Monday, 31 March 2014

Student Suppers: Steak Tacos with Avocado & Pico de Gallo Salsa

I think about tacos a lot. Actually, since I moved back from Los Angeles and I can no longer regularly grab Pork Belly Adobo Tacos from TLT Food in Westwood or the Shrimp Tacos from Blue Plate Taco for lunch in Santa Monica, I have been daydreaming about Tacos, and Mexican food in general more than I think is actually healthy. One evening earlier in the month when it really started to get sunny and I was only staying in my London flat for a couple of evenings, so I did not need to do a big food shop I went to grab the fixings for my homemade Pico de Gallo, some grilled cold chicken, some ripe avocados and some tortilla wraps to fix my cravings. Oh, and it was almost 5pm on a Monday so Corona with fresh lime wedges were also a must.
Steak Tacos 2

I settled down to watch The Good Wife back before I decided I was not entirely sure I wanted to watch it anymore thanks to the massive spoiler type thing that happened last week that those of you who have seen it will know what I'm talking about), and make up my wraps, and I got lost in a Sunny Mexican food bubble. Bliss. I'd grabbed the cold chicken as I could not be bothered to cook anything, but I just had this niggling feeling that my wraps would be so much better with steak in instead. And also, they would be much better if they were not wraps at all, but tacos. If the famous Kogi Barbecue food trucks in Los Angeles with their equally famous Korean barbecue tacos has taught us anything, it is that everything is better in taco form.
DSC_0428 DSC_0406 There is just one small issue with what then became my grand plan to blog a recipe for steak tacos with avocado and Pico de Gallo. The next morning Rose, who I love dearly both for her blog, on Twitter and in real life went and posted what on her blog? Steak Tacos with Salsa & Feta Guacamole. When I told her about this, Rose proclaimed that "great minds think Mexican!", but in my mind I pretty much decided that I had to scrap my post idea, lest someone would accuse me of just copying The Londoner. However, as I opened this post, I just could not stop thinking about tacos. So, you basically have two separate excuses to eat steak tacos this month. How could this possibly be a bad thing? Oh, and by the way, as I have a 'thing' about using big flour tortillas to make tacos, I tracked down some proper smaller corn tortillas made my the Cool Chile Co (the guys behind my favourite place to eat tacos in London, Taqueria on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill) in Whole Foods on Kensington High Street, but you can just use flour ones at home.
Steak Tacos 1 extremegrilling Something else that is awesome about my tacos, is that they don't contain any added sugar, or any added fat past what is already in your steak. This brings me onto why there is a picture of me sitting on top of a gate on the farm with a George Forman Grill. Readers who were with me last Summer will know that I am perfectly willing to to some rather odd things to support what I think are particularly creative campaign ideas on the part of PR and SEO people (remember the time I spent the afternoon in the office bouncing around on a giant green space hopper?) So, when the team at George Forman got in touch about their latest campaign, I just knew I had to do something in support. It was just such a good idea. Basically, a student at the University of West Scotland took a George Forman to lectures to make a hot toasted sandwich while he was there, and the pictures went viral. Inspired by this, they are now running an #extremegrilling campaign (think extreme ironing) challenging bloggers to find somewhere creative to use their grill. I thought the food would get cold sitting up cooking on a gate on the other end of the farm, but there are the power points and extensions in place so that I could have done. This photo also highlights why I never really was going to last that long as a fashion blogger; this is what I pretty much look like every day while I'm working without much variety: an only pair of Levi's (though they are the same as my everyday beloved Curve ID pair) with holes in amusing places, an old Madewell tee that also has holes in it (similar here) and a pair of farm colour inappropriate, mud stained Hunters (similar here)!

So, while you can cook your steak on the griddle or on the barbecue, if you're a student who is pushed for space (or indeed one who wants to make these in the lecture hall!) or you want to make this no added fat or sugar dish (and we're using corn tortillas not flour) even healthier you could use a George Forman Grill to cook up your steaks. Also a great idea so you could cut the meat into strips at first then cook it at the table as you eat so your steak is always piping hot.

  • 2 Large, ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Fresh Jalapeños
  • 1/2 Large White Onion
  • Sea Salt
  • Small Handful Fresh Coriander
  • 1 Large Steak for every 2 people
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Medium Ripe Avocado for every 2 people
  • 3 - 4 Small Corn Tortillas per person 
  • Fresh Lime Wedges, to serve

First take the steaks out of the fridge to bring them up to room temperature, then make the salsa. Chop the tomatoes and the onions finely. Add the jalapeños, deseeded and finely chopped and season to taste with sea salt and finely chopped fresh coriander. Set aside in the fridge for the flavours to meld together. You'll need to check the salt seasoning again before serving.

Next, season the steaks lightly with sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper, and cook the steaks to your personal preference. While they are resting heat up your tortillas as per the packets instruction, and peel, de-stone and slice the avocados lengthways into large slices. Cut the steak into thick slices and serve everything family style on the table so everyone can help themselves. Enjoy!

What are your favourite taco fillings, and family style lunches? If you're looking for something else Mexican and family style to enjoy that is also pretty cheap and easy (it is also in my Student Suppers category) be sure to check out my recipe for Homemade Chicken Fajitas


  1. This looks incredible! I'm doing the weekly shop tonight and might just have to rustle this up for dinner - added to the weekly Chai 'menu'.

  2. Can't wait to hear what you think of them! x

  3. As you said, great minds think Mexican!

  4. These look excellent - I love how easy Mexican food is, especially if you're entertaining! I just cannot get on board with avocados - I try to like them, but something about the texture just puts me about!

  5. That is what my Mother said when we had these. I used to hate them, but now I'm so on board I'm obsessed! I'm not really sure what changed for me, though.

  6. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I've never considered making my own salsa before, but I'll definitely be trying this out sometime :)

  7. Let me know what you think! Honestly, when I could buy it fresh in Los Angeles I did, but now I make this all the time!

  8. We make tacos and burritos at least once a week! They're so quick and delicious! And there's usually loads of chilli left over for lunch the next day.

    Maria xx