It’s that time of year for gathering together and firing up the grill! As it happens this week brings a particularly great excuse to invite friends and family over. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in many different ways around the United States and Mexico. For me, it includes great food and an ice cold Mexican beer.
This week I wanted to share a recipe that is perfect for such an occasion: carne asada which translates into “grilled beef.” This delicious and simple protein can be served with warmed tortillas atop a salad and is delicious both warm and cold. To ensure that your carne asada is tender, be sure to cut it thinly across the grain of the meat. If you are vegetarian, try using the marinade with your favorite veggies or tofu, I’ve used it that way with skewers as well. Enjoy!
1 flank steak trimmed, rinsed, and dried with paper towels (about 1-1.5lbs)
1 or 2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded (add more or less to adjust spiciness)
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bunches fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
3/4 cup cooking oil (I use olive oil)
In a food processor add all marinade ingredients except the oil and pulse 3-4 times. Add oil and pulse an additional 3-4 times. Place your flank steak in a large freezer bag with the marinade and carefully push as much air out of the bag as you can then seal it. Marinade the flank steak in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Preheat your grill to medium high. Remove your steak from the marinade and season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the flank steak for 4-5 minutes on each side or until it reaches desired temperature. I usually cook mine to medium-rare (135 degrees F) or to medium (145 degrees F). Allow your Carne Asada to rest a full five minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain with a very sharp knife.
Serve with your favorite sides and warmed tortillas, lime wedges, and ice cold beer. I have also included a recipe for pico de gallo a quick and easy accoutrement for your meal.
Pico de Gallo
4 tomatoes, dices 1/4 inch
1 large yellow onion, diced 1/4 inch
1 bunch cilantro chopped
1 lime juiced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced (add another if you like it spicy or leave it out if you don’t)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Looking for some more great food and drink this Cinco De Mayo weekend? Well, here you go:
TODAY! Friday, May 3
Cinco De Micro Brewfest – Salem, Oregon The second annual Cinco de Micro Brewfest, presented by OZ Cap LLC, will feature your favorite local and northwest brews, local eateries, musical entertainment and the unique opportunity to taste hard to find, spring release brews. This two-day brewfest benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties.
Saturday, May 4
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (Part One) – Kensington, California Enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of Mexico and help raise funds for UUCB (Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley) and CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Sponsoring Committee) CLOUD group for DACA-eligible DREAMers. Live music featuring UUCB musicians. Dancing to recorded Mexican and Latin music, with a salsa dance lesson. Dinner, including chicken molé and tamales, catered by Richard M. Dawkins. No-host bar with sangría, Mexican beer, wine, and alcohol-free beverages. Silent auction including restaurant certificates, services, art, and assorted treasures. This evening event is called “Part One” because there will be more festivities on Sunday, May 5th, with free admission, games and activities for all ages, food for purchase, and a continuation of the silent auction.
CINCO DE MAYO! Sunday, May 5
Best of the West IPA Fest – San Diego, California Beer lovers unite this Cinco de Mayo! Come to LOUNGEsix on Sunday for the Best of the West IPA Fest and celebrate good beer! The IPA challenge calls for local breweries to compete for the coveted titles of Critics’ Choice Award and People’s Choice Award. Vote on your favorite brewery, mingle with brew masters, and snack on pint-sized sandwiches as you sample some of Southern California’s finest ales.
Cinco de Mayo: Cocina Vegana Creativa – Los Angeles, California ¡Viva la vegan! Join Urban Dinner Socials in Atwater for creative vegan cuisine! The menu this Sunday will include avocados and mangoes, cauliflower ceviche, three kinds of tacos, and chocolate cinnamon ice cream. Their Cinco de Mayo dinner is sponsored by Whittier Backyard Farms. You’ll enjoy an Urban Dinner Socials traditional-but-vegan four-course meal and go home with papel picado (paper cutouts) in honor of the holiday. Dinner to be held indoors due to cool evening weather. Enjoy foyer dining or dinner theatrics in the kitchen!
TOP DRINK – Yountville, California Sponsored by Charbay Distillery & Winery, TOP DRINK features live music, and brings together mixologists from Lucy at Bardessono, Bistro Jeanty, Brix, La Condesa, Mustard’s Grill, Goose & Gander, Fagiani’s Bar at The Thomas and Redd Wood to compete for the best and most innovative cocktail using Tequila Tapatio. A silent auction with items including a Charbay Martini Bar for 20 and tours & tastings at local wineries will be held to benefit Napa Valley Museum.