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Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce.

Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce | halfbakedharvest.comCrockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce…and spicy baked Mexican street fries too. Because loaded tacos are just better. Slow-cooked shredded crispy beef stuffed into warmed tortillas to make the best Mexican street tacos. All made in the slow cooker (along with instant pot and grilling variations). Serve each taco with a creamy cilantro lime garlic sauce, and baked Mexican fries. This fun Mexican fiesta-style dinner comes together easily and is so very delicious. Bonus, the shredded beef is great as a leftover. Pile it high onto your favorite tortilla chips for some delicious nachos or serve it up atop greens for a Mexican inspired salad.

overhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauceoverhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce

Monday felt like it needed a fun dinner, so taco night it is. But guys, these are not your average tacos. Nope, they’re better, they’re what I’m calling “loaded” carne asada street tacos. They might not be one hundred percent traditional, but they’re fun and delicious.

Perfect for a Monday night…well perfect for any night. But these tacos are sure to livin’ up an average Monday, you know?

With Cinco de Mayo just a week away I wanted to be sure to share a few new Mexican recipes for you all to easily recreate at home. Since many of us are feeling a bit bored at home right now, it’s a great time to have some fun with some Mexican inspired dinners. Something about Mexican food is not only beyond delicious, but always feels fun and anything but fancy, which I kind of love. Tacos are laid back, low key, make yourself a margarita, sip, and eat, kind of food.

And well, right now they’re transporting me to the Mexican sunshine and have me dreaming of a vacation. It’s wonderful…and somewhat torturous at the same time. Soon enough that vacation will happen, but until then, let’s just build up the excitement with Monday night street tacos.

Sound good? Perfect.

pre photo of Carne Asada marinatingpre photo of Carne Asada marinating

The background and the story.

In full disclosure, Carne Asada is always, always a grilled steak taco. So I’m sure many of you might be giving me the side-eye for cooking these up in the slow cooker. But hear me out. For one, it’s not grilling weather up here in the mountains just yet (but I did provide grilling directions). And two? The slow cooker is easy, hands-off, and always leaves me with perfectly tender beef, that shreds nicely.

Just trying to do what’s easiest and what tastes best.

These fun street tacos were inspired by the ever so famous Carne Asada Burrito that’s commonly served up in the San Diego area. My cousin, Abby, who has lived in San Diego for years, loves these burritos. The best part about them? They come “loaded” with grilled carne asada, crema, salsa, cheese, and french fries. Yes, french fries in the burrito.

It’s weird but it’s also genius. So I took that concept, only I created a taco with shredded carne asada, lots of avocado, so much cilantro lime sauce, and fries on top…or on the side, whichever you prefer.

overhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada meatoverhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada meat

Making these Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos is easy, here are the details.

First, pick your cooking method. I used the crockpot, but honestly cooking in the instant pot, or of course grilling, are equally easy and delicious. It all comes down to how much time you have, and or what your preferred cooking method is. So take your pick.

Next, simply combine all of the ingredients. Flank steak, garlic, lots of seasonings, plenty of lime, and a splash of beer. Toss everything together in the bowl of the crockpot and cook until the steak is easily able to shred.

This next step is key. Remove the steak from the sauce, let it rest a bit, then lightly shred it and place it under the broiler. Cooking the steak under the broiler allows the steak to have a chance to caramelize and even become a bit crispy on the edges.

Yes…it’s an extra step, but I do think it’s worth it.

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While the steak is cooking, get together the toppings.

The fries are simple. Just oven-baked fries seasoned up with chili powder, smoky paprika, and salt. Very simple to make and they come together quickly while the steak is cooking.

For the cilantro lime garlic sauce. It’s a simple mix of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), garlic, lots of lime, lots of cilantro, and some green onions too. Not too fancy, but it’s my favorite cooling tangy sauce to serve with a spicy street-style taco.

The rest of the toppings are all up to you. I like to serve with chipotle salsa (my homemade recipe is in the HBH Super Simple Cookbook), lots of lettuce, cilantro, lime, jalapeños, and crumbled salty feta cheese.

These are not a hardcore classic Carne Asada taco, but they are so darn good, and a taco that everyone will love and have fun eating too.

