Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Five Pepper Steak Tacos


Printable version
I was reading about Creole and Caribbean cooking recently which inspired me to invent a peppery rub. I went to my pantry and was able to find a number of different pepper spices. I chose five, with two of them smoked. I use white pepper, cayenne pepper and black pepper to cover different areas of the tongue and chipotle and smoked paprika to provide the smoky flavoring. (Paprika is made from dried red pepper, hence the fifth pepper of the rub.) I add onion and garlic powder for depth and salt because, well, everything needs salt.

The end result is a spicy rub that I would label XXX on a store shelf. This rub is hot and when it’s used in a dish there should be something else on the plate to balance it. In my world, mild spice is most people’s hell fire, so when I say hot, please beware.

I use a sweet pineapple salsa to balance the heat of the rub. The salsa contains red pepper to compliment the paprika. The pepper could also be roasted to bring out more sweetness if so desired.

Overall, I really enjoyed this taco, it's not for the faint of heart and it is made for a spice lover like myself.

BEHIND THIS BITE
When I made this rub I knew it would be hot but I was surprised at how hot it actually was. I think this could be one of the dry rubs at Buffalo Wild Wings or a secret weapon for extra kick in a pot of chili.

I was planning this as two posts, but the rub was so hot that I was kind of obligated to include a tasty balance to the heat, so I decided to combine everything which culminated in a delicious taco and one of the biggest recipe graphics I have ever made. The step-by-step graphic contains 23 photographs, 6 major steps and 16 ingredients. That’s way bigger than what I usually do but I think it's necessary. If you like fiery food, this is the recipe for you, but if spice isn’t your thing - Use this rub as a substitute.

Eat well, cook often ...

THE RECIPE
Makes 12 to 15 tacos; 1 hour
THE RUB
3 Tbs Salt
2 Tbs Smoked paprika
2 Tbs Chipotle chili powder
1 Tbs Black pepper
1 Tbs White pepper
1 Tbs Garlic powder
1 Tbs Onion powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 1/2 lb Skirt steak

THE SALSA
1 1/2 C Tomato diced
1 C Pineapple diced
1 C Red pepper diced
1/2 C Red onion diced
1/2 C Cilantro chopped
Juice from 1 Lime

12 to 15 Flour tortillas

Make rub
In a bowl mix together salt, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, black pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

Season, marinate steak

Season and rub spice mixture over surface of skirt steak. Let steak rest for 25 minutes to marinate in spices.

Make Salsa
In a bowl mix together tomato, pineapple, red pepper, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Refrigerate and let mixture rest at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.

Grill steak

On a prepared grill over medium-high heat cook meat for 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once during cooking. Let rest at least ten minutes before slicing.

Prepare tortillas

Toast tortillas on grill or microwave on high, wrapped in paper towel for 1 minute.

Assemble tacos

On tortillas place steak and a spoonful of salsa, roll and serve.

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