Let’s Taco ’bout It

Sometimes you just need a good taco… and by sometimes, I mean, pretty much, whenever you can. Lately i’ve been craving them more than usual, but in typical Derek fashion, I wanted to make it all from scratch.  Despite not having a tortilla press (although I’ll have one soon!) I went out and got myself some masa flour (there are many other kinds at the store as well) and mixed it up and made a bunch of taco sized corn tortillas (using the bottom of a pan to flatten them out).  The wife had a good laugh while I used all my might and muscles to press them out and prepare them for the cast iron skillet.  I decided on using up some steak I had recently purchased and portioned out from Costco, and did up a dry rub before grilling them to juicy perfection.  Then I added some homemade pico de gallo, and an Avocado & Cilantro “Cream” sauce that I whipped up to finish them off.  THEY WERE DELICIOUS.  The taste you get from homemade tortillas beats the crap out of the ones from the store any day, hands down, no contest.

Here’s how you put it all together, and keep in mind the prep work can all be done ahead. I made the avocado sauce and pico a little ahead, then grilled the steak while I was portioning and griddling the tortillas.

Corn Tortillas
  • 2 cups Masa Harina flour
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 hot water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. In a large bowl, mix salt and masa harina together.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups of hot water into the dough and mix with a spoon or your hand to form a big ball. The dough should be firm and springy when touched, not dry or super sticky. If you need some more water, add it in small amounts until dough is the right consistency.
  3. Cover the bowl let the dough rest for about an hour.
  4. Preheat a griddle or large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Pinch off a golf-ball sized piece of masa harina and form it into a ball by rolling it in a circular motion in the palm of your hand.
  6. Put the masa ball in between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and flatten it using the tortilla press.
  7. Gently remove the flattened masa from the parchment paper and cook on the hot griddle for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how hot the surface of the griddle is. You want the tortilla to have some brown marks.
  8. Flip the tortilla over and cook on the other side for 30 seconds to about 1 minute. The tortilla may start to puff up in the middle and that is ok
  9. Remove the tortilla and place it between a cloth napkin to keep it warm. If you want to be fancy, you can keep it in a tortilla warmer
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 until all the dough is gone.

The Steak Dry Rub  didn’t have specific measurements since I mostly just eyeballed it, but here’s what spices I used and rubbed all over it before searing on a hot grill (cook to the done-ness you prefer):

  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Pico De Gallo salsa

  • 2 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 an onion (diced)
  • 1-2 jalapeños (diced)
  • Handful of cilantro (chopped)
  • Juice from 1-2 limes
  • salt, oregano and black pepper to taste
  • stir it up!

Avocado & Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 Avocado
  • about a small handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup (approx) of Coconut Milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • approx 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Blend these all the ingredients together in either a good blender or food processor until well incorporated and creamy.  It should be thin enough to drizzle over the tacos (or use in a squirt bottle like I did) but not be TOO runny or TOO thick (you can see in photo what the consitency looks like).

Thats all there is to it! just toss those things together and BAM! you got a delicious taco.


I even decided to eat breakfast tacos the next day, but instead of steak, I cooked up some crispy pork belly slices, and a couple scrambled eggs.


And just like most of my recipes, feel free to get creative and have fun!

Braised Beef Rib Tostada
Red Wine Braised Short Rib tacos, w/ chipotle crema, pickled red onion, avocado, and cilantro



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