Meet the Taco Platter, Our New Favorite Weeknight Dinner

In her Food Network Kitchen class, chef Elena Besser shows off some clever techniques to nail this beautiful dish. Believe it or not, you're not at a restaurant — you can make this at home!

January 03, 2020

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Photo by: Brian David Photography

Brian David Photography

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Some dinners are easy, and that's great. But other dinners are deceptively easy, and that's even better. Chef Elena Besser’s Hanger Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema and Charred Limes, which she whipped up during a live class on the Food Network Kitchen app (which you can now watch on-demand!), fall into the latter category. Thirty minutes plus a few simple ingredients add up to far more than the sum of their parts. When you're done cooking, you'll have created a stunning platter that looks like something you’d get at a high-end Mexican restaurant. Wait, how does that math work out?

Throughout her class, Elena shows us how to pull-off a few trendy but low-lift tricks that totally up the ante.

Photo by: Brian David Photography

Brian David Photography

We won’t spoil all of the surprises, but the first major "ah-ha" moment comes when Elena shows us how to char limes. She halves a lime and places it cut-side down in the skillet next to the steak she’s cooking. After a couple minutes, Elena reveals gorgeous, evenly seared citrus. Downright fancy. She explains that charring mellows the bitterness and adds layers of smoky flavor.

Another moment of magic? When she heats tortillas over the gas flame on the stove and then stashes them in a kitchen towel to keep them warm and pliable. Yep, every Mexican restaurant in the world serves them this way, but seeing Elena do it demonstrates that we can (and should) do it at home — with any clean dish towel lying around the kitchen.

Finally, we’re obsessed with the way Elena plates her tacos. She could have simply built tacos for everyone, or put all the toppings into bowls to create a taco bar. Been there, done that. Instead, she arranges all of the toppings onto one large platter with the tortillas on the side. The idea is that everyone can stand or sit around the platter and assemble tacos as they eat. A sharing plate of tacos, if you will. And, bonus, said sharing plate just so happens to look stunning (read: highly Instagrammable).

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