• Pretty Plate by Michelle

Taco Tuesday for September 2020: Grilled Tacos, Elote Casserole, Pico de Gallo and Mini Margaritas

Updated: Sep 2

September Taco Tuesday features blue agave chipotle marinated steak and portobello mushroom tacos topped with pickled red onion, red cabbage and cotija cheese, a spicy cucumber radish pico de gallo, a tater tot elote casserole and mini strawberry watermelon patron margaritas. This month contains a lot of fun and delicious items that you will definitely want to add to your Tuesday meal plans.



STEAK AND PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM TACOS:

Steak is a very popular protein when it comes to tacos. There is just something about them that makes them taste that much better! Am I right!? or am I right!? This recipe is marinated in a sweet, yet spicy and smoky marinade and the best part is that it only requires 3 easy ingredients! It only takes 3 ingredients to get you to that restaurant quality protein we all desire. I like to season my proteins before I marinate them as well to give them that extra flavor and the key is to season on both sides, not just one and let me tell ya, you will want double the flavor on this one.


Since I know that not everyone is a meat lover, I wanted to incorporate a vegetarian option this month as well. In my opinion, portobello mushrooms look and almost, but not quite have the same consistency to skirt steak when sliced. When you use the same marinade, they become so similar! So, the great thing about this month’s dish is that you can choose to have just steak tacos, just mushroom tacos or you can combine them and have both! I placed them on a platter charcuterie style, so my guests could essentially build their own tacos. It gave them the freedom to mix and match. It was so fun!


The steak and mushrooms are so flavorful especially when they are grilled and have a nice charred flavor ontop of the seasonings and marinade that it has been soaking in. So, when building the tacos I choose to leave out any type of salsa and crema as a topping. I want you to really be able to taste the main attraction. I kept it simple with plain, thinly sliced red cabbage for a vegetable crunch, small amounts of creamy, crumbled cotija cheese and sweet yet savory pickled red onion. Don’t get me wrong, I love salsas and cremas as toppings on my tacos and there are others that do as well. So, as apart of your board you can put them on the side in little bowls and people can add if they would like. But, when initially building them I highly suggest leaving them off.



SPICY CUCUMBER RADISH PICO DE GALLO:

There is truly nothing better than fresh, juicy pico de gallo. It is a healthy, low calorie dish that just bursts with flavor. It is enjoyable on its own, with chips as a dip or spooned on as a topping to another dish. This recipe is so irresistible, you won’t be able to stop eating it! I made a huge batch for my family and it was gone before the main meal (tacos) even came out! It‘s that good.


I decided to add a bit more color, crunch and freshness to the traditional pico de gallo that you are used to having. I love cucumbers and always have. They are so fresh and crunchy with soft seeds in the middle they truly go with anything! So, I decided to add one of my favorite ingredients to this dish for a little summer flair. The colorful radish makes for a secondary crunch addition and they are similar to cucumbers in a sense to where they don’t have much flavor. So, they also go great with anything (salads, salsas, garnishes, etc.). I also love their beautiful pink and white colors. So, to give the salsa a variety of textures, I added in these babies and I cut the radish into thin matchsticks. When everything is mixed, it also helped them stand out a little more.


This recipe is so easy to make and can be made in 20 minutes or less! There are 7 main ingredients. All you need to do is: chop, mince, dice and mix and you will have the juiciest, crunchiest most colorful dish that has a little (or a lot) of kick in 20 minutes. This will definitely be a crowd pleaser!



TATER TOT ELOTE CASSEROLE:

Raise your hand if you love elotes! ME! ME! I am a huge corn fan as is, but when it is tossed with seasonings, toppings and other mixtures I seriously can’t get enough! And neither will you. This tater tot elote casserole is the taco Tuesday comfort food that will be your new go to. The traditional elote dish is tossed in variety of creams, mayonnaise and cheese. But, lucky for us, Trader Joe’s came out with an elote seasoning and when this seasoning is sprinkled on the corn and mixed, it really gives it that elote flavor without all of the creams and mayonnaise. You might be surprised!


If I am being honest, sometimes the traditional elote salad just doesn’t cut it, although it is very good. I wanted to give this dish that extra umph it deserves! Corn can sometimes be blah on its own, I wanted to add a carb component since I know we all love our carbs. I took that traditional elote dish and enhanced it with another crowd favorite: tater tots! I mixed it with crispy yet tender tater tots to make for one of the best elote dishes you will ever have. Yes, it really is as good as it sounds.


Crispy baked tater tots with crunchy corn topped with my cucumber radish pico de gallo, creamy crumbled cotija cheese, green onion and cilantro leaves is a power house casserole that you do not want to miss out on!



STRAWBERRY WATERMELON PATRON MINI MARGARITAS:

This will be the easiest margarita recipe you will make. That is because it requires only 3 ingredients and the margarita mix is premade! I know we all like easy, so I took a trip to Williams Sonoma and there they have this strawberry watermelon margarita mix. This mixture will make your life so easy and still make for a delicious and adorable margarita.


I purchased my mini patron bottles from Binny’s, however they also have them in a variety pack of three from target. I used silver tequila. All you have to do is pour the margarita mix into a pitcher, open your mini patron bottles and pour the liquor into the mixture, add some lime juice if desired and mix. Place in the fridge to cool.


