Shake up taco night at your house with this easy carrot-pepper recipe.

Over the years, taco night at our house (a family favorite that happens at least twice a month) has evolved into more of a general Mexican night, with the available options reading more like the menu from Los Bravos. No longer do I just buy crunch taco shells, meat, cheese, and taco seasoning, now I buy those things plus refried beans, cheesy Mexican rice, soft shell tortillas, salsa, cheese dip, and nacho chips. That way everyone can pick and choose what they want. The ingredients are essentially all the same, it's just the vehicle for which they deliver it to their stomach is different.

Even with the multitude of options, after awhile it can still get stale. In an effort to jazz it up, I stumbled across a recipe for steak tacos with a carrot-pepper slaw and Greek yogurt sauce in an old Food Network magazine that looked appealing. Turns out it was appealing — appealingly delicious!

Outside of the great flavor, it was easy to make. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 finely grated clove of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro*
  • 1 large onion (I used a yellow onion, but white will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Steak seasoning or plain salt and pepper (whatever you prefer)
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 jalepeno (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • Soft taco shells

*You could substitute dry cilantro, but I would go with fresh if you can for better flavor. Schnuck's here in Evansville had it for 79-cents per small bushel.

Now that you have your ingredients, here's what to do with them.

Start by slicing the onion into small rings. Throw them into a skillet and toss with the olive oil and a little salt. Cook over medium-high heat and get them to sweat a little, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Once they start to become a bit transparent, lower the heat and let them sit while you work on everything else. Again, be sure to check them from time to time and stir to keep them from burning.

Greek Yogurt Sauce

Pull the cilantro leaves off the stems and chop them up. Toss them in a small mix bowl. Use a box grater or (if you have one) a small hand held grater to grate the garlic clove, then dump in the yogurt. Mix it all together, and set aside.

Carrot-Pepper Slaw

Break out your food processor and attach the grating blade. If you don't have one, use your standard box grater. Peel the carrots and toss them one at a time into the food processor, or grate them into a medium mixing bowl. Remove the seeds and core from your red bell pepper and give it the same treatment as the carrots.

If you are looking to add a little spice, finely chop the jalepeno with a knife and toss it in with the grated carrot / pepper mixture. Take the seeds out if you don't want too much heat, or leave them in if you do.

Mix in the lime juice an a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then set aside.

Reminder: Have you checked the onions lately?


Pre-heat your grill or skillet to medium-high. Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and season with your choice of simple salt and pepper or if you have a favorite steak seasoning, use that. Cook steak to your choice of doneness. I like mine medium-rare, so just a few minutes on each side did the trick. Remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to give the juices time to soak in (it's a tough task, but you can do it). Thinly slice the steak against the grain.

Wrap your tortilla shells in a damp paper towel, then wrap them again in plastic wrap and warm in the microwave for 45 seconds to one minute. The plastic wrap helps hold the the heat in and keeps shells from cooling off quickly.

Now you're ready to eat. Grab a tortilla, pile on several slices of steak, top with cooked onions, carrot-pepper slaw, and a spoonful of Greek yogurt sauce. If you have any cilantro left, sprinkle it on top, and Olé! A new twist on taco night.

While I haven't tried it yet, I think the carrot-pepper slaw would also be a great topping for fish tacos, or could stand alone as nice side dish.

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