Mexican street tacos, those small soft tortillas, stuffed with simple fillings yet, a mouthful of wonderful flavours. This summer start your taco menu with a smoky grilled ingredient like pork, steak, beef, shrimp or veggies. Make sure the stuffings are cut into bite size pieces to make each bite more tender and flavourful. Toppings are important and include fresh cilantro leaves, thinly sliced raw onions and a crumbly cheese like salty Mexican Cotija. Have some traditional Mexican crema on hand, a creamy, tangy sauce made by combining equal parts sour cream (1/2 cup) and heavy cream (1/2 cup) with a splash of lime balsamic (2 to 3 tsp). It should sit for a couple of hours to meld the flavours. And for toppers? Corn, avocado, fresh greens, slivers of spicy fresh peppers are just a few.
After all the fussing with meat, veggies and toppings, salsa is the one ingredient that holds it all together. To keep things quick and easy, a store bought jar is the go-to topper. If you want to impress and serve a dizzying variety of of fruity and spicy salsa, add a simple splash of an infused oil and balsamic combo. TIP: For a more intense burst of flavour, drizzle the combo directly on your grilled meats and veggies before adding toppings.
Some of our favourite add-on combos are:
Cayenne & Peach
Orange & Lime
Chipotle & Mango
Cilantro & Lime
Lime & Honey Ginger
GRILLED SHRIMP TACOS WITH ORANGE & LIME SALSA
Grill medium shrimp being careful not to overcook. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup Blood Orange olive oil and 2 tbsp Key Lime white balsamic. Whisk and pour into 1 cup of prepared salsa. Add your favourite toppings. Then spoon on salsa to taste.
GRILLED VEGGIES WITH CILANTRO LIME SALSA
Grill a combination of red, yellow and green peppers, mushrooms and onions. Slice in 1/2 inch pieces. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup Cilantro olive oil and 2 tbsp Key Lime white balsamic. Whisk until creamy, then pour into 1 cup of prepared salsa and stir. Add your favourite toppings to taco. Then spoon on salsa to taste.
GRILLED STEAK WITH CHIPOTLE MANGO SALSA
Grill a small, thin steak medium rare. No need for an outrageously expensive cut. Flank or sirloin are good options. Slice thinly against the grain before adding to taco. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup Chipotle olive oil and 2 tbsp Mango white balsamic. Whisk until creamy, then pour into 1 cup of prepared salsa and stir. Add your favourite toppings to taco. Then spoon on salsa to taste.
GRILLED PORK TACOS WITH CAYENNE PEACH SALSA
Grill a boneless pork cutlet (or chop) until pink inside, being careful not to overcook. For a cutlet, it should take a minute or so per side on a medium grill. It's always a good idea to let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain before adding to taco. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup Cayenne olive oil and 2 tbsp Peach white balsamic. Whisk until creamy, then pour into 1 cup of prepared salsa and stir. Add your favourite toppings to taco. Then spoon on salsa to taste. Option: You can skip the Cayenne for a milder option. Replace with an extra tablespoon of balsamic.
GRILLED CHICKEN, APPLE-RADISH SLAW (SALSA) & LIME & HONEY GINGER DRESSING
This taco is a bit of departure from traditional jarred salsa. And requires a little more work. In this recipe, make your own apple-radish slaw and then use as a topping the way you would a salsa. Before grilling meat, place one finely sliced apple, sliced radishes and very finely sliced red onion in a medium bowl. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup Persian Lime olive oil and 2 tbsp Honey Ginger white balsamic. Pour dressing over apple-radish slaw. Toss and set aside. Grill chicken breasts (or thighs) on medium heat being careful not to overcook. Cut in 2-inch pieces. Then spoon on apple-radish slaw/salsa to taste.