Thursday, May 24, 2012

this week for dinner

i kind of been in a rut since we got back from our vacation. nothing appealed to me.  "i'm tired of my own cooking!" as how my grandma would say it.  and i admit, i was lazy.  it was hard to get back to the normal routine.  in the last two weeks that i rarely cooked, much money was spent on eating out and buying ingredients on a whim.  i bought a lot of steaks (they were on sale) and froze them for future use. for those nights when i need to come up with something quick.  we are carnivores over here.  we eat grilled steaks about once or twice a week.

meal planning is not my strong suit but in my effort to reduce our food expenses i've been kinda sorta doing it.  it's on and off, one because it is hard to keep up with it.  it is difficult to come up with food ideas in one sitting.  a dish that sounds good today may not be as appealing when the time comes to actually make it.  and then there's the weather to consider.  something like i'd plan on roasting a chicken and when the day comes it's too damn hot to be turning on the oven. that sort of thing happens a lot with me.

this week i planned mostly for grilled dinners.  since the weather has been warm we have been using the grill outside and we have been eating our dinners on our teeny tiny balcony.  before i started simplifying, i invested on a small bistro table from bed bath and beyond to match the wicker chairs my mother in law bought us a couple of years ago.  it fits exactly 3 people, which is all we need, and the perfect size for our narrow balcony.  sophia loves it. for her eating outdoors is like having a party.

so on the menu this week are the following:

Monday, 5/21 : grilled chicken thigh & pasta primavera
Tuesday, 5/22 : grilled carne asada tacos (carne asada recipe follows)
Wednesday, 5/23: grilled ribeye steak, mushroom and asparagus saute, prosciutto e melone
Thursday, 5/24 : grilled hot dogs, celery & carrots in ranch dressing, watermelon
Friday, 5/25 : dinner with my sister-in-laws

Carne Asada Tacos

for meat & marinade
1.5 pounds flap or flank steak
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pinch chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for pico de gallo
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1/4 cup chopped onions
salt to taste

1 (32 ounce) package corn tortillas
1 limes, cut into wedges
1 avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into wedges
1 cup grated mexican cheese (optional) 
1 cup black beans (optional)
sour cream (optional)
shredded lettuce (optional)

Place meat in a large zip lock bag.  In a lidded jar mix together the rest of the marinade.  Shake vigorously and pour inside the bag with the beef.  Close bag and distribute the marinade on the meat.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.

The next day, bring the beef to room temperature and cook on the grill over high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes.  Cut meat thinly across the grain. 

In a small bowl (i like to use a lidded jar), mix together the ingredients for the pico de gallo. Set aside.

Warm tortillas on an oiled skillet, on the grill or microwave to make them pliable. Arrange tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them.  Top with pico de gallo, avocado, beans, cheese, shredded lettuce, etc. 

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