Monday, March 13, 2006

Taco night * Edited *

The first time I had Mexican Chorizo, I was staying at a hostel in Baja. It was out in the middle of nowhere but we were very happy to arrive there after a car ride where everyone had someone in their lap so that we could all fit. It was a lovely place, close to the beach with a special honeymoon suite. The "suite" was a seperate room perched on top of the building, barely larger than the king-sized bed it contained, with huge windows on all four sides. We opted for the much cheaper bunk beds.
There wasn't an option to go back into town to shop so we were pleased that the hostel had a food sharing policy. Anything left behind by other wayward travelers was fair game for anyone who wanted it. After perusing the fridge and pantry, we decided on chorizo tacos. I didn't have much experience cooking Mexican but I thought I could handle this with ease.
I squeezed the chorizo out of it's plastic package into the hot pan. I figured it would cook like ground beef. I broke it into smaller pieces and stirred it as it fried. It was hard to tell when it was done because it was so red. Grease filled the pan. I cooked it some more. Eventually I decided if I cooked it anymore there'd be nothing left. It was definitely cooked but there wasn't much to eat. I think we burned the rice too. That's probably the only night I went to bed hungry in Mexico.
I never tried store bought chorizo again but I have tried making my own. The first time was from venison that I helped butcher- quite an adventure for a recovered vegetarian! I used a Rick Bayless recipe from this book.
Last night we had friends over for tacos and I tried this simplified recipe. It's not authentic but when it's this easy to make and tastes good too, who cares?

Chorizo from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore
1lb. ground pork
2 1/2 Tbsp. ground ancho or pasilla chili powder
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mash up with your hands. Cook as you would ground beef.

We had a make your taco bar with the chorizo, shredded chicken, spicy shrimp, avocado, tomatillo salsa, hot 'n smoky red salsa, corn relish and pickled red onions. There was green rice, black beans and red cabbage slaw on the side. For dessert we had pineapple cake with mango caramel sauce, coconut crema and toasted coconut.
To wash it all down, I made White Sangria. I think it's much tastier than any red sangria I've ever had.

The recipe was also from 1,000 Mexican Recipes. My changes are in parentheses.

Sangria Blanca
1 bottle dry white wine
1/2 c. orange flavored liqueur (1/3 c. tequila)
1/2 c. orange juice (mango puree)
1/2 c. sugar
1 orange, thinly sliced (I added a blood orange too)
1 lime, thinly sliced (I used 4 key limes)
1 lemon, thinly sliced (mine was a meyer lemon)
1 1/2 c. club soda
6 clusters seedless grapes (I didn't have grapes or mint)
fresh mint sprigs

In a pitcher, mix wine, juice, sugar and citrus. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, add ice and club soda. Pour into 6 glasses and garnish with grapes and mint sprigs.

*Edited* Ah, the wonders of technology! I went through my photos and found this picture of us piling out of the car at the hostel and scanned it. You can see the honeymoon suite at the top. It's hard to see but there is a beautiful mural of a whale on the side facing the sun.


At 7:20 AM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

White Sangria? Summer book club?

Yum! I'm saving this recipe.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger cookstrong said...

beautiful pics and informational too... cant wait to see more

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Ange said...

All looks fantastic & will def be trying the white sangria!!

At 6:53 AM, Blogger lee said...

Allison- Sadly, I often miss out on book club in summer because I am so busy. The sangria would be ideal, though, I could drink a pitcher myself!

cookstrong-I am glad you like the pictures. It's something I want to work on. Sometimes I cringe when I see them and I still kick myself for not taking photography in college when I had the chance.

ange-Thanks for stopping by. The sangria is worth a try for sure.


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