Jul 19, 2014

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken and Steak Taco Bar

My husband and I love spicy food! We prefer food that has complex flavor, full of yummy spices that delight the taste buds. When we came to the USA, over ten years ago, one of the first things we looked for was a good Indian restaurant as we love Indian food. Unfortunately, at that time, there wasn't any reasonably good Indian restaurant where we resided so we were quite sad and thought we may no longer have our favorite food for a long time (unless we visited another city). Thankfully, the situation all worked out well as that motivated me to learn how to cook. If spicy food won't be readily available, then I must do something about it. I am glad that because of this I learned how to cook curry and other Indian and even Thai specialties. Necessity is indeed a good motivator!

We discovered that even though good curry take-out houses were not available (we were spoiled in the UK as we lived in areas with curry houses all over the place), we found many delightful Mexican restaurants in the area. This time around, though a different kind of spicy food is on offer, we are glad that our spicy cravings are more than satisfied. Ever since then, Mexican food has become one of our top favorites. Occasionally, I still make curry, of course but when we fancy something spicy and yummy, we have Mexican food quickly to the rescue.

While my kids may not often like curry (especially the super-hot variety), they will never say no to a good taco! We often have tacos at our house and have served them to guests, too. I am glad I found this wonderful recipe for Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken and Steak Taco from Foodnetwork.com. It sounds delicious and uncomplicated and truly perfect for a summer get-together. So next time you fancy some Tacos, why not make this yummy recipe at home and enjoy it with your family and friends!



1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 to 5 pieces)
1 pound skirt steak

Corn Salsa:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling the grill grates
4 ears corn, shucked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves

Taco Bar:

24 soft corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
2 avocados, diced
2 limes, cut into 8 wedges each
1 cup thinly-sliced red radishes
2 cups prepared pico de gallo or salsa


For the marinade: Pulse the chipotles and adobo sauce, orange juice, cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mini-food processor or blender until smooth and emulsified. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside. Place the chicken and steak in separate large resealable plastic bags, divide the remaining marinade between the bags and toss the meats to coat. Seal the bags and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the corn salsa: Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. Brush the corn cobs evenly with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and sprinkle ears with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are cooked through and charred in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly; keep the grill heat at medium-high.

Whisk the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, and Parmesan in a large bowl until combined. Cut off the corn kernels with a paring knife and stir into the mayonnaise mixture. Mix in the cilantro and set aside.

For the taco bar: Transfer the chicken and steak to a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt . Wrap the tortillas in foil and set to the side on the heated grill to warm while you cook the meat.

Arrange the chicken and steak on the grill, brush the tops with some of the reserved marinade and cook 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the steak is medium-rare, another 5 minutes for thinner pieces, and 7 to 8 for thicker. Right before you take the chicken and steak off the grill, brush with the reserved marinade, flip, and cook to caramelize the marinade, about 1 more minute. Transfer the chicken and steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Roughly chop the chicken into 1-inch chunks and slice the steak across the grain. Serve immediately with the tortillas, corn salsa, Monterey Jack, avocados, limes, radishes and salsa.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Foodnetwork.com

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