool off for a few minutes.
While the tomatillos are cooling, add all remaining ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Add the tomatillos and pulse until well combined. I usually back it off a little soon because I like it with a little more texture.
Add extra salt to taste.
Tequila Lime Chicken: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/tequila-lime-chicken-recipe
Marinated Skirt Steak for Tacos
2 lbs skirt steak
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
In a small bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Place the steaks into whatever you are going to let them marinate in. I use 1-gallon Ziploc bags. Pour the marinade over the meat and massage a bit. Let the steaks marinate for 8 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to cook the steaks, remove and discard the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Get the grill (you can use a skillet if you are trapped indoors and don't have access to a grill) for medium/high heat.
Cook steaks 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing it up so that it will fit the tacos.
· Fresh snipped cilantro leaves
· Thinly sliced radishes
· Grated Queso Fresco (for sharper flavor use Cotija cheese)
· Thinly sliced jalapeño
· Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
· Small white corn tortillas (I heat them up in the oven on 350 for a few minutes)
Tequila Recommendations and a note from Dave:
Blanco (no aging in barrels)
Fortaleza Blanco ($40)
Gran orendain Blanco ($34)
Casa noble Crystal ($42)
Reposado (2 months to 12 months)
*Clase Azul Reposado ($60)
G4 Reposado ($40)
Don pilar Reposado ($40)
Añejo (12 months to 3 years)
G4 anejo ($50)
Tequila Ocho ($65)
*Don Julio 1942 ($120)
* special note on these two is that I see them as gateway tequilas. I have people who say, "tequila? No way, I hate that stuff...". And then they try one of those two and they are like, "yeah I get it. Do you have any more?"