07.19.11: dinner (steak tacos)

Steak Tacos with Avocado, Arugula, Caramelized Onions, Radishes and Cheddar

So how ’bout that earthquake on Tuesday, East Coast?

I’ll be honest–it freaked me out. I was on a call in my office and suddenly the building was moving, and we all emerged from cubes and offices to  verify with each other that we didn’t all have massive cases of vertigo at exactly the same time. What freaked me out the most, though, was that it brought me back to a Friday morning two weeks ago: we had made the rather catastrophic mistake of betting on the George Washington Bridge to get us to New Jersey instead of our normal Tappen Zee–having had a few easy GWB crossings lately, surely trying to go over after rush hour on a Friday morning in the summer would be nothing simpler.

Oh, no. Not even a little bit. We were stuck on the Cross Bronx for two hours. That’s two-thirds of the time it should take to get to Pennsylvania from Stamford. To make matters worse, we were completely without recourse–it’s not like we know the major highways around the city all that well, because usually I do everything I can to avoid the highways around the city. So as we sat trapped on an overpass, Michael started losing his mind and then a kid in the car ahead of us started jumping up and down so violently that he made the entire overpass shake, which proceeded to make me a little panicky. The moment the car crossed the bridge and got on the New Jersey Turnpike was finally when I could breathe a sigh of relief.

What that has to do with steak tacos…well, to be honest, not much. But it’s emblematic of the craziness of the last few weeks, and to me, these tacos are emblematic of summertime comfort food: perfectly cooked steak, really good cheddar (I know that cheddar is very much not authentic in tacos, but I don’t care) and crisp vegetables wrapped up in a soft tortilla. I don’t know how M managed to caramelize onions so quickly and make them so savory before he jetted off to the gym, but it would be silly of me to question his talent. (::winks::)

There’s really not much to this (aside from the time to caramelize the onions–if time is short, omit them): depending on your cut of steak, broil for a few minutes a side (M usually does no more than four or five minutes for a thick cut), and while it rests, slice some radishes, wash some arugula, grate the cheese and slice the avocado. While you generally need a good hour to get all of your onions into a state of deep-brown-deliciousness, slicing them thinly and not crowding the pan will help expedite the process a little and if they aren’t all perfect, well, so be it. It is a Tuesday, after all.

  1. Sorry about the horrible commute, but so glad you are okay! I like cheddar in my tacos, too. *waiting to be hit by lightning*

    • I know queso blanco. cotija or Oxacan cheeses are more authentic, but they aren’t as flavorful for me. Even more blasphemous: I use IRISH cheddar.

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