Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Olive you: Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos

Confession: I may be Italian, but I can't stand olives (or well used to)

My mom's side of the family is where I get my Italian blood. My mother's maiden name may be Fisher, but my grandma is a Lencioni with ties to the Tuscany region in Italy. She's starting to teach me the famous family pasta sauce recipe. (Best grandma ever award for sure)

By the way, large family means that my immediate family alone is crazy big. My mom is  from a family of eight, plus marriages, babies, and that's not even getting into the extended family category FULL of second cousins, great aunts/uncles, etc. In addition to that my dad is also from a big family of nine siblings. I have always loved family gatherings on both the Fisher/Lencionis and the Dunphys and appreciate how lucky I am to have so much love involved in my life. 

While the Fisher side of my family loves each other, we also LOVE good Italian food as well. I always look forward to holidays when we go all out for appetizers. We go to our Caputo's deli and go crazy with Italian meats such as Prosciutto (my favorite!), but we always get lots of olives (which I used to think were blahhh). I gave up trying olives a long time ago, finding the texture and taste just off.  However, my New Years resolution has been to try new things. So instead of trying to eat them straight up, I decided that a recipe that included them in limited quantity would be a start. 

Every week, a couple of my girls and I have a tradition where we always hang out on Thursday nights and go out for a drink. Last week, before we went out I made Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos for them and it was a major hit. The olives were hidden in the steak filling. I hate to admit it, but I might just actually be starting to like olives...a lot. The olives along with the spices gave the meat a whole new level of flavor like a mix between a salty, yet spicy blend.  

Note: Back off on the spices if you have a low heat tolerance. 
Our beautiful set up

Now if only- I could get the courage to start trying to eat fish. 

Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 12-ounce strip of skirt steak
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch squares green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/3 cup halved drained pimiento-stuffed green olives plus brine from jar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Add to skillet; sauté 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plate. 
  2. Add bell pepper to skillet. Sauté 2 minutes. 
  3. Add tomatoes with green chiles, olives, raisins, tomato paste, cumin, and allspice. Simmer until sauce is thick, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and olive brine.
  4. Cut steak into 1/3-inch-thick slices on diagonal across grain. Add steak and any juices to sauce in skillet; toss to blend.
  5. Char tortillas over gas flame or in broiler (I used my broiler) until blackened in spots, 15 to 20 seconds per side. Divide filling among tortillas. 
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

I couldn't resist taking a bite

Source: Bon Appetit Magazine

Also, Spanish rice complements the dish well! 

PS- Thanks to Nicole and Kamilla for helping me take pictures.

Bon Appétit!
Chef Maggie

1 comment:

  1. I tried this recipe, and it was delicious. This might be a somewhat obscure request (I don't know if you take requests, as I just started reading your blog recently), but I am observing Passover right now, and I was wondering if you might consider making a Kosher for Passover dish that I could try. Or suggesting one, if you don't want to make it.