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!