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The Verdad La Mexicana Comida Esta Out There….

1 Aug

So these three youthful Midwesterners are at NYC’s La Guardia airport baggage claim abuzz with anticipatory crackish then/Red Bullish ahora pre-embarking adrenaline rush exclusive to both visitors and residents of Gotham and maximum security prisons.

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What today would have been a text and/or tweet shared among friends we the public actually participated – okay eavesdropped – in their animated public discourse.

And what today would have been a Yelp! search actually turned into a lively debate with real opinions shared from real live experience instead of online strangers.

To the dulcet caterwaul – with occasional thud – of a luggage carousel – this husky body politic weighed in on Chicago vs New York pizza: ‘I can’t wait to try Domino’s. I bet it’s way better here.’ ‘No way, ‘Yes way’ ‘No way’ ‘yes way’ ‘Chicago’ ‘New York’ Chicago New York and on and on and on and maybe text might have been less Valley Girly and distracting so the rest of us could focus on our opinions and obvious superior big city sophisticated taste, grab bags, turn up noses, bolt.

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All but yo en verdad. Mi cargo fue returning con yo from Mexico. While the fuerte opinions blogged aqui suggest otrowise. I am still here to tell you the only reason Taco Bell en Mexico is better albeit more authentic than Taco Bell en Esatdos Unidos por que you get to order en Espanol.

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And even though I’ve been called a snob because I refuse to eat @Chipotle – which is to Mexico as Red Lobster is to the sea – you can’t feed a more Catholic, democratic, open and omnivorous maw than mine. Beyond therapy for my PTAzMexSD, the entire purpose of this here blogging a la Marco Pollo is to document my quest for el Cocina Mexicana ultima outside the friendly confines of mi beloved Sonoran desert. I know it exists, even if I have to make it so in mi own cocineria por ejemplo:

 

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I can’t believe you’re not Midwesternican pollo asado y chile verde y cream of chicken y corn tortillas that taste like dumplings y cheese casserolenchiladas

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The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)

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North Carolina BBQ pork/Trader JoseNM salsa verde/avocado/refried frijoles/Trader Jose flour tort/burro

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Elotes/frijoles/pollo asado tacos con cilantro y radishes from our urban parking garage rooftop garden

Or when I have to burn $5 on some breakfast burrito from Pret-a-Porte labeled ‘Southwestern’ because maybe that’s what Mexican food is like in France?

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Egg Soufflé (Cage free) Refried Black Bean Salsa Red Peppers Cheddar Red Onions Tortilla Wrap

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*To the credit of the Midwesterners who I had no intention of having personify the acronym IOWA (idiots out wandering aimlessly) the very same week I took again to wandering yet again NYC’s sts/aves rather aimlessly, confident enough in my Espanol lengua to order for lunch – much to the delight of the entire diner – a Cubana Torta’ (trans: Cuban Prostitue) and also overheard the following exchange along the way:

Scene: 8th Ave, Times Square, NYC before the greasy window of a Chinese take-out joint tastefully appointed with garlands of Peking Duck.

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Cast: Two young men with Long Island accents sporting Yankees caps – backwards….of, course – studying the menu:

 

‘Peking Duck?’

‘Yeah.’

‘How the fuck they know that duck’s

from Peking?’
And it probably tasted just as good as Long Island duck in Chinatown Chicago.

Man, Nacho, Nachoman or Super Nachoman?

18 Apr

Praise Allah, Jah, Yahweh, Nietzsche y todos Los Dios por MLBeisbol esta en el aire. Literally, for me en Chicago aqui. The Wrigley Field extreme makeover be better both seen and heard from the friendly confines of our balcony – at least until urinegate passes. 

 Our apt complex’s western facing facade glows eves awash in the brilliant digital hues of a video screen so grandiose and HD one can count the whiskers on the scoreboard visage of Jon Lester’s chinny chin chin from the friendly confines of our balcony – at least until urinegate passes.  Compounded by a bombastic sound system quite possibly purchased from the old Shea Stadium on e-bay (blown speakers included) filling our living room starting-line up announcements and 7th inning stretches the Cubs and we are one.

