New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Happy Cinco de Mayo! And while you're dining in a fine Mexican restaurant munching on tacos and taquitos and burritos, tamales enchiladas...drinking those salty edged margaritas, and then taking a dip into the salsa with a fresh fried tortilla chip, we will be hard pressed to find anything that remotely resembles Mexican food in this state. Sorry about that, Montana. You know how much I love you! However, ethnic cuisine is not your thing, ya know? In fact, the only two Mexican food experiences I've had here were so horrendous that I have sworn off ever trying so called Mexican food here ever again. I don't consider stale prefabricated predigested crackers made from genetically altered corn a taco shell. And I certainly don't consider mealy meat made from oatmeal and tomato sauce beef or pork or chicken. So, you can't take a cracker shell type thingy, stuff it with a tablespoon of the mealy oatmeal colored with plain read tomato sauce and a tiny bit of chopped romaine lettuce (Not for tacos, no! no! no!) topped with prefabricated predigested imitation shredded cheese. Oh dear. I think by now you get the point. Don't order Mexican food in Montana. If you're hungry in the Big Sky state I highly suggest steak and potatoes. Oh! They know how to cook a cow all right. Steak and a baker is always a good bet in a state that has more cows than people. Ribs are also safe. But Italian, now, that's just something to run not walk away from. I'm not kidding!
A few nights ago I put a three pound chuck roast in the crock pot for Carne Asada and it was terrific. Such a simple dish and yet so elegantly delicious. After scoring the roast with garlic and browning well on both sides, I placed it over a bed of chopped onions in the crock then dumped in one 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, one 4 ounce can of Ortega Green Chilies and 1/4 cup of water. Eight to nine hours later the roast was falling apart and very tender. I cooled it on my cutting board and then cut it into four sections, freezing three sections for use at a later time and then served the fourth section to Kurt with refried frijoles dotted with diced onion and shredded medium cheddar and Mexican rice, a small salad and chips and salsa. Being on a diet, I have to avoid certain foods so I enjoyed my Carne Asada in this manner: I poured one small dot of olive oil into a non-stick fry pan and heated until hot. I then put one small corn tortilla onto the oil and cooked on medium low until crisp. Placing the tortilla onto a plate now, I dabbed it with two Tbs. of the beans, 4 ounces of the shredded meat and then covered it all with a pile of fresh salad made with shredded iceberg lettuce, finely shredded red cabbage, shopped tomatoes, grated carrots, finely sliced white onions, 1/4 C diced avocados and salsa. It was fantastic. A fresh low fat low calorie high protein tostada salad. Yay!
Tomorrow, for Cinco de Mayo, I will be making my traditional taquitos platter for Kurt to munch on but will be resisting myself because I'm avoiding all fats and oils and taquitos just aren't taquitos if they aren't fried in oil. I will be making my shredded beef taquitos using chuck roast much the same way I cooked the Carne Asada, minus the chilies and tomatoes. A very easy recipe for the first part of the cooking, and then a tiny bit complicated for part two. I'm just saying, it takes a bit of practice to roll the meat in the tortillas so if you try this I highly recommend that you cool the meat prior to shredding, don't over fill the tortillas with the meat and make sure it isn't too close to the edges of the tortilla so it doesn't pop out into the hot oil and burn you while frying. I also recommend that you preheat each tortilla prior to stuffing with the meat, this alleviates the tortilla from breaking and cracking. And also, make sure you drain these delicious little monsters very well on paper towels before serving. If you're serving more than one or two people, feel free to place each fried taquito into a baking pan and place into the over on the lowest heat for warming until all are fried.
Well everybody, now that I've given you some ideas for the Mexican holiday cuisine, I'm wishing you a fantastic weekend and hope that you enjoy whatever it is that you'll be doing and eating...even if it's barbecuing a steak! Moooooo!
Be well and happy happy happy,
Susie Rosso Wolf