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Memorial Day weekend has come and past, again. 

Memorial Day, as you all know is a day for remembering those who have given their lives for our freedoms; yet it is also a day to mark the beginning of summer, spent with family and friends. The meaning of Memorial Day isn’t lost on my family and I, yet we are blessed to have not lost any family while serving our country.

Last night we sat around the table, my two sisters, grandmother, dad and I, and we were lucky to have those we cared about most with us, save for my mum who was at a friend’s cook out. Regardless, it was a lazy afternoon, unlike years past. In those years, we would spend the last of the three day weekend eating burgers and dogs from the grill, or helping to prepare the potato salad to be brought over to an aunt’s house. Usually a variety of chips and dips are on the table until the other food finishes cooking. Not yesterday.

Yesterday was a laid back day, as they usually are around my house. Dad had some steaks out on the grill; a family friend swung by with her little girl; My sisters could be heard asking about when dinner would be done. The smell of steaks cooking filled the kitchen, the aroma wafting from the grill on the deck through the back door, filling the house. The kitchen was hot, fries were being baked in the oven. After dinner was a great time for a margarita (mine without alcohol, obviously) and to dip my feet into the newly opened pool.

This morning, I was feeling uninspired. I didn’t know what to make and was bouncing ideas off of my mum. That was when I figured out what it was I wanted to make. We had left over steak from the previous night, guacamole in the fridge with salsa, limes and cheese; on the counter lay a bag of corn tortillas. I bounced the idea off of mum, who sounded fond of it, and so I set to marinate the steak in the teriyaki, soy and Worcestershire sauces. It was still early and I had some time until I would make lunch.

Around noon, my stomach growled and I caught myself considering snacking on a mini cinnamon roll. Instead of having the cinnamon roll, I set about making lunch. 

Instead of getting the meat into a pan, I first started with the tortillas. Mum had asked me to refrain from using the fresh Colby Jack that we have in the fridge and instead offered up the already shredded, bagged “Mexican blend” cheese. 

Just as a note, next time I’ll stick to the fresh stuff. Let’s compare, shall we?

Fresh grated Colby Jack cheese, from my adventures with beef tacos at Josh’s house.

“Mexican blend” cheese, from the bag with anti-caking agents.

I’ll stick with the fresh stuff, thank you.

Continuing on, I put the tortillas into our very large, incredibly amazing toaster oven. Dad got mum this toaster oven a couple years back and truth be told, I don’t even use it to “toast” things. I’ll cook a pizza in it, cook tortillas with cheese on them (like I would in an oven that’s at 375), even put pierogies and sausage in there. But I’ve never really used it to toast bread, now that I think about it.

While the tortillas cooked and the cheese began to grow bubbly, I took the meat out.

Marinated for three hours, looks delicious.

Once it was in the pan, I kept the pan over medium heat. Since the steak had been grilled last night, it wouldn’t take long for it to cook through.

When the tortillas finished cooking, I took them from the toaster oven. 

While the meat cooked over medium heat, I began to add everything I wanted on the tortilla.

A little green never hurt anybody, right?

I don’t know where Mum got the guacamole, but this stuff is delicious.

On top of the guacamole, I added some salsa.

Medium salsa is the perfect temperature for my ‘buds, thank you.

And finally, the meat. 

After the “tacos” were assembled, I squeezed the lime over them, and then took a bite.

For being completely on the fly, it was delicious. Moist flavourful steak (imagine: it kept the barbecued flavour and enjoyed the marinade) met earthy guacamole and spicy salsa, only to be tempered by the cheese and finally brightened by the tart bite from the lime. Each of the layers on the tortilla complemented and accented each other, combining to dance gracefully across my tongue.

Not only was it delightful, it took ten minutes to make total and only dirtied up a pan and a dish (for marinating the steaks in). So it’s convenient if you’re short on time. Pair it with a leafy salad and you have a meal suitable for lunch. Pair it with a margarita and you might as well go find a beach to sit on because you’ll already be on one mentally.

~Recipe: Leftover Steak Tacos~

Leftover steak meets fresh ingredients in this quick, flavourful weekday meal. 

Serves One comfortably.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4oz of left over steak (London broil works best, I think)
  • Your choice of marinade
  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded (I prefer fresh shredded Colby Jack)
  • Guacamole to taste
  • Salsa to taste
  • Lime juice to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Cut the steak into strips about 1/2″ thick. Combine with marinade in a bag or container with a lid. Let sit anywhere from an hour.
  3. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray (or use soft butter) add even amounts of cheese on them.
  4. Place the tortillas in the oven at 350 for five minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
  5. Place meat in a skillet, marinade and all, and let cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the meat cooks, start assembling the toppings (except for the lime juice) on the tortilla, finally topping it with the steak.
  7. Squeeze the lime over top,
  8. Serve with a salad or rice, and a tall pitcher of margaritas (frozen or on the rocks will do)
  9. Enjoy.
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