The steak can be slow-cooked all day, then everyone can build their own tacos for dinner. Easy, fun, and all-around good. And of course, if you have the perfect grilling weather, you can grill the streak too. Perfect for the upcoming summer months!

And with that, who else is getting excited for Cinco de Mayo next week? It’s something to look forward to and we all need that these days. Just add your favorite margarita to round out the meal. Plus extra chips, guacamole, and salsa too. Yummmm. Mexican nights are the best. Enjoy.

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I’ve made a number of taco recipes over the past few months. If you’re looking for a few other options, give these a try!

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

Slow Cooker Braised Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Tacos

Lastly, if you make these crockpot carne asada tacos with cilantro lime garlic sauce, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce | halfbakedharvest.comCrockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

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4.11 from 46 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce

By halfbakedharvest

This fun Mexican fiesta-style dinner comes together easily and is so very delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 454 kcal

Mexican Fries

Cilantro Garlic Lime Crema

  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

Crockpot

  1. 1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the steak, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, pinch of salt, olive oil, lime juice and zest. Rub the seasonings into the steak. Add the beer. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

    2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the steak from the sauce to a baking sheet. Let rest 10 minutes. Lightly shred. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drizzle on the honey. Transfer to the broiler. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until the streak caramelizes. Watch closely! Toss with additional cooking liquid, if desired.

    3. Meanwhile, make the fries. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    4. Place the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and a large pinch of salt. Spread the fries in an even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan, if needed, divide the fries between 2 baking sheets. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 minutes more.

    5. To make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt.

    6. Stuff the carne asada into the warmed tortillas. Top as desired with cilantro, lettuce, avocado, fries, cheese, and additional sauce. Enjoy! 

Instant Pot

  1. 1. Cut the steak into 4 pieces. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the steak, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, pinch of salt, olive oil, lime juice and zest. Rub the seasonings into the steak. Add the beer. Cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 8 minutes. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam.

    2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the steak from the sauce to a baking sheet. Let rest 10 minutes. Lightly shred. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drizzle on the honey. Transfer to the broiler. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until the streak caramelizes. Watch closely! Toss with additional cooking liquid, if desired.

    3. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 3-6.

Grill

  1. 1. Place the steak in a 9×13 inch pan. Add the garlic, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, pinch of salt, olive oil, lime juice and zest. Rub the seasonings into the steak. Add the beer. Marinate 30 minutes or in the fridge as long as overnight. 

    2. Preheat your grill or grill pan to high. 

    3. Remove the steak from its marinade and sear the steak for 5-8 minutes, flip and sear another 5 minutes or until your desired doneness is reached. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice steak thinly against the grain.

    4. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 3-6.

overhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauceoverhead photo of Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos with Cilantro Lime Garlic Sauce Source

How to Make Healthier French Fries

how to make healthier fries

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission.

The quest for healthy french fries will never end, because let’s face it: French fries are everyone’s favorite, but we all know they’re far from health food. Luckily, they can be made healthier—and you can even enjoy keto fries if you’re on that low-carb diet.

From ingredient swaps to alternative cooking methods (air fryer included, of course), here are seven delicious ways to make healthier fries and scratch that snacking itch in a more nutritious way.

1. Be sweeter.

While it makes for a less traditional tasting french fry, sweet potatoes offer an excellent alternative and increase a fry’s nutritional value. Check out our excellent Sweet Potato Fry recipe, using only cornstarch, ghee, minced garlic, paprika, chili powder, and black pepper. Be sure to avoid overcrowding the pan with fries in order for even cooking and pull them out when they appear golden brown.

sweet potato fry recipe

Chowhound

2. Embrace spices.

While french fries are often defined by the flavor they take on, consider cutting back on the salt and incorporating other, more nutritional spices. Garlic, rosemary, thyme, paprika, and onion powder are just a few flavorful alternatives to avoid heavy sodium intake. If you’re opting for sweet potatoes, think about using a sweeter spice—like cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg. (Go easy on the sugar though! We’re trying to be healthy here.) Or try something new, like vadouvan, “a French interpretation of Indian masala curry powder, blending classic curry spices of mustard seeds, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and chili peppers with aromatic onion, garlic, and shallot.”

