Date nights are really just an excuse for Creg and I to eat things that the Rents won’t eat. Normally that means spicy food. Mostly we will go out for Thai or Mexican, or make something at home. While I can’t handle blow-your-head-off spicy, I do like moderate levels of heat. I love all things Mexican, from Day of the Dead, to Puerto Vallarta, to Oaxaca, and all of the food! A while back I perfected a recipe for Sous Vide Carne Asada, which we mostly use for tacos. But with a recent date night on the horizon and nothing planned, as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep it came to me! We had a bag of Tortilla Chips. We had a jar of Papalote Salsa. We had some flank steak in the freezer. We had some leftover cheddar. We had all the makings for dinner!
I began in the morning with the Carne Asada, since it takes 8 hours. Don’t be deterred though; almost all of this time is hands-off. You just mix up the marinade, put it in a plastic ziplock with the meat, and stick it in the Sous Vide. 8 hours later, take it out and sear it, and you’re done! The result is the most tender and delicious Carne Asada!
For the nachos, this part is totally customizable. First I sautéd up some onion and bell pepper that I had on hand. Then I lined a sheet pan with foil and laid down a layer of tortilla chips. I topped that with some sliced Carne Asada, then some grated cheddar, pickled onions that I had in the fridge, and a few pickled jalapeños. Then another layer of chips, cheese, and topped the whole thing with the onion & pepper mixture. The sheet pan then went under the broiler for a few minutes till the cheese was melted and some of the chips were just starting to char. We served these with some leftover guacamole for the previous day, and the Papalote salsa. So yummy and satisfying! The idea of putting these under the broiler instead of simply heating them in the oven comes from a restaurant that I used to love in San Francisco, sadly long gone now, called Wahaka. They would put their nachos under the salamander for a minute and they were the best thing ever!
Carne Asada Nachos
- 1 recipe Sous Vide Carne Asada recipe below
- ½ bag tortilla chips
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- toppings of your choice grilled onions & peppers, pickled onions, pickled jalapeños, guacamole, salsa, sour cream
For carne asada
- 1.5 lbs Flank Steak or Skirt Steak
For the Carne Asada
- Set the immersion circulator in a large pot or cambro container to 132°F.
- Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
- Cut the flank (or skirt) steak into pieces to fit into a gallon sized ziplock bag.
- Place the steak and marinade in the bag. Seal the bag, leaving a small opening on one side. Slowly submerge into the water, keeping the opening out of the water; this will remove the air from the bag. Once most of the bag is submerged, seal the bag completely. Sous Vide for 8-10 hours.
- When the meat is done, heat a cast iron or stainless steel pan over high heat till it's very hot. Wipe the meat off and get it as dry as you can. Add a tiny amount of canola oil to the pan and sear the meat for about 15 seconds per side. Slice meat against the grain into thin slices.
For the nachos
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread a layer of tortilla chips on the foil. Top with some of the carne asada; top with about 1 cup of the cheddar, pickled jalapeños, and pickled onions. Top with another layer of chips, the remaining cheddar, and grilled vegetables or any other toppings you have.
- Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until cheese has melted and some of the chips have begun to char slightly. Keep a close eye on it, as broilers vary greatly in intensity.
- Remove from oven and top with cold toppings; guacamole, salsa, sour cream.
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