Tallulah’s Carne Asada Tacos

I started Tallulah’s Taco Cart to get back to the flavors of my Texas childhood. My recipe for Chile De Arbol “Salsa Roja” may require a trip to a Mexican market for the chiles. Otherwise try the chipotle salsa from our friends at Poblano Farms, found at farmers’ markets and stores around Rhode Island. You can find the taco cart at Coastal Growers’ Market, and with updates on Twitter at tallulahstacos.
September 11, 2012


Dice flank steak into ¼-inch cubes. Place in a mixing bowl and add cumin, coriander and salt. Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with cooking oil and add tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, garlic, chilies and cilantro. Sauté 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Serve at room temperature. (Salsa can be stored in refrigerator for 3–5 days or frozen for 1 month. Reduce number of peppers for a milder salsa.)

For guacamole, split avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into a bowl.

Gently mash with the back of a fork, add lime juice and lime zest. Add ½ teaspoon cumin and coriander. Season with salt to taste. Reserve.

Pre-heat large sauté pan over high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking oil and add steak. Cook steak until caramelized on all sides. Remove steak from pan and let rest, keeping warm.

Mix the onion and cilantro and reserve.

For final serving, heat large skillet over high heat. Coat lightly with cooking oil.

Heat tortillas until lightly crispy on both sides. Serve with carne asada, guacamole and

“Salsa Roja,” topped with onion and cilantro. Enjoy! Makes 16 tacos.

Wine Pairing: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier, California. This in an interesting recipe to pair, considering all of its unique flavors. This 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier blend is a great choice with well-balanced acidity, the crisp fruit flavors of the Chenin Blanc and the rich flavors of the Viognier. It has a touch of sweetness to provide balance to the spiciness, yet complex enough to stand up to the flank steak. —Paula LaBarre, Grapes & Gourmet, Jamestown

Recipe by Chef Jake Rojas, Chef/Co-Owner, Tallulah on Thames, Newport
2012 Chef/Restaurant Local Hero Award Winner


Carne Asada
  • 2 pounds flank steak from your favorite local producer
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Cooking oil
  • Chile De Arbol “Salsa Roja”
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tomatillos, husked, washed and chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed and seeded
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 ripe Haas avocados
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 32-ounce package corn tortillas
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
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