Monday, August 18, 2014

Grilled Steak Tacos with Awesome Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

avocado chimichurri sauce for steak tacos. Cooking Chat recipe.

Sure, awesome gets overused. But this ever-so-tasty avocado chimichurri sauce definitely needed an adjective in front of it, and "awesome" was the one used by several of our guests when I made the sauce for grilled steak tacos recently. Plus, avocados are awesome in their own right, so the name seems fitting.

These steak tacos make great party food. You can offer a group of 8 to 10 guests some tasty steak without breaking the bank--serving the steak in tacos with a side of refried beans stretches the meat nicely, and the sauce gives it a fancy touch. Another reason it's great for a party is that you can get much of the work done ahead of time, with just a few prep tasks to do when your guests are with you. This could be scaled up pretty easily, too. Plus, who doesn't love a taco bar, where you can decide for yourself how much of each tasty item you want to put in your taco?

steak ready for tacos with avocado chimichurri sauce

Ingredients (serves 8 to 10)

1.75 lbs sirloin steak (2 good size steaks)
1 1/2 sweet onions, sliced thin
2 different colored bell peppers, coarsely chopped
tbsp olive oil

avocados for chimichurri sauce
For the marinade and base for avocado sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar would do
1 ½ tsp cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt

Finish the sauce with:
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ tsp minced jalapeno
2 avocados, diced close to serving time
1 tbsp lime juice

Fix up those tacos:
2 packs soft taco shells (take them out of fridge when you start making the marinade)
sour cream
lettuce or other salad greens
refried beans

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl (the garlic through cumin and salt). Place the steaks in a large sealable plastic bag, then pour in 1/3 cup of the marinade mixture into the bag, setting aside the rest of the marinade. Seal the bag, and gently toss the steak around with the marinade to get it well-coated. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. About 4 hours is optimal.

avocado, parsley, pepper and garlic for avocado chimichurri sauce

Finish the avocado sauce by taking the remaining marinade that you set aside, then stirring the parsley, jalapeno, and lime juice into the reserved marinade. You can have all this ready to go well before your dinner, then stir in the diced avocados closer to serving time.
avocado chimichurri sauce for steak tacos. Cooking Chat recipe.

You can get the onions and peppers sauteed in advance, and re-heat when ready to serve, or make while your guests are there. I'd suggest at least get the chopping done in advance! To prepare them, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, then add the onions. Saute, stirring occasional, for at least 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the peppers, saute for another 10 minutes. This pepper and onion mixture can be kept on low heat to stay warm until serving time. A little extra cooking just makes them tastier!
slicing steak for avocado chimichurri sauce for steak tacos.
Now, you've got the preliminaries taken care of, it's time to grill that steak! Take the steak out of the fridge 15 minutes before grilling time and pre-heat the grill to medium high. Shake the excess marinade off the steaks, then place them on the grill. For medium rare, which I recommend for this cut, grill 5 to 6 minutes on one side, then flip over to grill another 5 minutes on the other side. Remove the the steak to a serving platter. Slice the steak thin after it has rested a few minutes, and have it ready to go on the taco bar.

You can set up the rest of the items on the taco bar as the steak grills. Line up the soft taco shells, steak, avocado sauce, onions/peppers, sour cream, lettuce and beans and let folks build their own tasty creations. I like to go through the line first and point out the items people can choose from so they don't miss anything. Enjoy your taco party!