Y ahora yo lustily await at least uno otra mas Wrigley makeover assault on mi senses: that of smell. Please St. Harry and St. Ernie let the upgrade to concessions – both stands and menus – include a yet-to-be installed jet engine ventilation system. Not to drown out the cheeky organ asides echoing across Lakeview rooftops. No. So that the unbeatable eau de beisbol wafts down Halsted Street and on into my nasal cavities y mi casita at gametime.

And if you are taking requests Santos y St Santo, charge the dominant scent not with that of the grill but of the nacho cheese pump. 

While to the noses and tongues of millions (and their gastrointestinalalogists) Proustian Wrigley Field remembrances smack of hot dogs, stale beer, chew spit and urinal mints past, the same no hablar o’ moi nariz. No whiff nor sniff not snort of Wrigley passes these nostrils without recalling golden, delicious petroleum nacho cheese and its DIO: Super Nacho Man.

….slow, gauzy, dream sequency dissolve por favor…The Summer of 1989. Cubs vs Mets. Wrigley bleachers. Heat + humidity = that trapped under a wet German Sheppard feeling. Maddux. The Hawk. Andre “Woo”.Grace. Andre “Woo”. Sandberg. Girardi. Andre “Woo”. Gooden. Mookie. Cone. HoJo. The Straw That Stirs Dykstra electrifying the bleachers entire into chanting “grab your balls” each time he storms into the outfield, to which Dykstra responds by vigorously hustling his crotch, spitting, then spinning around to face home plate.  popcorn. peanuts. cracker jacks. Harry Carey. Gallons of warm Cub soda y front row center Super Nacho Man: a 300lb glistening, sweaty, shirtless balding wonder of  tumescence, a drum tight party keg beer gut protrusion upon which precariously rocks a plastic nachos boat. Left hand lowers and raises beer goblet to wash down bites of hot dog delivered to mouth with right hand, pausing en route for a quick dip in the nacho cheese sauce. A soupy yellow trail runs between Super Nacho Man’s hirsute and ample breasts which he erotically mops up with the final bite of his Super Nacho Cheese Dog at the exact moment Dykstra normally racks his balls, only before he can, Nails stops dead in his cleats, beguiled and/or blinded by Super Nacho Man’s omniscience popping the golden nugget dripping with sweat, hair, cheese and spit into his maw then roaring, “C’MON LEONARD, GRAB YOUR BALLS ALREADY!’ launching the nacho boat into the ivy, the game nearly called due to his thunderous tortilla chip, beer foam, jalapeno, and nacho cheese storm.  

With Wrigley v.2 bleachers under construction until at least June, and piss cups de rigueur, yo suggest settling down on your belly homegrown – and IMO vastly superior – super nachos not unlike the platas flying around these parts.   Key ingredients: pinto beans from the stove top not the can; NM green chile; non-petroleum yellow cheese; leftover grilled meats; hot dogs and sweat optional. 

 Extra added bonus innings in your mouthole: Mi Esposa’s contribution: Chile Gringa Nachos. Ground chicken, onions, garlic, chicken broth, white beans, fresh scallions, white beans and Jilipepper from NM. 

  

(Yes, those are the dimmed lights of Wrigley blurry in background.)  

Viva Los Cubs!

Painting the Joy of Cooking Brown con AzChiNMexi Mac y Cheese

2 Apr

If there is a more all-encompassing gring@ cookbook I dunno it. The revised version of The Joy of Cooking is that of which I blog, not mine. The pre-PC original – on the otro mano – could at least pass for aboriginal. Recipes for vermin, including skinning instructions – IMO – transcend borders and ethnicity.

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Yet like every other cultural icon worth it’s weight in insensitivity – The J o’ C got censored/edited by the PC Orwell wannabes in the PC 80s/90s. (Exception: Speedy Gonzales.) Thank god the copy I inherited escaped a Fahrenheit 451 ending, though the dust jacket lost to a gravy spill and and several fingers of bourbon on the counter of Southeners who may or may not have had slaves in the family were absorbed into its pages and spine.

 

 

So no, this copy’s geneology is anything but PC or artery-friendly. Yet, again, I knew I had to blow the cobwebs off Ye Olde JoC for some non dot.com direction with the culinary kindling left in la casa of late. Being stranded aqui (esposa y dos los ninos viaje en FLA) during Chicago’s final four March Madness Blizzards stirred up a hankering for a casserole as warm and hearty as a sweater mi imagniary abuela might have knitted you, between slurps of beaver tail soup.

