Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sirloin Tacos with Red Cabbage, Scallions, and Cilantro

Eating seasonally is a funny project. During the winter, the farm finds are so fundamentally winter that it's difficult to break out of the soup/stew/casserole/roast recipes. But here I find myself dipping my toes into the first spring produce, and I'm making tacos with flavors I'd usually associate with a summer grill.

It may be a rebellion against the typically heavy foods of winter, the anticipation of sunny days on the horizon, or the abundance of fresh cilantro at the farmers market, but I found myself craving spicy, fresh, latin flavors this month. While my herb garden is sprouting, I'll be able to find everything I need, made and grown locally in Portland at the farmers market. That is, everything but citrus, the singular kink in my locavore chain. Most sacrifices are bearable - I don't really need avocado, I have no cravings for pineapple, but I miss citrus like I miss my parents. I should investigate those indoor lime trees.

I had some organic top sirloin strips (butcher cast-offs from some special order, always a good find) and some gorgeous red cabbage, fresh cilantro, some thick greek-style yogurt and scallions as big as leeks. Pulling a stack of corn tortillas from the fridge, the natural decision was tacos!

I sauteed the scallions with cumin, chili powder, and pepper, and seared the steak until it was done. After I warmed the tortillas, I piled the tacos with the cabbage, cilantro, yogurt, and a bit of hot sauce. No real recipe here, just fresh flavors and spices you like. If I had thought ahead, I might have marinaded the steak, but this was just a quick lunch and it was plenty flavorful. The scallions caramelized and the cabbage had great color and crunch.

My only complaint with this dish was the tortilla. I had to pick them up at New Seasons, and while they were organic and wholesome, they were probably made last week. I miss the big latino super-grocers in Southern California, where you can get a HUGE stack of still-warm tortillas, bulk pico de gallo, and all the citrus you could eat for pennies.

I need a place to get great, fresh tortillas in Portland. Any suggestions?

Here's to slightly warmer days and fantasies of cocktails by the beach. Eat well!


  1. Oh em gee those look so good. Make them for meeee

  2. Thanks for reading my blog. I'm glad you liked the cookies! :)

  3. You could try your local taco truck. :) The one two blocks from my house sells us just tortillas--sometimes they're handmade, sometimes not, but they're always better than store-bought.

  4. How did you know that I was craving tacos?! Now I'm really craving them ...

  5. Cal- Sure, as soon as you come see me in Portland!

    Ashley - I'll be blogging about those cookies this week!

    Sarah - I just might try my local cart, that's a great idea!

    creampuff - Tacos have been my go-to lunch - so quick, and really, you can put anything and everything in a tortilla!