Carne Asada Taco Vampiro
Carne asada is really the street taco. Smoky meat, fresh salsas, crunchy onions…it just doesn’t get any better. Unless, of course, you take it to the next level with a vampiro, a large and succulent example of the supertaco so fabulously good that you’ll wish you could eat a dozen. Basically, the vampiro is a chile quesadilla wrapped around juicy grilled carne asada and topped with creamy guacamole, a dash of chipotle salsa, pico de gallo, and salty cotixa cheese. It’s fantastic.
Why vampiro? Maybe because this taco deserves to be immortal—or because it has a steak through its heart? In Mexico, this marriage of quesadilla and taco is also called a quesotaco.
Makes12 very substantial tacos
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturecheesy, meaty, savory, smoky
- 1 pound well-marbled flap meat or skirt steak
- 24 fresh corn tortillas
- Carne asada marinade (recipe follows)
- 4 ounces grated Jack or Oaxaca cheese (about 2 cups)
- 4 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Guacamole (recipe follows)
- Pico de gallo (recipe follows)
- Chipotle salsa (recipe follows)
- ½ cup crumbled cotixa cheese
- Cilantro sprigs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 ripe Hass avocados
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano chile, minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cored and seeded Roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons peeled ripe mango, cut into small dice
- 1 teaspoon blanco tequila
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 4 large, ripe Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced small (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup finely diced white onion
- 1/2 medium serrano chile, minced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotles in adobo
- 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon water (optional)
To make the marinade: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Cut the meat into 6 pieces and toss with the marinade. Refrigerate and let marinate for several hours or overnight. Grill the meat over a hot fire until it is done to your liking; be sure to let one side char. Rest the meat for 10 minutes, then cut it into small dice and keep it warm under aluminum foil.
Heat an ungreased heavy griddle or comal. Lay out 6 tortillas and sprinkle the cheese on top. Scatter serrano chiles and green onions over the Jack cheese, then cover each with a second tortilla. Cook on both sides until the cheese is melted.
To assemble the tacos, put 1 tablespoon of guacamole on top of each hot quesadilla. Layer on 2 tablespoons of carne asada and top with a spoonful each of pico de gallo and chipotle salsa. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon grated cotixa cheese and top with a couple of cilantro sprigs. Roll the taco around the filling and secure it with a toothpick. Eat over a plate so you don’t lose anything.
For the Guacamole con Frutas:
Split, pit, and mash the avocado flesh with the lime juice and salt, using a potato masher, fork, or a whisk in an up and down motion--never a blender of a food processor. Stir in the onion, serrano, and tomato. Place in a serving dish.
Toss the mango with the tequila and lime juice.
Arrange the mango, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds in neat rows on top of the mashed avocado. Seta cilantro sprig on top and serve with fresh tostadas and limes. At the table, stir the ingredients into the guacamole and enjoy.
For the Pico de Gallo:
Combine all the ingredients 1 hour before serving. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice as needed. This salsa is good for 24 hours, refrigerated, but may need to be drained and reseasoned.
For the Chipotle Salsa:
Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. The sauce keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. If you plan to serve the sauce from a squeeze bottle, which can be convenient, puree the sauce in a blender and add 1 teaspoon water to thin it.
2010 Deborah Schneider