 

Fresh out of squirrel and ammo, I deferred to a pollo chi-chis, marinated and grilled, tossed in the obligatory sack ‘o NM chile verde, and got slightly carried away with the Mexican oregano to give an otherwise high gring@ dish some much needed color. The latter resuced the dish when any one of the main ingredients went missing, curiously rounding out each bite should a chicken chunk or green chile slip off the spoon.

 

Mi Imaginary Abeula’s Big Ol’ Feliz Casserole alias

Painting the Joy of Cooking Brown

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El Mac y Cheese y NM Green y Pollo Sweater

 

 

 

Follow the instructions from Pre-PC J o C aqui

 


AZ/NM/Mexify con:

Pollo asado chunks (recipe is your call)

NM Chile Verde

Stir into the milk/egg “batter”

1 tsp Mexican oregano y 1 tsp NM red chile powder

Quatro queso Italiano blend + parmesean

Sprinkled topping: NM red chile powder/crunched up Donkey yellow corn tortilla chips.

Leftover T-Bird Green Chilenstein Enchiladasserole

6 Dec

Only caught a sense a local radio programme planned to run a piece about some gringo in NM who sent a batch of green chile seeds through the way back machine. His promise: a pre-genetically engineered chile verde = pure, unadulterated, virginal.

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By some reports our contemporary chile verde esta veritable genetic Frankenstein. Y what’s mas, the holocaust has been captured in glorious pixelated color, currently Netflixing. Oh my o my o mi dio.

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Am I alone in both my distaste and distrust the food superstition movement? Though I ‘spose it’s much more of a religious movement, how every time I log on to Netflix or NYTimes.com the documentation on why really only eating only Yeti is safe & ethical anymore grows quicker than AquAdvantage salmon.

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Yoo hoo, a-hem, yo, looky here overevolved Homo sapiens, did it possibly occur to you you are playing right into the hands of food? Look, I don’t want to eat ‘roided out chicken anymore than you do but we gotta keep eating up these mutants into extinction por population control RFN + once them chickens figure out how to wield a bat…we’re goners. chicken_slam_large_2

And C.) Back to the beginning, this supposed ghost of chile past. Pre-Colombian green sounds about as appetizing to me as authentic 1800s hard tack huslted up by a Civil War renactor. You know the breed, the Rebs and Union Oppressors who soak their coat buttons in their own urine, getting down to the last detail just right. Read: scary genetic freaks.

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Call this back to the cave cooking retro, call it vintage, call it pure, I call it playing God with horseshit. Fb Update: The entire universe has evolved several million times over since these supposed ancient seeds were unearthed, re-birthed and planted. Sin Machina de Tiempo: pass, me. Unless of course I can have my helping slathered on a loaf of SPAM. This paring  would be the closest and hopefully equally tastiest approximation of 2015’s T-Giving Leftover Casserole. Mi esposa went organic with the bird I went to the factory with a canned green chile, among other tinned ingredients:

Mira:

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Leftover T-Bird Green Chilenstein Enchiladasserole

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COMO:

Mix:

1-2 Cups leftover T-giving turkey: shredded

Above canned ingredients

Sauteed chopped onions and garlic

Salt, pepper, chile powder, oregano

Leftover turkey gravy

Layer in a buttered casserole dish:

Corn tortillas – Above mix – Mexi-cheese

Bake 350 covered in foil 25 min

uncovered 15 min

Under the broiler 5 minutes

Serve topped with sour cream, black olives, leftover canned cranberries

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Crank. It.

How happy am I my parsley has a Facebook page?

12 Nov

Amazing times these.

Diga me dudes and doo-dooettes: as a longstanding member of Facebookaholics Anonymous I’ll never know whether parsley might have ever accepted el amigo request para mi, let alone cilantro’s, rosemary’s or basil’s. One thing, that I do know there’s a lot of ruins in Meso-po-tamia uh uh uh uh uh oh uh….sorry but the great B-52s honoring our veterans go boom in me cans ahora…that parsley and some potatoes make the best of amigos, and on this here concocted western plata, besties for real for all time.

Besty Westerny Homey Fryies

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How: In a hot, small skilled unskinned boiled potato chunks fried atop diced onions seared in butter and olive oil seasoned with Jillipepper/garlic/salt/pepper add to this fresh NM green chile (2015) upon which you fry/steam and egg next to a slice of smoked cheddar by putting a couple drops of water in the lid of which you cover the heap with until said egg is cooked beyond its original slimy state: lowered to no heat. Go boom atop with the fresh, chopped (though I prefer mine scissored) Facebook parsley.

