This recipe is great for a quick and light lunch, or as a starter for a more elaborate meal.
As we all know, a taco is made up of a corn or wheat tortilla with a filling made up of a variety of ingredients such as chicken, pork, beef, vegetables served together with a variety of sauces or garnishes. In history, the first tacos to be documented date back as far as the 1500’s:
1520 -Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1496-1584), a Spanish soldier who came with Hernán Cortés to the New World, wrote an intriguing and detailed chronicles called A True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He also chronicled the lavish feasts that were held. From the article by Sophie Avernin called Tackling the taco: A guide to the art of taco eating:
The first “taco bash” in the history of New Spain was documented by none other than Bernal Diaz del Castillo. Hernan Cortes organized this memorable banquet in Coyoacan for his captains, with pigs brought all the way from Cuba. It would, however, be a mistake to think that Cortes invented the taco, since anthropologists have discovered evidence that inhabitants of the lake region of the Valley of Mexico ate tacos filled with small fish, such as acosiles and charales. The fish were replaced by small live insects and ants in the states of Morelos and Guerrero, while locusts and snails were favorite fillings in Puebla and Oaxaca.
1914 – The first-known English-language taco recipes appeared in California cookbooks beginning in 1914. Bertha Haffner-Ginger, in her cookbook California Mexican-Spanish Cook Book said tacos were:
“made by putting chopped cooked beef and chili sauce in a tortilla made of meal and flour; folded, edges sealed together with egg; fried in deep fat, chile sauce served over it.”
With these facts aside, we do recommend this Beef Tacos recipe for a light weekend lunch, it is very flavorful and a great dish to accompany beer, or to keep your guests entertained and fed when you plan your next grilling session.
Beef Tacos with Radish & Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 large red radishes, ends trimmed, halved, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno chile
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice plus 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges, for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 3 pieces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. In a medium bowl, gently stir together avocado, radishes, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and oil; season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against surface of salsa (to prevent discoloring); set aside.
- Arrange steak on prepared baking sheet. Rub both sides with cumin; season generously with salt and pepper. Broil without turning until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board; tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.
- While the steak is broiling, stack and wrap tortillas in a dampened kitchen towel; microwave until hot and pliable, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap in foil, and warm in oven in lower third, 5 minutes.)
- Cut steak crosswise into 2-inch-wide pieces; slice thinly on the diagonal. Dividing evenly, place beef on tortillas; top with salsa. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
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