Cooking in the summer often means backyard grilling. For a quick, easy, and fun meal, tacos top the list of options. Served with your choice of salsa, and sides, marinated skirt-steak tacos and our grilled shrimp tacos, are a snap. Added bonus? Pretty and piquant, quick-pickled onions are the perfect hot-pink topper. Tips: Make the steak marinade first—the meat needs to tenderize for at least an hour. While your meat is marinating, prepare the red-onion quick pickle, which should also steep at least an hour. e shrimp needs a scant 15-minutes in its garlicky lime and chili soak before you place it on the grill. Buen provecho!
GRILLED SKIRT STEAK TACOS
1 ½ pounds skirt steak cut into strips
- Juice of two fresh limes
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili de arbol powder
- 1 fresh jalapeno chili, seeds and stem removed, flesh of chili chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh snipped oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Combine all marinade ingredients with skirt steak strips in a large plastic zippered bag. Massage skirt steak to coat well. Allow to rest for at least one hour, while you make the red-onion quick pickle. Grill skirt steak over high heat about 5 to 7 minutes.
GRILLED SHRIMP TACOS
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- Juice of ½ fresh lime
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine all marinade ingredients in a large zippered plastic bag, massage to coat the shrimp. Let rest for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from bag and thread on to bamboo skewers. Grill shrimp about 3 minutes on each side over high heat.
QUICK-PICKLED RED ONION
- 1 large red onion, peeled, with ends discarded
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 whole peppercorns
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Heat to boiling stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Slice onions into thin rings, toss in a bowl to separate. Fill pint jar with the onion rings; pour hot brine solution over the onions. Add clove of garlic and peppercorns to the jar. Allow open jar to cool on the counter. Within an hour, the onions will have taken on a beautiful pink hue and are ready to use. They are even better chilled for a few hours. Cap jar and store unused pickled onion in the refrigerator. The color will continue to deepen over time.
- 6 white corn tortillas
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil (to grease skillet for warming tortillas)
- 2 fresh avocados, peels and pits removed and discarded, flesh of avocado sliced
- ½ cup your choice of salsa
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, minced
- Quick-pickled red onion
- Quartered fresh limes, to garnish
Serve: Warm tortillas one at a time in a lightly greased skillet. Fill with grilled skirt steak or shrimp, avocado, and choice of salsa. Sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro. Top with pickled onion. Serve with fresh lime wedges and your choice of sides.