Tuesday, May 5, 2009

!Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

It’s the 5th of May! !!!Yay!!!

I feel terrible for the folks in Mexico, who are missing their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration because of their (and everyone else’s) public health crisis.

The timing is just terrible for this festive holiday, but I hope that, at least, they are celebrating today with their families at home.
Mexican officials, citing improvement in the battle against the virus, announced plans to reopen government offices and restaurants on Wednesday -- and museums, libraries and churches the following day.

This is definitely the appropriate day to announce that I have come up with what I consider a TORTILLA EATING REVOLUTION!
Note: I don’t eat tortillas that often and so even if you’ve been doing this forever, please let me think I came up with it. 

This is what to do:
Heat the meat. (I’m going to tell you about a great recipe in a sec.) Heat the tortilla – corn or flour. Here comes my life changing tip – LAY A LARGE LETTUCE LEAF OVER THE HOT TORTILLA AND START SPOONING THE FILLINGS ON. GO WILD! The lettuce will insulate the tortilla from the juicy meat and all the other fillings and keep them from soaking through. The point is you can fill the tortilla with lots more than you usually would and it won’t fall apart…if you eat it fast enough.

Kind of awesome, right? WHO isn’t looking for a way to shove more stuff into a tortilla. Maybe one day they’ll make an edible rubber-lined tortilla, but until then…use lettuce.

The February/March edition of The Food Network Magazine had a perfect Cinco de Mayo recipe - Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos. I did change the recipe in a number of ways.

• I used a Dutch oven in the oven and not a slow cooker.
• I used 3 dried ancho chiles (no pasillas) and soaked them in hot water for 10 minutes. I added the liquid to the stock.
•  I used an entire onion.
•Beef was on sale, so I used a 3½ lb. piece of beef chuck, instead of the pork. (Nothing to do with 2009 H1N1 .)
• I seared the meat, removed it and cooked the onion, chipotle and stock mixture as in the recipe and added back in the piece of beef.

Here I served the meat with queso fresco, guacamole and no lettuce. Okay, I admit there's kind of a lot of stuff there:

But look here how much more I got on after lining the tortilla with lettuce:

Here’s a second recipe, which is a great accompaniment to the tacos or is hearty enough to stand on its own - an absolutely fabulous chili made with black beans. It has a real kick and a very complex rich flavor from chipotle chile powder, chocolate and coffee. 

This chili comes from a wonderful new cookbook, Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook by Robert M. Landolphi.

If you need gluten free recipes, this is a very useful addition to your library. If you don’t, this book is full of just plain great cooking. Smoked Gouda Polenta and African Peanut Soup look yummy. Plus there are plenty of gluten free baked goods in the book – spiced pumpkin roll, carrot and coffee cakes and cookies that I’d like to try.

Chocolate-Espresso Chili serves 6 to 8

from Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook by Robert M. Landolphi
Recipe posted by permission of the publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. The pictures are mine.

Bittersweet chocolate, coupled with a kick of espresso, adds depth to a great vegetarian chili.
¼ cup olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
1 cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
In a large soup, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until tender. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, honey, and garlic. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the black beans, espresso, water, salt, chile powder, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, decrease the heat to a simmer, and stir in the chocolate and cilantro. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Chef’s Tip:
Make this chili the day before and refrigerate together nicely. Reheat before serving.


LK- Healthy Delicious said...

hat chili sounds phenominal!

Sue said...

Hi LK,
Let me know if you try it. It's such a good recipe.

Anonymous said...

why is some little girl singing about guacamole on your website??

Sue said...

Because it's Cinco de Mayo!!! ¡Arriba!

DebCarol said...

Love the quacamole song! And that Pork Taco is singing to me too! Looks fabulous.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I thought Cinco De Mayo was only celebrated in the US. I'll take any excuse for some of this delicious looking food!

BTW, on the Sandra Lee thing, I am known to participate in an anti forum where I learn about things like her hideous guacamole recipe.

Sue said...

Hey Deb,
You're funny. SHE is cute, isn't she? I guess I should disable her soon, so she doesn't get annoying.

Hi Rach,
I should have said that the area of Mexico that DOES celebrate Cinco de Mayo is the state of Puebla; and THAT, along with Mexico City and its surroundings, was closed down during Cinco de Mayo.

What else have you learned about SL? I bet she substitutes tequila for any clear liquid and that red no. 2 food coloring runs through her veins.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Mmmmm, that all looks delish! I am a little late but happy Cinco de Mayo to you!

Emily said...

Wow, that chili looks delicious, and I don't even like chili. You already know that though.

I LOVE the look of those tacos. They look incredible. That's a great tip about the lettuce. Have you ever made your own tortillas before? I've never eaten a fresh tortilla but I bet they're amazing.

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo I guess I missed the girl singing about guacamole.

Sue said...

Thanks, Carol!

You WOULD like my chili, not this one, but another recipe that you'd have to be a martian not to love. One day...

The little girl went bye-bye for awhile, but now she's back. You have to click on her, though, in my slideshow.

Diet Plan said...

These foods are better for human body.

Hobby Cooking said...

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