3. Forget the fryer.

Consider this—”French fries” are not at all French. They actually were made popular in the United States after American soldiers learned the recipe from some French-speaking Belgians. If the word “French” is a fallacy, why not nix “fry” too? Slice a few potatoes into ½-inch pieces, going longways. Put the potatoes in a bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil, or just enough to entirely coat each potato. Add spices of your preference—garlic and parmesan are a classic, but you could also go the direction of spicy Cajun seasoning.

sweet potato fries recipe

Chowhound

Then, instead of a fryer, pop them in the oven on a baking pan lined in foil or parchment and covered in cooking spray or oil. Bake them at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until brown. By avoiding the fryer, this baking method cuts out a lot of the grease (and potential for hot oil accidents)—and if they’re not from France and we want a more accurate alliteration, we could dub these fries “Belgian Bakes.”

Another oil-free option is the grill; just be sure to keep an eye on them—turning the french fries often to avoid sticking (see our Grilled Sweet Potato recipe for more pointers).

grilled sweet potato recipe

Chowhound

4. Or use an air fryer!

A happy medium between the dreaded deep fryer and the baking sheet is to use an air fryer for crisp, nearly oil-free potato fries (or other veggie fries or chips). Because it uses super hot circulated air to cook your food, you need far less oil for a satisfying crunch. Try this Easy Air Fryer French Fries recipe.

Related Reading: 15 Unexpected Air Fryer Recipes You Should Try

how to make healthier fries

Chowhound

5. Nix the oil.

Speaking of oil, combined with the baking method, you can replace the oil with another crisping agent—whisked egg whites or broth. By using these healthier alternatives, your french fry still has the crispiness you want without the weight of using heavy oils. Or, just leave those potatoes naked, as in this Oil-Free Baked Fries recipe. If you go the substitute route, consider spicing the egg whites or broth before saturating the potatoes for extra flavor.

Chowhound

6. Go potato-less with keto fries.

Whether or not you’re actually on keto, instead of filling up on carb-filled potato fries, try opting for a different veggie. Jicama fries are one popular option, but still too high in carbs for strict keto eaters. Zucchini, however, is a great choice; this Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce recipe offers a healthy crunch with plenty of zesty seasoning and cheese. (If you’re on keto, you’ll need to swap the bread crumbs out for almond flour or even finely crushed pork rinds, but otherwise you’re good to go.)

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries recipe by Laila Ali

Matt Armendariz

You can treat turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas the same way.

If you’re missing fried potato chips, our Veggie Chips are another great snack alternative with plenty of crunch, and can also be made from many varieties of vegetable. They’re the perfect guiltless binge snack.

7. Be smarter about sauces.

garlic mint yogurt dip recipe

Chowhound

No matter what kind of fries you make, they’re begging to be dipped in some kind of sauce, but commercial ketchup and other store-bought condiments can be high in sugar, and creamier dips like ranch can add back all the calories you saved and then some. One solution is to make healthier homemade sauces like paleo ketchup or Greek yogurt ranch dressing. Or try something less conventional, like our Garlic Mint Greek Yogurt Dip recipe, which pairs particularly well with sweet potato fries. You can also swap in vegan ingredients to use in place of dairy.

Related Reading: 12 Delicious Vegan Sauces to Put on Everything

Bottom line?

While in general, fries hold a special snack place in most of our hearts, it’s not hard or expensive to create healthier alternatives at home. Baking fries, breaking out the air fryer, minding your spices and oils, and considering nixing the potato all together are just a few options we have in the kitchen to turn our guilty pleasure into a nutritious, guilt-free satiation. So next time you need a side for your cheeseburgers or a snack between meals, consider opting for some healthier, alternative french fry varieties.

Related Video: Anchovies You Eat Like French Fries

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How to Make a Juicy Lucy Burger

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission.

Most food holidays may be faintly ridiculous, but we’ll celebrate any one of them if it means an excuse to eat something delicious (like we need one of those…). September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day, and that means it’s the perfect time to make the ultimate cheeseburger: the Juicy Lucy.

Invented somewhere in Minnesota (exact origins continue to be debated), the Juicy Lucy—or Jucy Lucy—is a cheeseburger that deceives you when you first behold it.

