Friday, October 14, 2011

Viva la Mexico!

So tonight, we decided it was taco night. The taco meat is simple, just brown the meat and use the packet of taco seasoning (convenience counts, right?). The side dishes and toppings make the meal.


2 ripe avocados
1/2 onion (red or sweet yellow), minced
1 large jalapeno or 2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 grindings black pepper
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. granulated garlic

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh out of the peel, and mash with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface, then refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to mingle. Taste and add more salt, pepper or garlic if needed.

This stuff is great on tacos, burittos, fajitas, or just as a dip for tortilla chips.

Southwest Rice Pilaf (adapted from a recipe in I'm Just Here For the Food by Alton Brown)

1 tsp. Kosher salt
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup diced onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups white rice (NOT instant!)
a couple of grindings black pepper
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350. Add the salt to the broth and bring to a boil in a kettle or saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Heat an ovenable sauce pot over medium-high heat, then add the butter. When it stops foaming, add the onion and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 90 seconds, then add the cumin and cilantro. Stir a few times, then add the pepper flakes, count to ten, and add the rice, stirring to coat. Stir every so often until the rice starts to smell a little nutty. Pour in the boiling broth, stirring the whole time. Cover the sauce pot, then transfer to the oven for 17 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the lid, and let sit for one minute, then fluff with a fork and serve.

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