When ready to serve, carefully pour the mixture back into the patron bottles, garnish with a mini lime wedge and place a cut paper straw (cut a paper straw in half) in the bottle for easy sipping. It does not get any easier or more adorable than that!


Serves 10, INGREDIENTS: For the Blue Agave Chipotle Steak and Portobello Mushroom Tacos

1.5 LB. skirt steak

1 6 Oz. package portobello mushrooms, pre-sliced (I got mine from Whole Foods)

1 Cup blue agave (1/2 cup for the steak marinate and 1/2 cup for the mushrooms)

3 7 oz. cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (2 cans for the steak and 1 can for the mushrooms)

2 TBSP minced garlic (1 TBSP for the steaks and 1 TBSP for the mushrooms)

Chipotle seasoning (I used the Frontier Co-Op brand from Whole Foods)

Cumin (I used the Frontier Co-Op brand from Whole Foods)

Salt

Pepper

Pickled red onion (recipe to follow)

Red cabbage, thinly sliced

Cojita cheese

Flour and Corn Tortilla’s (whichever you prefer, I did both)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season your steaks on both sides and your mushrooms with chipotle seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper.

  2. ** NOTE: Although the marinades for the steak and mushrooms are the same, measured them out separately because there is more steak than there are mushrooms, so the steak required more marinade. ** For both marinades: In a bowl, whisk together: cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, blue agave and minced garlic.

  3. Place your steaks in one ziploc bag and the mushrooms in another. Pour the marinades in each bag. Mix and shake to coat. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.

  4. When ready to grill. Heat your grill to 350 degrees. Place steaks and mushrooms on the grill and grill for a total of 15-16 minutes. Flipping meat and mushrooms half way at about 7-8 minutes.

  5. When done, remove from grill. Let cool and slice your steak.

  6. Heat your tortillas over medium to low heat in a pan on the stove. Heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

  7. When ready to build your tacos, take a tortilla of your choice, place 2-3 slices of steak and/or mushrooms and place in the middle, top with a pinch of thinly sliced red cabbage, a pinch or two of pickled red onion and top with a few sprinkles of crumbled cotija cheese.

Serves 10, INGREDIENTS: For the Pickled Red Onion

1 red onion, sliced in horse shoes

1-1.5 TBSP black peppercorns

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 TBSP sugar

Mason jar with a lid or your storage container of choice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice your red onion into horse shoe shape and place in your mason jar or storage container of choice.

  2. In a bowl whisk together sugar and white vinegar. Pour mixture into the jar full of onions.

  3. Pour black peppercorns into the jar to add to the onion and vinegar mix. Place the lid on top and shake to evenly distribute. Set the the fridge to marinate for at least one hour before use.

Serves 10, INGREDIENTS: For the Cucumber Radish Pico De Gallo

5 Medium tomatoes ripe and on the vine, diced

Half of a yellow onion, diced

1 Cup English cucumber, finely diced

1/2 Cup radishes, cut in match sticks

1/4 Cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 TBSP jalapeño, finely minced

1 TSP salt

1/2 TSP black pepper

1 TBSP minced garlic

Fresh lime juice from 3 limes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare all of your ingredients: Dice your tomatoes, yellow onion and English cucumber. Cut your radish into thin matchsticks. Finely chop your cilantro and finely mince your jalapeño.

  2. Place all items in a bowl. Add salt, pepper minced garlic and fresh lime juice from three limes.

  3. Mix well. Place in your serving bowl of choice. Cover and place in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 10, INGREDIENTS: For the Tater Tot Elote Casserole

1 Package Alexa brand tater tots

3 Ears of corn

3 TBSP Elote seasoning

4 TBSP cream cheese

1/2 TSP salt

1/2 TSP garlic powder

1/3 Cup fiesta cheese or Mexican blend cheese

Cojita cheese for garnish on top

Green onion, thinly sliced at an angle for garnish on top

Few sprigs of cilantro for garnish

Cucumber radish pico de gallo for garnish on top

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove husks and corn silk from corn. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add your corn and cook for 7-10 minutes or until all sides of the corn are bright yellow. When cooked removed from water, pat dry and let cool.

  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non stick spray. Add your tater tots and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping and tossing half way through to ensure all sides get cooked evenly.

  3. Once the corn has cooled. Cut your corn off the cob and place in a bowl.

  4. When tater tots are done baking, remove them from heat. Let cool.

  5. While tater tots are cooling. Add elote seasoning, cream cheese, salt, and garlic powder to the bowl and mix.

  6. Add the tater tots and fiesta or Mexican cheese. Mix again.

  7. Transfer to your cast iron or baking dish of choice.

  8. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

  9. Remove from heat once warmed and mix within the dish. Garnish with cotija cheese, sprinkle with sliced green onion, add a few touches of cilantro leaves and top with a few spoonfuls of cucumber pico de gallo.

  10. Serve immediately and enjoy!

PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED:

  1. Mason Jars

  2. Cast Iron Skillet Set

  3. Marble Platter

  4. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set

  5. Glass Mixing Bowl Set

  6. Marble Salt Bowl

  7. Weber Grill

  8. Serving Spoons Set

  9. Calphalon Kitchen Knives Set

  10. Cuisinart Grill Set

  11. Baking Sheet Set

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