We had THE loveliest stretch of goooooorgeous summer-like weather here last week.
It was in the 80's.
Windows and doors were left open to welcome the occasional cool breeze.
The outdoor table was washed off. Pillows were given a good hard dust clearing pat (or two) and put back on chairs. And coffee breaks were taken outside. It was so nice that I tucked the computer away, put my phone on silent, grabbed my book (currently reading Into the Woods by Tana French....its's soooooo good!!) and spent an hour outside reading.
Of course, it is the PNW, so the weather didn't last.
We're back to grey skies and rain. But it was a glimmer of, hopefully, the Summer to come. Which got me thinking about, of course, food. And bbqs. And backyard parties. And what I'm going to make for those bbqs and parties. And what recipe I could give you for your summer bbqs and parties.
Which led me to this recipe for Carne Asada Burritos, in a "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" way --- if you give me sun, then I'll bbq. And if I bbq, I'll make carne asada burritos.
One of the absolute easiest, hands off (mostly) menus you can make for a party are menus centered around burritos and tacos. You create a mouth watering burrito bar. Then stand back while everyone creates their own masterpieces......while you pour yourself another margarita.
Because the absolute beauty of having friends over for a bbq, is being able to actually spend time with those friends. Who wants to spend the entire party over a hot stove, only catching bits and pieces of conversation.
No one, right?
Having a party should be fun for you and your guests. And nothing says fun quite like a burrito bar.
The marinade for the meat is literally exploding with flavor. There are ancho and guajillo chilies, plus chipotle peppers. When combined they are the perfect smokey deep heat. That heat is brightened with orange and lime juice. And flavors get balance with cilantro and spices like cumin and coriander.
Don't let the list of ingredients intimidate you. Yes, it's a long list, but all of the ingredients are EASILY purchased online or at your local grocery store. There are absolutely no hard to find ingredients. And you won't have to trek across town to a speciality market. Because nobody's got time for that.
It's totally up to you what you want to serve alongside the meat. All your favorite toppings can make an appearance. You can get creative with pickled jalapeños and Mexican crema. You can use chicken instead of steak. Grill up onions and red peppers. Or make your burrito bar a taco bar.......or do half burrito bar and half taco bar. Whatever you end up serving, don't forget lots of guacamole (click here for the only recipe for guacamole you'll ever need).
Be sure there's cold beer and margaritas standing by.
Put on your favorite playlist.
And then sit back and enjoy the party.
Because no one will know how easy it was to pull off.........and, I promise, you secret is safe with me. (wink, wink)
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Hungry for more info on how you can get started menu planning? Read this blog post.
- 3 whole dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
- 3 whole dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed (you can also use pasilla or negro chilies)
- 2 whole chipotle peppers, canned in adobo
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 6 medium cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds skirt steak (2 to 3 whole skirt steaks) (you can also use flank steak)
- SERVE WITH THE FOLLOWING:
- Flour or Corn tortillas, warmed
- Lime wedges
- Onion, diced
- Fresh cilantro
- Avocado, diced
- Sour Cream
- Mexican cheese blend
- 1. Place dried ancho and guajillo chilies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, 10 to 20 seconds.
- 2. Transfer to the jar of a blender and add chipotle peppers, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, cumin, coriander, and brown sugar. 3. 3. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.
- 4. Transfer half of the sauce to a large bowl and the other half to a sealed container. Set aside the sealed container in the refrigerator.
- 5. Add an extra 2 teaspoons of salt to the sauce in the bowl. It should taste slightly saltier than is comfortable to taste.
- 6. Add the steak, one at a time, to bowl and turn to completely coat in the sauce.
- 7. Transfer to a gallon size ziplock bag. Repeat with remaining steak, adding it all to the same bag. Pour any excess marinade over the steak. Squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
- 8. When ready to cook, remove the extra sauce from the fridge, and warm in a small pot over medium low heat.
- 9. If you are grilling the steak, turn on the gas grill, or light the charcoal. You can also cook this under the broiler in your oven, or in a large cast iron grill pan on the stove.
- 10. Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover; if using a charcoal grill, leave exposed.
- 11. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. If using the broiler, set your broiler to high, place the steaks on a broiler pan or large sheet pan and broil for about 5 minutes per side. If grilling in a pan, heat the pan on high heat, and grill the steaks for about 5-7 minutes per side.
- 12. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.
- 13. I like to set up a burrito bar where people can assemble and build their own burritos. Set up the extra sauce, lime wedges, onion, cilantro, avocado, salsa, sour cream, cheese and tortillas on the side.
- 14. Feel free to make tacos instead of burritos – either way this is a crowd pleaser!