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Carne Asada Tacos & Sangria

Sometimes in life you have to strip down, whether it's going skinny dipping, refinishing hardwood furniture or simplifying a dish. Instead of doing an infusion or adding some interesting ingredient I decided simplicity would be the best route to take.

Even if it's slightly cold and cloudy, eat this meal outside the comfort of your dining room that's cooled with centralized air and set up the picnic table. Oh you live in an apartment? Open a window while you eat, it's summer, enjoy the nice weather while it's here.

tomatoes on the vine
corn tortilla chips
homemade tortilla chips


Yields almost enough to forget your troubles
  • 1 bottle Red Wine opened (I went with the cheapest merlot I could find)
  • 2 liters of Ginger Ale
  • 1 Orange sliced
  • 1 Lemon sliced
  • 2 Limes sliced
  • 1 Apple sliced
  • 1 Peach sliced
  • 1 shot Triple Sec 
  • 2 shots of White whiskey
  1. Cut up the fruit and add everything to whatever samovar you have laying around.
  2. Quick note: I used white whiskey, because it was laying around. Bourbon works just as well.
  3. Stir it up a bit and serve.

homemade salsa

Homemade Chips & Salsa

  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • 4 Tomatoes diced
  • 3/4 medium sized Onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons of minced Garlic
  • 2 Jalapeños diced  
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 2 small sprigs of Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
  1. Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to make a shallow pool, heat over medium. Cook the pieces of tortilla until golden brown on each side. Flip as necessary. This is a very fast process, so keep an eye on them. To drain, place the chips on a cooling rack over paper towels. 
  2. Make the salsa by adding all the cut-up vegetables in a medium-sized bowl along with the spices, stir until well mixed.
carne asada

Carne Asada Taco

Serves two very hungry people
  • 1 lbs. Skirt Steak
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 2 Jalapeños
  • 4 Green Onions
  • 6 Corn Tortilla
  • Hot sauce
  1. Rev up your grill. 
  2. To get the most out of your meat, pound it. Pounding your meat will make it flatter and therefor it will have more surface area, which will allow it cook faster, resulting in a more tender piece of steak. Lay some plastic wrap on the kitchen counter, enough to span the length of the steak strips. Lay another layer of wrap over top. You can use anything heavy to pound the meat, even a triple sec bottle.
  3. Once the steak is flattened, but not pulverized, throw it in a mixing bowl and drizzle the olive oil over top and add the salt. Massage the oil and salt into the steak with your hands. Yes your hands, it won't kill you, unless your allergic to beef. And if you are allergic to beef, why the hell are you making these tacos?
  4. Add the steak, onions and jalapeños to the grill. Flip the onions and the peppers as needed to make sure they don't burn. Only cook the steak a few minutes on each side, keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
  5. Once the vegetables are grilled and the steak is done (and yes that means it's still a little pink on the inside), let the steak sit for 10 minutes. Cut into strips and place on warm corn tortillas with the salsa and hot sauce. Serve with chips & salsa, sour cream and sangria.

Summer is all about simplicity isn't it? It's the season of taking some time off and spending time in the wilderness away from everything that's complex and stressful. Food should be simple too, especially summer fare. Be sure to read next week's post, I'm making something crazy and elaborate.

All these wonderfully colorful photos by Katy Weaver

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Cactus Stir Fry and White Whiskey Margaritas

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about fresh Summer dishes? That’s right, Thai-Mexican fusion and white whiskey margaritas. Before you dismiss these soon-to-be summer classics, you should remind yourself that the blog you're reading once made carrot pie for a post. 

Sure we could have made separate posts for both the cocktail and the meal, but they played so nicely with each other we couldn't keep them apart. The stir fry and noodles are heavy enough to be filling, but still light enough for a summer dinner that doesn't strike an evening stroll around the neighborhood from the agenda. Meanwhile the margarita is so refreshing it could be drank like water, but as a medical novice I would advise you not to drink it like water, unless you want to reach a Snookie level of drunk.

White Whiskey Margarita

Yields 1 drink
  • 1 1/2 limes juiced
  • 1/2 shot Triple Sec
  • 1 shot White Whiskey
  • 1 cup Ice
For the rim:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  1. Pour the lime juice, triple sec, whiskey into a pint glass. Add the ice to the glass. If you don’t have a shaker I recommend using a red Solo cup as a lid, and not just because it’s classy. This technique works so well I’m expecting my future offsprings to pass this down for many generations to come. Shake, don't stir.
  2. Use the squeezed lime to rim the glass with the juice. On a small plate mix the zest and the sugar together with your fingers to infuse the grains of cane with the sent of lime. Dip the wet edged glass into the sugar mixture. 
  3. Pour the contents of the drink into the sugar rimmed cup.
  4. Drink and be surprised how refreshing this drink is on a sticky summer evening.

