Grilling season is here… finally. Living in Colorado is beautiful, but the weather here is very unpredictable. The saying here is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” Get this; we had a major snowfall the first day of May. Crazy right? Well now the weather is gorgeous and every evening you can smell one of our neighbors grilling outside. I love that smell, and it’s time to celebrate grilling season with this Mexican and American Southwest favorite.
You have seen us post carne asada tacos, carne asada nachos, and today we are sharing a simple recipe for carne asada spinach quesadillas. As you can see the possibilities are endless with carne asada. The meat can be served alone or sliced and used in tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Carne asada can be purchased from meat markets either prepared (preparada, i.e., already marinated) or not (no preparada). Below is our recipe to marinade at home, but feel free to cheat and buy preparada.
Carne Asada Spinach Quesadillas
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup tequila reposado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1½ pound pound flap steak or skirt steak
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil, for grilling
- 2 flour tortillas
- 1/4 cup finely shredded cheese, Asadero, quesadilla, or your preference
- grilled Carne Asada, sliced
- red onion, slices
- spinach leaves, optional
Make Carne Asada:
- In a bowl, combine the butter, tequila, lemon and lime juice, thyme, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and onion and mix well.
- Place steak in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over beef. Zip up the bag and massage marinade around so that the beef is well covered. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes, and then slice the meat against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Place a dry griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla on the skillet and sprinkle with cheese. Add 2 to 4 strips of carne asada, red onion, and spinach (if desired). Top with more cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Cook until light golden, about 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Flip over and cook until golden brown. Cut each quesadilla into wedges.
- Serve warm and, if desired, with salsa.
Written by Yvette / Photos by Jeanine