Melted Cheese Between Two Tortillas Makes for a Killer Taco.
I realize these look odd, but please bear with me here. I encountered a recipe by Pati Jinich in which she describes tacos which are made by first dunking the tortillas in a tomato sauce, placing 2 at a time in a skillet, topping them with cheese, and then placing one on top of the other, at which time you add the filing, fold it in half and continue cooking until it’s crisp.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea of the melted cheese between the layers of tortillas and imagining how it would ooze out the edges and crisp up as the taco cooked finally got the best of me and I had to go for it.
Pati’s recipe was for a shrimp filled taco and her sauce was tomato based and contained only a few chiles de árbol. I wanted mine to be filled with sliced skirt steak and felt the sauce needed to be much more chile centric. So, I used guajillo, pasilla, and chiles de árbol for my sauce, arriving at a deeply flavored and cumin scented base for my tacos.
I seared my skirt steak in a very hot cast iron skillet in order to get the outside done quickly. The meat needed to stay rare because I knew it would cook a little more when it was cooked inside the taco. It ended up working out perfectly. The steak was at a medium rare stage when I ate the finished taco.
I also felt the sauce and steak would stand up to sharp cheddar for my choice of cheese. I’m extremely fond of Mexican crema and use it frequently, so it was a natural here in order to add some creaminess to the taco. For brightness I made up a quick salad/salsa of tomatoes, avocado, red onion, lime juice and cilantro.
Oh, my goodness. Folks these things are ridiculously delicious. I made the tacos a couple of nights ago and we haven’t stopped talking about them yet. Luckily, I have leftover steak and cheese and will be able to make them again in the next day or so. Once was simply not enough.