I may never have a standard ground beef taco again.
Really didn’t time this post out too well, since it’s a Friday in Lent. So if you want to eat meat and then need someone to blame, you can blame me. I’m sure God would be cool with it, since he’s probably the most famous follower of this blog.
Growing up in my family, a taco was ground beef, cheese and vegetables. The most the taco ever got outside of its… shell (GET IT? SHELL!) was the addition of refried beans or maybe sour cream. And then, for some radical reason, cream cheese. Not sure where that came from.
Since I started cooking, I’ve put all kinds of things on a tortillas – fish, ground beef, pork and chicken. This recipe, from our non-official sponsor Blue Apron, was the first time I ever used steak.
I’ve also never made a mole. If you’re unclear what a mole is, Google says it’s “a small burrowing insectivorous mammal with dark velvety fur, a long muzzle, and very small eyes.” The velvety part sounds pleasing, but this is some kind of disgusting animal! No thank you. Not in my kitchen.
In actuality, mole is just a generic name of a number of Mexican sauces. And that’s not me underselling this or being dismissive. There are seven sauces in Mexican culture called mole. In this recipe’s case, the sauce is a mole verde, which is traditionally made from fresh herbs, spices and tomatillos. The twist here is the inclusion of lime for a little acid, as well as pepitas, or pumpkins seeds. These seeds add a great crunch to the sauce and the rest of the dish, which is relatively smooth.
If steak isn’t for you, I could see this recipe working with most proteins. If you’re serious about Lent, you could try seafood or just load it up with a double helping of vegetables or a meat-less substitute, which I will be doing tonight.
Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
Blue Apron calories: About 700
My Fitness Pal calories: 405
6 Corn Tortillas
4 Ounces Tomatillos
1 Bunch Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Pepitas
2 Teaspoons Steak Taco Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Chipotle Chile Powder, Ground Cumin, Dried Mexican Oregano & Garlic Powder)
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the papery husks of the tomatillos; medium dice the tomatillos. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Trim off and discard the ends of the radishes; very thinly slice the radishes into rounds. Quarter the lime. Pit, peel and thinly slice the avocado; top with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning.
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.
Pat the steak dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and half the spice blend. In the pan used to toast the pepitas, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steak and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Top the cooked steak with the juice of 1 lime wedge; loosely cover with aluminum foil and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.
While the steak rests, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the tomatillos and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add ½ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Transfer to a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the cooked tomatillos to your desired consistency. Stir in the chopped pepitas, ¾ of the cilantro and the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and dry the pan.
Heat the pan used to cook the tomatillos on medium until hot. Working in batches, add the tortillas and warm 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until soft and pliable. Divide between 2 plates.
Transfer the rested steak to a cutting board. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the steak; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Stir any juices from the cutting board into the bowl of mole verde. Divide the sliced steak, mole verde and avocado between the warmed tortillas. Garnish with the radishes and remaining cilantro. Enjoy!