Looking for all the world like a plain beef patty with nary a crumble of blue cheese or shred of cheddar in sight, it actually contains a gooey molten core of cheese stuffed right into the burger that oozes into (and out of ) every bite.

Juicy Lucy cheeseburger recipe

Chowhound

The Beef

Just because you have beautifully fatty, gooey cheese enriching each morsel, doesn’t mean you can get away with sub-par beef. For a truly juicy, delicious burger, choose a blend of high-quality chuck with at least 15 percent fat, if not 20 percent. Grind your own if you can.

This burger recipe flavors the beef with the usual salt and pepper, as well as a bit of garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Mix them in with your hands only until everything is combined (doing it with a fork or spoon makes it easier to over-mix and that leads to dry, dense burgers and general despair, so don’t be shy about getting in there).

Related Reading: The Best Meat Delivery Services and Butcher Subscription Boxes

Don’t over-handle the meat when you’re forming the patties either (seriously, you don’t want to toughen it up), and be sure to let the burger rest for a bit once it’s done cooking. Not only does that ensure you don’t burn your face off with lava-like molten cheese, it lets the burger juices redistribute.

The Cheese

American cheese is not fancy, but it is perfect for burgers and the traditional choice for a Juicy Lucy. Nothing melts quite so smoothly—but a close second is a nice cheddar. Just don’t go too fancy with your choice of cheddar or the flavor will overwhelm and the ooze factor won’t be on point (i.e., the aged stuff is best saved for crackers). You can also try a pepper Jack.

If you secretly love American cheese and recognize its superior melting abilities but still just can’t bring yourself to buy it, try a homemade American cheese recipe. (It’s an amalgam of Comté, cheddar, and gouda cheeses, plus sodium citrate and iota carrageenan, and melts like Velveeta.)

cheese stuffed burger recipe

Chowhound

In any case, you’ll stuff a thick stack of your chosen cheese between two burger patties and then seal the edges together (don’t leave any gaps or you’ll lose your liquid gold), then cook them on a grill or griddle.

Related Reading: The Best Grilled Cheese You’ve Never Had

The Fixings

This is a simple burger and simple accouterments are called for. We like the sharpness of pickles to cut through the rich meat and cheese, and a basic, soft bun (no need for fancy brioche, and anything too crusty will ruin the soft, gooey perfection of the burger bite, but do lightly toast the cut sides of your bun in butter for the ideal burger vehicle).

homemade cucumber pickles with red chiles

Chowhound

Put some ketchup on it if you must, or even mustard. If you’re a lily gilder, top it off with an extra slice of cheese and caramelized onions—maybe even some Russian dressing (sort of an animal style deal).

The Recipe

You can make these on a grill pan or griddle indoors or an actual grill outside if the weather’s holding up where you are; either way, you’re in for a cheesy treat.

Ingredients
  • 4 slices American cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (15 to 20 percent fat content), chilled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
  • 4 (4-inch) hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • Sliced pickles, for serving
Instructions
  1. Cut each slice of cheese in half, then in half again to form 4 squares. Stack the pieces on top of each other to form 4 stacks; set aside.
  2. Place the meat in a large bowl and add the salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire, and pepper. Mix with your hands until just evenly combined.
  3. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions and place on a work surface. Using your fingertips, press 2 portions of the meat into 2 rough 1/4-inch-thick patties that are each about 1 inch wider in diameter than the hamburger buns. Place 1 stack of cheese in the center of 1 of the patties. Top with the second patty and pinch the edges to form a tight seal. Cup each patty with your hands to round out the edges, and press on the top to flatten slightly into a single thick patty. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining portions of meat and cheese to form 4 patties in total. Refrigerate while you prepare the grill.
  4. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil.
  5. Place the reserved patties on the grill, close the grill, and cook undisturbed (do not press down on the patties) until dark grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the patties, close the grill again, and cook until grill marks appear on the second side and the patties are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove to a clean plate and let rest in a warm place or tent loosely with foil for 5 minutes. Place a patty on each bun bottom, top with pickles, and cover with a bun top. Serve immediately.

Related Reading: How to Make Healthier Fries

Related Video: A Closer Look at the Juicy Lucy

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