Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Carne Asada Tacos

Today was a special treat!  Drew had most of the day off for Veteran's Day and so we celebrated by going to lunch, watching an episode of House (we are almost caught up!), and taking a nap ( we didn't do that last one).  We also stopped by the grocery store and picked up the stuff for tonight's dinner.  Even the checker could tell what we were making.  I don't know what else people would buy flap meat to make.  I got the recipe from Cooking Light's November 09 issue.  It is officially called Carne Asada Taco with Avocado Pico de Gallo. 

This one jumped off the page for me because I have been on a particular food quest for a while now (I think it has been 6 years).  A little restaurant in Houston  (Silvia's Enchilada Kitchen) serves an appetizer called Picomole.  It is phenomenal (not an overstatement).  You would think creating a facsimile of this dish would be quite easy - take pico de gallo and throw some avocado in there.  You would think, as I did...wrong.  There is some sort of secret spice in there.  We spoke with Silvia and she would not relent.   Oh well, the search continues. 
Let's start at the beginning on this one:
I got the marinade for the beef going a little early today - all the better, if you ask me.  The recipe calls for a 3 hour marinade, I think we did it for 5.  This is a great weeknight meal because the marinade takes only a few minutes to get together and can sit in the fridge for a while. 
After my LONG nap today, I got up and turned on the double burner griddle and heated up the grill press (innagural use, PC).  While those got searing hot, I prepped the Avocado Pico de Gallo and tasted it.  Not bad, not bad. It is not quite the standard of Silvia, but it was a nice flavor combination. 

The prep for the meat could not be easier and the result is a tender and flavorful taco meat.  I served this with some Ranch Style beans and flour tortillas.  Good dinner, easy prep! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Tonight's menu was somewhat in the Mediterranean genre.  It included Mediterranean chicken kebabs and a Cauliflower dish with Feta and Tomatoes (both from Christmas with Southern Living 2009).  I will introduce this review by stating a little known fact about me:  I could easily be Greek - I can eat a plate of almost any type of olive in seconds flat and I am sort of obsessed with feta cheese.  I love all things Greek!  I will further introduce this review by stating a (most likely) more well-known fact about Drew: He hates feta cheese and warm olives.  I know both of these things and tonight's menu tells you who won out in my menu plan this time.  They can't all be for Drew, can they?  In my defense, there was something that he does enjoy thrown in there, too.  He has not gone hungry, I assure you. 
With that introduction, here goes the review: 

The kebabs are a good weeknight menu choice for us.  I did not include the bell peppers, because Drew is not a big bell pepper eater.  I also cheated a little on this one by using a bottled Italian dressing to marinade these for 30 minutes, instead of making the marinade.  I do realize that this is the wrong thing to do when reveiwing a recipe, but I was at the store shopping by memory (never a good idea for me - I forgot at least 3 ingredients for this recipe).  The marinade worked and the chicken was very tender.  I grilled these on the George Foreman grill (which hadn't seen use in a while - George was happy to oblige).   
While the chicken was marinating in the fridge, I turned on the oven got some potatoes going.  I used the mandoline discussed just recently, with much better results (thanks, Becky, for the tip). 

Then I got started in the cauliflower dish.  For this recipe, you parboil the cauliflower and then let them hang out in a colander for a few minutes while you get red onion going in a skillet, then you add the cauliflower, the tomatoes and the feta to the mix and heat and serve (garnish with the kalamatas).  It is straight-forward and I enjoyed the results.  This could not be said of Drew, he refused to try it because of the "smell" of the cheese. 

So there, you have it, my small contribution to the enjoyment of all things Greek.  Maybe some day Drew will change his mind about the feta - he doesn't know what he is missing! 
Mavs 121 Rockets 103 - OH YEAH!