Surf & Turf Molcajete
One of my favorite restaurants is Rocco’s Tacos, which is a small chain in Florida that serves up the most epically tasty Mexican food I have ever had. I consider it more of a special occasion type restaurant, because it’s about a 30 minute drive from our house and the bill can get a little pricey once all of the margaritas add up, but it is SO WORTH IT. Trust me.They make delicious guacamole table side with deliciously seasoned warm tortilla chips. There is a huge margarita menu. And they have a massive selection of authentic Mexican dishes.
We always order the Surf & Turf Molcajete, which is an incredibly savory dish that is the Rocco’s Tacos take on fajitas. The meat and sauce are served sizzling hot in a molcajete, which is made out of lava rock and keeps the dish hot for seriously half an hour at least. On the side, you have your freshly made tortillas and a plate of toppings (guacamole, shredded lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and queso blanco) so you can build your fajita. It is seriously unreal.
The flavors in this dish are like nothing I’ve ever tried before, and even though we vow to venture out and try something new off the menu, we always end up ordering the same thing. And we’ve never been disappointed. This is a picture from the actual dish at Rocco’s Tacos from one of our visits.
My boyfriend asked me recently if I thought I could recreate this dish and I love a food challenge, so I accepted! Yesterday I spent almost four hours in the kitchen preparing our Mexican-themed feast, complete with homemade salsa verde, baked tortilla chips, pico de gallo, guacamole and this lovely Surf & Turf Molcajete.
It definitely took a lot of prep work, but all of that can be done in advance. When it comes to actually putting the dish together, the cooking part is fairly simple. I also chose to make all of the elements from scratch because I had the time, but you could totally buy salsa verde and roasted tomatoes at your local supermarket and skip those steps. You could also customize the dish with different protein items. Scratch the steak, add more seafood like scallops, or do a vegetarian version with some hearty cauliflower and other veggies. Up to you!
So without further ado, I bring you my version of Rocco’s Taco’s mighty delicious Surf & Turf Molcajete. Cheers!
There’s a laundry list of ingredients and spices so for what you’ll need, scroll down for the printable recipe.
As I mentioned, a lot of the prep work can be done up front. When I woke up yesterday morning, I prepared the meats, by marinating the steak in the lime juice and tequila mixture, and cutting the chicken into bite-sized chunks and rubbing with a spice mixture of chili powder, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. You can also go ahead and get the shrimp peeled and de-veined and slice your sausage into bite-sized pieces. Keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
You can also roast the tomatoes ahead of time. Wash, dry and slice four Roma tomatoes in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for half an hour. Set aside to cool until you’re ready to cook.
I also made salsa verde from scratch. So if you’re going to make yours I suggest making in advance, but you could definitely buy store-bought as well.
When you’re ready to start cooking, head up your molcajete in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. You don’t actually cook your food in the molcajete, it’s just used for serving purposes. But it retains heat really well so it will keep your dish hot for at least half an hour on the table. This is the molcajete that I have, but you don’t need to have this to create the dish. You could just serve right out of the pan if you don’t have one and it will be just as tasty!
Heat some oil in a large saute pan and cook the chicken until almost cooked through. Then add the sausage and steak and continue cooking until they’re cooked. Add the shrimp and once it starts to turn pink, add the tequila and salsa verde and stir everything together. Add your roasted tomatoes and break them up with a spoon so they mash into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the flavors marry together, about 5-10 minutes.
Carefully remove the pre-heated molcajete from the oven with some heavy duty mitts, and pour the mixture into the dish for serving. Serve with tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole or whatever mix-ins and toppings you like with your fajitas.
Surf & Turf Molcajete
- 1/2 lb. skirt steak
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/3 cup + 1/8 cup tequila, divided
- 1/2 lb. chicken breast cutlets or boneless breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 lb. sausage, sliced
- 1/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup salsa verde (see below for link to my recipe)
- 5 roasted Roma tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cups cooked yams (about half of a can if using canned)
- For Serving: corn or flour tortillas
- Toppings: sour cream, queso blanco, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa
- Marinate the skirt steak with the lime juice and 1/4 cup of tequila in a plastic bag set inside of a bowl in the fridge for at least 6 hours if possible. Once it’s done marinating, cut the steak against the grain into bite-sized pieces or strips.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chili powder, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. Add the sliced chicken and rub so all of the pieces are covered in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
- Slice the sausage and set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimp and set aside.
- If you are making the salsa verde from scratch, follow my recipe here.
- If you are roasting your tomatoes from scratch, wash, dry and slice four Roma tomatoes in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for half an hour.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and cook the chicken until almost cooked through. Add the sausage and steak and continue to cook until all of the meat is cooked through.
- Add the remaining 1/8 cup of tequila and the cup of salsa verde and mix everything together.
- Add the roasted Roma tomato halves, yams, salt and pepper.
- Cook the mixture over high heat for 5-10 minutes until all of the flavors merry together and the mixture thickens up.
- Serve inside a pre-heated molcajete (Heat molcajete for 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven) with tortillas and your favorite fajita toppings.