Makes 6 servings.
Carne Asada :
• Juice of 1 medium lime (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 pound skirt or flap steak, cut into 4-inch portions
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) American cheese, chopped
• 12 to 14 ounces tortilla chips
• About 3/4 cup salsa, plus more for serving
• About 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño slices, drained
• About 3 tablespoons finely chopped red or white onion
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
To make the carne asada, in a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the steak. Put the steak in a baking dish and pour the marinade over it, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
To make the queso, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the jalapeño and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over it and whisk until smooth, letting it bubble for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the cheddar in small handfuls, stirring gently until each addition is melted. Add the American cheese a little at a time, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
To cook the steak, prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium high heat (400 to 450 degrees F), or heat a cast-iron stovetop grill pan. Remove the steak from the marinade and shake off the excess. Place the steak on the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare (depending on how thick the steak is). Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.
To assemble the nachos, cut the steak across the grain into thin strips, then chop into bite-size pieces. Spread the tortilla chips on the baking sheet, top with the steak, and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the chips start to warm. Meanwhile, rewarm the queso over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Drizzle the nachos with the cheese sauce. Top with salsa, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro. Serve at once & enjoy!