Saturday, June 23, 2012

Carne Asada Tacos Vampiro

When I opened up Amor y Tacos, I pretty much immediately knew that these were the tacos I wanted to try first!  The corn tortillas are griddled with serrano peppers, scallions, and a bit of cheese in between them, so that the typical double-corn tortilla wrapper becomes a mini-quesadilla!  The cheesy tortillas envelop tender, simply flavored steak and lots of flavorful toppings.  Guacamole and pico de gallo are favorites of mine on any taco, and you can make your own if you want to go all out (although I will warn you that making everything from scratch - as we did - is definitely a production!) or go for high-quality store-bought toppings.  You'll definitely want to make your own chipotle salsa since it's pretty unique and super easy to make - just stir together mayo, minced chipotles in adobo, and lime juice.  It's a super spicy, creamy condiment that totally elevates the tacos to something extra special.  When you put this all together, it's a big, delicious mouthful - absolutely one of my all-time favorite tacos (although the pescado tacos at Nick's Crispy Tacos still hold first place in my heart).  One word of warning - these tacos are mouth-tinglingly spicy, so if you're sensitive, go easy on the chipotle salsa and consider leaving the serranos out of the tortillas.

Carne Asada Tacos Vampiro (adapted from Amor y Tacos)
Makes 6 substantial tacos, serving 3

1 T olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
A few grinds black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 pound flank steak, cut into 2-3 pieces
12 thin, taco-sized corn tortillas
3-4 ounces Jack cheese, grated
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced into rounds
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Guacamole (recipe below)
Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
Creamy Chipotle Salsa (recipe below)
To serve: more shredded Jack cheese and minced cilantro

1. Whisk together the oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and soy sauce.  Add the steak, turn a few times to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Marinate while you prepare the toppings, or up to overnight.
2. Heat a splash of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once it's hot, add the steak to the pan carefully.  Cook until it's as done as you like it.  Remove from the pan, cover with foil, and let rest 10 minutes.
3. Lay out six of the tortillas.  Sprinkle on the cheese, chiles, and onions as evenly as possible.  Top with the remaining six tortillas.  
4. Heat a skillet (or two) over medium-high heat.  Add the tortillas (no need for oil) and heat on both sides until the cheese is melted.  Keep on a warm plate under aluminum foil while preparing the remaining tortillas.
5. Thinly slice the steak against the grain.
6. Assemble the tacos.  Spread a bit of guacamole down the middle, and then top with a few slices of steak.  To with pico de gallo, creamy chipotle salsa (careful, it's spicy!), cheese, and cilantro.  

1 large, ripe avocado
1/2 T lime juice
Generous pinch of salt
2 T finely diced white onion
2 T minced cilantro
1 cored and seeded Roma tomato, diced

Mash together the avocado, lime juice, and salt.  Gently stir in the onion, cilantro, and tomato.  Taste and add more lime juice or salt if you like.

Pico de Gallo
2 cored and seeded Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1/4 to 1/2 serrano chile, minced
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 T lime juice

Mix everything together, cover, and chill until ready to use.

Creamy Chipotle Salsa
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T finely chopped chipotle in adobo
1/2 tsp lime juice

Mix everything together.


  1. I could eat Mexican food every day and never get sick of it - love the chipotle sauce, but not a huge fan of mayo - do you think I could sub in Greek yogurt?

    1. Yep, I definitely think Greek yogurt would work as a sub here - basically the mayo is just there to make it a creamy sauce.

  2. Wow, those look tasty. I was checking out this cookbook a while back. I had just finished cooking my way through Mark Miller's Taco book, so I decided to wait a bit and then forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.