Cinco de Mayo 2013


Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos  |  Salsa  |  Guacamolé  |  Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips with Lime Salt  |  Horchata Milkshakes


The 5th of May, this year, turned out to be cool and gray with a bit of thunder and a brief shower.  Quite the change from the sunshine and heat we experienced all week.  The cooler temperatures and overcast skies made the kitchen a warm and inviting place to be.  This afternoon, Spring’s spectacular color would be found in our food…

Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos {adapted from Food & Wine}

  • 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 pounds skirt steak
  • 10 corn tortillas, warmed
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients {through and including the black pepper}.  Set aside.
  2. On a clean work surface, lay out {horizontally} the skirt steaks and cut in half.  Doing this will allow the steaks to fit more easily into a roasting dish for marinating and the meat will be easier to cook on the grill.  Generously coat both sides of each steak section with the dry spice mixture, rubbing it into the meat with your fingers.  Place seasoned meat into a large roasting dish, preferably in a single layer, and set aside.
  3. In another small bowl whisk the lime juice and the oil and then pour over the steaks, making sure that all the meat has been coated.  Marinate the steaks for 2 hours at room temperature, rotating steaks in marinade after the first hour.
  4. Grill the steak over moderately high heat {turning as needed} until lightly charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 10 minutes. Transfer the steak to a clean work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak and serve with tortillas, salsa, guacamole and shredded lettuce or cabbage.

Skirt Steak Collage


While the steak was marinating this afternoon, I prepared the various sides beginning with the lime salt.  This seasoned salt turned out to be the star of the meal!  It was the secret ingredient that transformed the salsa, guacamole and the tortilla chips.  SO incredibly easy to make!  I look forward to using this salt throughout the summer months…I think it will make a lovely rimming salt for margaritas & my famous bloody mary.  {You really must go and read Heidi Swanson’s Citrus Salts post on her own blog, 101 Cookbooks…I think it will inspire you to make a few of your own.  As I write this post, key lime salt, lemon salt, clementine salt are all warming in my oven!}

Lime Salt {click here for the recipe at 101 Cookbooks}

Lime Salt Collage

 {Note:  the salt cooks in the oven at a low temperature for a little over an hour so preparing the salt is definitely a “do ahead” item.}

When the salt came out of the oven, in went the tomatoes, peppers & garlic for the salsa.  Salsa…soooo many different recipes, styles, flavors…everybody has their own favorite.  Here at The Dinner Concierge, we have been saved from the dark side heavily influenced in our salsa passion by the years we lived in Texas.  During those five years I learned a) what hot weather really felt like and b) what really good salsa tasted like.  A few key components of really good, real salsa:  salsa is red; it is not chunky {folks, that is called Pico de Gallo}; and it NEVER contains avocado {that is what guacamole is for}.

This salsa recipe may seem pretty basic but the secret is roasting the vegetables first…this really deepens their flavor.  Start with this basic recipe and you can build on it.  Occasionally I will add some white onion {I didn’t this time because I knew the accompanying guacamole would be packed with white onion} or a bit of cilantro and lime juice.  I wanted to keep it simple this time as I was experimenting with the addition of lime salt.  The finished salsa was amazing and, like I said earlier, the lime salt really made it special.


  • 6 large plum tomatoes, stemmed and halved
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and partially seeded {depending on how much heat you want; I usually keep the seeds from one of the chile halves}
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • lime salt to taste
  1. Preheat broiler.  Line a broiler pan with foil and place vegetables on the pan.  Broil vegetables until the chiles and garlic begin to blister {dark spots appear}, approximately 7-8 minutes.  Remove garlic and chiles and put in a blender.
  2. Return tomatoes to broiler and continue roasting until tomatoes begin to brown {about another 5 minutes}.  Remove tomatoes, and any accumulated juices in the pan, to the blender containing the chiles and garlic.
  3. Add ¼ cup of water to the blender and blend on high until desired consistency is reached.  Add more water and continue blending if a thinner salsa is what you are looking for.  Remove salsa to a small bowl and add lime salt to taste.

Salsa Collage

Next up, the Guacamole.  As with the salsa above, we really do prefer a classic style guacamole…white onion, chiles, avocado, cilantro, coarse salt and a squeeze of lime…adding tomatoes only if it is peak heirloom tomato season.  For this guacamole, I left out the squeeze of lime and replaced the coarse kosher salt with lime salt.  OUTSTANDING!  This is, hands down, our favorite guacamole…

Guacamole {adapted from Food52}

  • ½ of a medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno chile, stem & seeds removed, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Lime Salt
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 2  Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  1. Using a pestle, mash the onion, chile, salt, and half of the cilantro to a paste in a molcajete or other mortar.
  2. Score the flesh of the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (not through the skin) with a knife and then, with a spoon, scoop the flesh from 2 of the avocado halves into the mortar. Mash the avocado into the chile-onion-cilantro paste.
  3. Then, scoop out the flesh from the remaining avocado halves into the mortar and add the rest of the cilantro, mashing very coarsely with a fork {leaving large chunks of avocado for texture}. Season to taste with additional lime salt if desired.



You can click here to see how to easily make homemade, oven-baked tortilla chips.  Eating warm chips from your own oven beats getting them from a plastic bag!  I use grapeseed oil to coat my tortillas {an organic, sprouted yellow corn variety} and I seasoned today’s batch of chips with…you guessed it…lime salt!  Our Cinco de Mayo dinner plate:


The children enjoyed these Horchata Milkshakes with their dinner…{Mallory adores cinnamon; guess which one is hers}


What a GREAT Sunday dinner!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Post Your Comment