On Thursday night we celebrated a quiet Cinco de Mayo at home and made these delicious Steak Tacos with Cucumber Avocado Salsa. The Cucumber Avocado Salsa was the star of the tacos and is a refreshing twist on classic guacamole: diced cucumbers supply crunch while generous use of jalapenos brings the heat. And let’s face it, classic guacamole is calorie-dense and difficult to stop eating, but with the cucumbers lightening this salsa, you can pretty much eat it guilt-free. I’d say that alone is something to celebrate.
P.S. For those of you who think Cinco de Mayo is simply a holiday the food industry has commercialized to sell its Mexican products, read this Wikipedia article about Cinco de Mayo’s history. You might learn something surprising about the French, the Confederate army and why it makes sense to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here in the U.S.
Steak Tacos with Cucumber Avocado Salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 ¼ pounds top sirloin steaks (about 1 ¼ inches thick)
Twelve 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas
3 cups shredded red cabbage
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
Cucumber Avocado Salsa (recipe below)
1. Preheat the grill or coat a large skillet with olive oil and preheat it over medium-high heat.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the steaks.
3. Grill or broil the steaks for 5 minutes per side, turning once, for medium rare or to your desired degree of doneness. Remove from the grill and let the meat sit for 5 minutes. Carve into thin slices.
4. Warm the tortillas by placing them on the grill for about 30 seconds, turning once. Or place 6 tortillas at a time between two moist paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds. Wrap in a cloth napkin or place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm.
5. Place the carved steak, warm tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges and salsa in serving dishes and let diners make their own tacos at the table
Cucumber Avocado Salsa
1 medium English cucumber, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ red onion, diced
Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine.
Recipes from Quick and Fresh with Ellie Krieger magazine, The Tauton Press, Inc. No. 29. 2009.