Carne Asada & Coconut water


September 26, 2016

carne asada tacos


Coconut water food pairing #1


If you've ever wanted the perfect union of taste, complimentary sensations and pure mouth bliss, then chill your CoAqua down to 4 degrees while you start working on making fresh corn tortillas for your Carne Asada tacos.

Mexican food and coconut water is a food pairing which you might just want to make all summer long. It's not a secret we want to keep from anyone :) in fact it's a weekly occurrence around here so we thought we'd share. The mixture of cool refreshing coconut water and Carne Asads tacos will float anyone's boat.

You'll want to make your own fresh corn tortillas, the store bought variety are not in the same universe, believe me. They're not hard to make, a little bit of kneading a little bit of pressing and a little bit of cooking and violla a stack of steaming, tasty, amazing tortillas are yours for the filling. 

Here's how.

You'll need Masa Harina which is a corn flour but it's more than just flour. It's corn flour with added lime and wood ash. The lime and the wood ash are highly alkaline which aids in a process called nixtamalization. Bit technical I know but this is the reason the corn flour will form a dough and it helps our bodies absorb the natural calcium in the corn. Feel free to do your own research.

Corn Tortillas Ingredients & tools

  • 500g Masa Harina - Source at a Mexican food store or order online
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tablespoon neutral oil
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Tortilla press  - Source at Mexican food store or order online

Put the Masa into a decent size mixing bowl along with the oil and salt. Add water in small increments and start mixing. Continue to add water until a dough forms. It needs to be sort of springy to the touch. Not to wet, not to dry. If it's to dry it'll crumble and if it's too wet it'll stick the press. Once you've got the consistency right - continue to knead the dough. I usually take it out of the bowl and knead on a big wooden chopping board or counter top. Form the dough into a large ball and place back in the bowl for about an hour. 

Making the tortillas

After an hour or so take the ball of dough out and create smaller balls. I usually make them about 30-50g per ball, about the size of a ping pong ball. This should make you about 10  - 15 balls.

Take your tortilla press and cover the plates with cling film, this helps keep the tortillas from sticking to the press. You'll need some grease proof paper to insert between each fresh tortilla also. 

So, get to it. Press each ball into a perfect 6" corn tortilla, stack them up with a piece of grease proof paper between each one.

Cooking the tortillas

Get your cast iron pan on the stove and get it nice and hot. Don't add any oil or butter just a nice evenly hot pan. Put a small plate to the side and some tin foil to cover the hot tortillas as they come off the pan. Cook each one for about 2 mins per side then put on the plate and keep the growing stack covered with the tin foil.

Drink some CoAqua and keep going :)

Carne Asada

Carne Asada in Mexico is a classic family and friends meal. It is the perfect meal to get together and orchestrate a nice grilling session. Carne Asada, translated ‘Meat on the Grill’, the most common and delicious way to make it is using natural charcoal or even wood if you have some. Using a good cut of meat usually cut in thin steaks like, Chuck steak or skirt steak.

Marinating your steak

I tend to keep it simple. Fresh orange juice, cumin, salt in a zip lock bag or sealed container of some sort. Add a half table spoon of cumin per 200g of meat and a decent pinch of salt, depending on your preference. Pour in enough orange juice to cover the meat and shake the contents to get good coverage. Seal it and leave it overnight if you've got time or a good couple of hours if not. Refrigerate and shake it occasionally. Remember to take the whole package out of the fridge an hour before you intend to cook. You want to bring the meat back up to room temp before cooking.

In a perfect world you'd grill this over a charcoal or wood barbecue but you can also grill it on a cast iron pan on the stove.

It's a thin steak so probably about 2-3mins per side will do it. Make sure you don't turn it or poke while cooking. Just put it on high heat and leave it for 2-3 mins before turning. Do add salt and pepper to the topside while the other side is cooking though.

All the other accoutrements are up to you. From the simple basics of chopped cilantro/coriander and onions with lime juice and a good salsa for tacos and grilled young onions make a delicious simple to prepare and grand celebration feast for any victorious weekend afternoon.

Trust me - with a hot salsa and tangy lime squeezed over your taco and an ice cold CoAqua chaser it's about as perfect as you could want.