Tampiquena is a south of the border alternative to the summer grilling familiars. At its most basic it’s a seasoned grilled skirt steak served with a variety of sides and garnishes. Not surprisingly beans, rice and corn tortillas are usually included.
It’s the upgrades and add-ons to standard carne asada that give Tampiquena its flair. A sweet-spicy marinade is a good place to start. This marinade calls for honey and and the slow sweet burn of guajillo chile powder. Hot refried beans, avocado, radishes and tomatoes with liberal applications of chopped cilantro and sharp cotija cheese round out this version. Oh, and of course a plenty of warm corn tortillas. Include an enchilada or two on the platter and you’ve got a Tampiquena Extraordinario indeed.
Way back during my tour of duty in Olga Breeskin’s variety show Tampiquena was one of the many standouts on the menu of the Hotel Continental on the edges of Mexico City’s Zona Rosa. Sadly, the collapse of the hotel was just one of the many tragedies in Mexico’s terrible 1985 earthquake. So for us, Tampiquena is a reminder of happier times performing with Mexico’s Super Estrella, Super Olga.
2 Tablespoons guajillo chile powder
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup boiling water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. skirt steak
salt and pepper
grated cotija cheese
(Other options to consider include rice, grilled onions, fresh or pickled jalapenos, enchiladas)
1. Place the chile powder in mixing bowl with the honey and stir in 1/4 cup boiling hot water. Let it cool to room temperature and then add the garlic and herbs. Stir in the oil last.
2. Salt and pepper the skirt steak then smear the marinade over both sides of the meat. Marinate, refrigerate, for at least 4 hours. Longer the better. Overnight is ideal.
3. Prepare the garnishes: slice the radishes thin, slice the avocados and tomatoes attractively. Shred the lettuce. Heat the refried beans. Chop the cilantro, grate the cheese. Do what needs to be done to other accompaniments of your choosing.
4. Bring the steak to room temperature. Heat the grill to medium-high. Give the meat another shake and twist of salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness, Skirt steak usually takes 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
5. Warm the tortillas over low heat in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. moistened with a little cooking spray.
6. Serve the steak on a bed of shredded lettuce with the sides and arranged around it. Top with the cheese and cilantro. Serve with the warm tortillas.Print This Post