Here in Georgia, people pronounce Coke “Co’Cola” and when they ask you if you want a Coke, they’re really asking you if you want a drink. When we were in Athens house hunting, our real estate agent would treat us to mini glass bottles of Diet Coke. She said they traditionally kept glass bottles on hand because the agency’s founder liked them. The kids loved it and I thought it was charming.
So while we’re moving to the South, our culinary hearts are actually back in Southern California as my husband and I love to cook up the Baja-style Mexican food we grew up eating. Ironically, the Mexican food out here in Athens is amazing! Surprisingly, there’s a large Hispanic population here and many good Mexican restaurants nearby. In fact, the Mexican food here is much better here than it is in Colorado, where they insist on smothering everything in green enchilada sauce. Yuck!
One thing I’ll be bringing with me from Southern California are two carne asada recipes. The one I consider the Best Carne Asada Marinade features vinegar and citrus juice. However, the carne asada recipe my brother-in-law uses features Coca-Cola. Feel free to substitute Coke Zero if you’re watching your calories.
Coca-Cola Carne Asada Marinade
- 4 to 6 pounds skirt or flank steak
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 lemons, juiced (slice and keep the peels)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 can of Coke
- Table salt
- Mix up the ingredients, add the meat, and put in a sealed container or sealed bag for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- To cook, place the meat on the grill and when the juices start to rise on the surface, sprinkle with table salt. (You’re salting the meat on the grill, not while you’re marinating it.)
- When the salt dissolves on the surface of the meat, flip it over and repeat on the other side. (Carne asada is supposed to be on the salty side, but don’t go nuts with the salt.)
- Grill meat until well done. Remove from grill and place meat on a carving board.
- Cut the meat with a sharp knife across the grain into thin strips.
- Serve with warm corn tortillas, salsa, lime juice, shredded cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, chopped red onion, and lime juice.
- Serving size: 1 pound per person