Cactus Stir Fry w/ Curry Rice Noodles

Yields 3 servings (4 if you’re not that hungry)
  • 2 Cactus paddles julienned
  • 2 large Chicken Breasts cut into strips
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper julienned
  • 1 Jalapeño sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion julienned
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Sesame seeds (optional)
Chicken Marinade
  • Splash of triple sec
  • 1 Lime juiced and zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
  1. Find a medium sized mixing bowl, a tupperware bowl or even an empty Cool-Whip container and add the chicken and the marinade. Make sure everything is well mixed in the container. Allow the chicken to absorb the flavors of the infused concoction while the rest of the meal is prepared.
  2. Get your medium sized skillet to sauté the cactus. If you need a tutorial on cutting cactus, Pati's Mexican Table has a fine how-to. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat. Do that thing with the skillet to flip them and add a pinch of salt. Cook until the gel oozing from the strips stops. Set aside and take off heat.
  3. Saute the chicken and 1/4 of the onions over medium heat in a skillet until the chicken looks done, about 7 minutes or so. Take off heat. Find a saucier, put it over medium heat, add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and all of your vegetables, except for the bean sprouts. Cook for 3 minutes then add the chicken and cactus. Stir and mix all the contents well. Drain any excess liquid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. 
Curry Rice Noodles
  • 1 can Coconut Milk opened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 4 oz. Thin Rice Noodles
  • 1/4 cup Water
  1. Add all the ingredients above except for the noodles in a sauce pan and heat over medium high until it reaches a boil. Add the noodels as best you can and cook in the sauce until they become soft and have all the characteristics of cooked noodles.
  2. To plate the dish place the noodles in the bottom of a bowl or you can even use a plate with a nice bevel to it. Then top with the stir fried chicken, cactus and vegetables. If you're feeling fancy you can even add bean sprouts and black sesame seeds on top of the dish.

What are you waiting for? Go out to your local farmer's market and pick up anything that catches your eye, and make a stir fry out of it. Summer is for fun and adventurous, venture out into the world and see what it has to offer besides the status quo. Enjoy!

Once again Katy Weaver has outdone herself with these stunning photos.

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Fish Tacos

Put down that taco right now! That taco doesn't compair to a fish taco. If you are eating a fish taco, my apologies, carry on. If you're not eating a taco right now, why not make these fish tacos?

When most people say they don't like fish tacos it's, because they've never tried fish tacos. I'll admit that ordering fish tacos from some restaurants might be more of a gamble than ordering the carnes asada, but if you try this recipe at home, I bet that you'll be hooked on fish tacos.

There's different ways you can cook your fish, but I chose to grill my fish. Grilling is a quick and flavorful way to cook your fish. I decided to cook snapper and it turned out wonderfully, but if you can't get ahold of snapper any sort of white fish will work.

Fish Tacos

  • 1 lbs snapper
  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • 1 mango cut into small cubes
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • a small sprig of cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  1. Place the snapper in a pan deep enough to hold the fish and the juice from the lime. Lay out your fish in the pan and pour the lime juice over it. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper, paprika, a dash of salt and pepper over the fish. Oh, did you make sure your fish is deboned? You should probably do that. Let the fish sit for a  moment. 
  2. Since the fish takes almost no time at all to cook, now is a good time to cut up the mango, cabbage, onion, and avocado. 
  3. Now that all the produce is cut up it's a good time to put the fish on the grill. You should only flip the fish once. Cook each side for about 5 minutes, but your grill might vary, so keep an eye on your fish so it doesn't burn. Once you've flipped your fish place the tortillas on the grill just long enough for the flames to heat them and make them soft.
  4. Once the fish is finished grilling you can start making your tacos. I like to top my fish tacos with hot sauce and cilantro lime sour cream, which you can make by adding some chopped cilantro and some lime zest to sour cream. If you're watching your weight you can use plain yogurt instead of sour cream. 

Aren't you glad you finally tried fish tacos? They're just as delicious as pork or beef tacos, but they're way better for you. Enjoy!
Photos by Katy Weaver



Quinoa Tacos

What to do with the left over filling of those stuffed peppers...How about making tacos? I just heated the filling from this recipe in a skillet and scooped it into some corn tortillas.