It’s Cinco de Mayo!
Cinco de Mayo (pronounced: [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo]; Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.
Here’s a video giving a brief history of Cinco de Mayo:
While Cinco de Mayo has it’s roots in history, Cinco de Mayo isn’t celebrated in Mexico as much as it is in the United States.
Here in the US, people have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo since the 1930s. The commercialization of the holiday really took off in the 1980s, and since that time, the 5th of May has been a perfect excuse to celebrate the Mexican culture, heritage and tradition – usually with food and drink – tacos and margarita’s anyone?!
Grilled Steak Tacos
To get your celebration started, pour yourself an ice cold margarita and then whip up a batch of these grilled steak tacos. A delicious, authentic taste of Mexico – a flavorful twist on the traditional Carne Asada Taco.
The recipe includes four parts: the filling, the cilantro chimichurri, pico de gallo, and quick pickles. It looks like a lot of work, but it’s really quite easy to make this recipe. Give it a try!
(recipe from Feasting at Home)
- 2 pounds Flank Steak (or pounded skirt steak)
- 1 sliced Sweet Onion for grilling (optional)
- Juice of 1 Orange
- Juice of 2 Limes
- ⅓ cup Soy Sauce
- ⅓ cup Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- 4 smashed, chopped Garlic Cloves
- ½ cup chopped Cilantro
- Tortillas: 10-12, freshly made if possible
- In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade.
- Place steak and onions in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well.
- Let sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. (Or marinate for up to 3 hours in fridge, bringing to room temp before grilling.)
- Pre-heat grill and grill meat.
- Grill steak on med high heat to desired doneness. A little char is good.
- Let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice the meat across the grain.
Ingredients for Cilantro Chimichurri:
- 1 bunch Cilantro or about 1 cup packed
- 1 bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed
- ¼ cup fresh Lime Juice (1-2 limes)
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- ¼ cup chopped Onion
- 2 garlic Cloves
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ of one Jalapeño Pepper
- In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped.
- Add cilantro (stems are fine) and Italian parsley (again, thin stems are fine), pulse again.
- Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined.
- Set aside in small serving bowl.
Ingredients for Pico De Gallo:
- 4 vine-ripe Tomatoes, chopped
- ½ medium Red Onion, chopped
- 2 green Onions, white and green parts, sliced
- 1 Serrano Chili, minced
- 1 handful fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1½ Limes, juiced
- ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Pico De Gallo Instructions:
- Finely dice tomato, onion, jalapeño and cilantro.
- Season with salt, pepper and lime. Add diced avocado and a couple splashes of Tapatio hot sauce, if desired.
- Place all in a bowl, mix and let sit for 15 min to 1 hour (makes 2 Cups)
Ingredients for Quick Pickles:
- 2 cups mix of sliced Radishes, Onion, or Carrots, Cauliflower, or whatever you like
- 1 cup Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Whole Peppercorns or Whole Coriander Seed
- A few sprigs Cilantro
Quick Pickles Instructions:
- In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns or coriander seeds.
- Add your choice of sliced radishes, slivered onions, thin sliced carrots or what ever else you like. Bring to a boil.
- Remove and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes (or refrigerate until cold).
- Remove and place in a serving bowl or jar.
- Top with a little fresh cilantro.
- Lime wedges, avocado slices, cabbage slaw, crumbed queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional), Tapatio hot sauce, sour cream avocado, cilantro
- Follow all instructions above for the various components of this dish.
- For tortillas – lightly grill, until soft and pliable (or grill directly on a gas burner. flipping and turning for 30 seconds) wrap up in a towel, to prevent drying.
- Serve everything together, along with garnishes, and a fresh margarita of course!