Sunday, March 14, 2004

Saturday's Menu: Tacos, Poblanos Rellenos, Maduros & Pan Dolce

I had to go into work on a Saturday. Since I was on that side of town I decided to benefit from one of the few redeeming aspects of downtown Hillsboro. The ethnic grocery stores, namely those run by the Mexican-American community. Strangely enough it seemed on this Saturday the army recruiters were out in the parking lot adjacent to Yesenia's Bakery and Grocery. They had a temporary set up with a tent and a rock climbing wall

I returned home with the following ingredients:
2 lbs of Poblano peppers
3 lbs of Plantanos or plantains(ripened)
1/2 cotija cheese already grated
1 wheel (small) queso fresco
Onions
Limes
Tomatoes
Chipotle peppers, both dried and in adobo sauce
Cilantro
Plenty of corn and flour tortillas

With help from one or two friends we were able to prepare a taco dinner for at least 6 very hungry folks.

Tacos (this is an ad hoc version. I don't think it's close to authentic, but it tastes pretty good. J did a pretty good job of feeling out the seasonings on his own)
2 lbs. extremely lean ground beef ground from chuck opting out the Mad Cow
1 very large yellow onion so strong that your eyes singe from the other side of the kitchen
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp oregano
1/2 square unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
(I would add 1 tsp of cinnamon)
1 large fresh jalepeno pepper chopped fine
1/2 can (small can) chipotle pepper or 2 dried soaked in 1/2 c. warm chicken broth
1 large tomato chopped
Salt to taste

Saute onions until they are just cooked. Add the meat and cook until done- no pink! Add the remaining spices & ingredients and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Leave on low heat and stir occasionally.

For the finished tacos:
Chopped cilantro
fresh tomatoes mixed with chopped onions and minced fresh jalepeno pepper
Wedges of lime
Hand-made flour tortillas
corn tortillas.

The rest is self-explanatory. You know how to make a taco. By the way, do they still make those crappy hard shells that always tasted like paste board?

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