Monday, July 24, 2006

Try It, You'll Like It!

Since I had been on vacation for a week, I had culinary withdrawal. I found some recipes yesterday morning for a Mexican fiesta feast. The recipes looked so scrumpdiddlydumpcious, I'll share them with my fellow bloggers. Maybe you'll also appreciate how long it took me to prepare three dishes.

Mexican Taqueria style Carne Asada Tacos

3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 white onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 dried New Mexico chile pods
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

1 (32 ounce) package corn tortillas
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS:
Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 chopped white onion, cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Set aside to use as a relish for the tacos.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast chile pods in the skillet for a few minutes, then remove to a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place the tomatoes, 1 onion, jalapenos, and 4 cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until toasted but not burnt. Place the roasted vegetables, and soaked chile pods into a blender or food processor, along with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Tortillas may also be warmed in a microwave oven. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of the pureed salsa. Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve.


Mexican Rice

1 cup long grain white rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cube chicken bouillon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, halved

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium sauce pan, cook rice in oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and diced tomato. Season with bouillon cube, salt and pepper, cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes.

Drunken Beans

1 pound dried pinto beans, washed
2 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chopped stewed tomatoes
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Soak beans in a large pot of water overnight.
Drain beans, and refill the pot with chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans with 2 inches of liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Stir the beans occasionally through out the entire cooking process to make sure they do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
Stir beer, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and cilantro into the beans. Continue to cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
With a potato masher, crush the beans slightly to thicken the bean liquid. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.

With my shopping list made out, I headed to the park for an 11 mile run. After the run, I planned to go grocery shopping. Since we live 15 miles from town, I try to train/go to the gym and then run errands to save gas.

Yesterday was a wonderful day for a long run. It was cloudy and although it was humid, the high didn't reach 90 degrees. It seemed cool after last week's highs of 100. It was looking like rain and around mile 9, it starting to fall from the sky. I was determined to finish my run so I ran in the rain. It felt good because I was hot and sweaty, I felt like a kid running in a sprinkler. I didn't give it a second thought until I got into the van and saw my shopping list.

I was soaked. I looked like a drowned rat with two dreadlocks. When I run with my headphones on, my hair somehow gets all tangled around the headphone sides to form to dreadlocks above my ears. I looked in the rear view mirror and I had little gnats suck on my face, arms and chest. My top was dripping, thank God it wasn't white. My running shorts looked like they were glued to me. I was a sight to behold and my gym bag contain a dreadlock detangler and dry clothes was at home. I had a good idea though. My husband got off work around this time. If he was driving home, maybe he'd give me the shirt off his back.

I called my husband at work. No answer. I called his cell phone. Still no answer. I called home and Snaggle answered.

"Hey Snag. Is your Dad home?"

"No why?"

"Because I ran my last two miles in the rain, I'm soaked and need to go to the grocery store."

"Why can't you go to the grocery store if you were rained on?" Snaggle asked

"Because when I have to walk through the produce and frozen food section, I'll have major THO. My shorts are stuck to my thighs. I have gnats covering me like freckles. I look like a homeless person that ran to the store in the rain because I can't afford a cab. I was going to see if your Dad would let me borrow his shirt if he was on his way home."

Snaggle thought I was funny. I decided to head to the Hispanic grocery store with dripping wet clothes. I pretended like I was on Supermarket Sweep, I have never ran through a grocery store so fast in my entire life. I tried to keep my purse close to my chest when I passed the chilly sections.

I came home, stripped off my clothes and started to prepare my fiesta. I chopped lots of onions, tomatoes, peppers and cilantro. I grilled the beef I had marinated for hours. I made homemade salsa, I even had to break out the blender. I made a simple box of Betty Crocker brownies for dessert.

I assembled the meal that was a labor of love. Warm tortillas, filled with beef. I even brought the true Mexican cheese, cotija. I called my husband in to admire my creation.



"Is it spicy?" were the first words out of his mouth.

I cut the jalepenos in half because my husband is a spice sissy. I love hot and spicy food. Maybe because I was born in the year of the dragon, I don't know. When I go to the Thai place they always ask "How Hot?". I tell them I like very hot food. They always like to make sure by asking "Fire hot?" Yeah, sure, make me a fire breathing dragon.

Once after my fire hot Thai dinner, I gave my husband a wet, sloppy kiss. He acted like I killed him. He was running around screaming his mouth was burning, his eyes were watering. He drank a gallon of water and was still whimpering like I'd blistered his mouth. You understand about him being a spice sissy now, right?

He took a bite of the rice and beans I'd slaved over and spit it out like I'd poisoned him. He refused to eat anything except the beef. Same with Snaggle. All that work and preparation and I was the only one that would eat it. Fine, I packed some up for bike shop friends that aren't afraid of hotness.

Remember those Betty Crocker brownies that took me five minutes to prepare? This is what I found when I woke up this morning.


They almost ate them all but wouldn't touch my food with a ten foot pole. I think I need to be less complicated. Stop thinking outside the box.




15 Comments:

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

I think I'll try the drunken beans. If you make the brownies with whole wheat flour and walnuts I'd love to eat some of those too.

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Jill said...

You should have called me! I would have helped you devour the Mexican food. And I would have even brought the margaritas!!

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger Swordfish said...

Geez !

Do you realize how hungry one gets the day after an Ironman !!! Not cool to post those pics of your little yummy feast. So whats for dinner tomorrow ?
I can change my plans . LOL !

>--> Fish

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger TriBoomer said...

Can I come to your place and eat? I'll do the dishes!

Stay tuned...

 
At 4:02 AM, Blogger Julia said...

You're not alone. Looks like my family - only I'd get really upset if someone spit out anything!

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Siren said...

I have spent hours slaving over gourmet meals from scratch only to get this response from my burgers-and-pizza husband: "Eeeeew. What is it?"

 
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