 

Hit it Fred:

Do salsa and a tortilla a Mexican dish make?

10 Oct

Not necesarioly, but it beats hell outta Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip.

You can be the judge and try any of the following fer yerself.

Exhibit 1: The Hello Darlin’ Dixiecan Carne Asada y Queso Grits y Amp & Alternator Burro

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Inhaled this tube ‘o old grits and glory serenaded by Howe Gelb, ergo the AA&A title reference. Tastes nothing like auto shop or hard tack even though the HDDCAyQGyAA&AB guts esta rooted in ancestral midnight moonshine runs & rusty rebel resentment. Mi esposa, a great great great grand daughter of the Confederacy, hustled up the skirt steak and Southern napalm. I added the refrieds and tort. The red stuff aka ‘octane boost’ is yer highly coveted Valentine salsa.

 

 

Exhibit 2: Dixiecan Casserole B-fast Burro

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 Innards:

1. Frozen shredded proper western hash browns fried in butter, onions and b-fast sausage (con grease) layered in a casserole dish with prepackaged shredded cheddar baked at 350 till crispy, bubbly, lethal.

2. Scrambled eggs
3. Canned refried frijoles

4. Salsa of your choosing. IMO, one can’t do better outside of Mexico than Herdez. The small cans epecially provide – por mi lengua y nariz – notes of first-class Puebla bus estacion diesel fumes and stray Die Hard battery volts forever singing me back to any one of several dozen viajes taken across the line. (Mas on salsa luego.)

 

 

Closing Argument: Faux Rancho Greenplat

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With dozens of superior green chile cheeseburgers for the wolfing up and down and back and forth across New Mexico – blogging from memory aqui – la pregunta para me’s never been one of quality but of quantity. For a decade now I’ve taken to the unofficial state plate like a sow to the truffles, sans merde. Rooting GCCB out of the unlikeliest of confines (gas stations/horse tracks/McDonalds), fue me. Me mentions this by way of introduction to another superior NM plata originel I’ve nearly cloned at home: The Faux Rancho Greenplat.

 

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 Faux Rancho Greenplat Bacchanalian back story:
Twas on a three GCCB bender, heading south to The Owl en San Antonio, btw GCCB #2 y tres, bisecting the interstate was we. Bacchus gripped the wheel of his company SUV. His company: Guiness. (His appetites mas grande than mine. Hence, why his name has been changed, both to protect the innocent and call off any open container charges.) Yo fue dios’s co-pilota.

San Antonio. NM sits a non-God of Drink and GCCBs 90 minute drive South of The ‘Burque. I ‘splain this por que Bacchus measures time by the beer. So, from The Frontier’s breakfast green chile , egg, bacon guacamole, and western hashbrown (con chile verde y queso) burgers, at Bacchus speed, we were looking at an ETA of about 3 Guinness. I cracked open número two, turned down the Drive-by Truckers, eager to learn all about El Rancho Greenplat, a plata Bacchus had been howling about through the months leading to my virginal tour de NM.

‘Now that were alone together and not shoving anything into our pie holes* (*Bacchus hails from Dixie, hence the dialect) I gotta ask why the hell they gotta name a cheeseburger El Rancho Greenplat? Not the most appetizing…..’

‘The what?’

‘El Rancho Greenplat? The burger we’re driving 90 miles – I mean 3 beers for?’

‘The what the fuck?’

‘El. Rancho. Green. Plat.’

‘You. Stupid. Fuck.’

‘The El Rancho Greenplat is a stupid fuck?’

‘Jack ass. The El Rancho Greenplat is from Quarters Bar-b-que……………In Albuquerque.’

‘So it’s not a green chile…’

‘No’

‘Then what the hell are we driving to The Owl for?’

‘Jack. Ass. You said you wanted to blow up your body mass index with green chile cheeseburgers – whatever the fuck that means – so we are going to for the best goddamn green chile burgers you ever had.’

‘Does someone need a hug?’

‘No…a beer.’

(Crack, slurp, silence, acceleration,
Drive-by Truckers.)

‘Can we go get a El Rancho Greenplat after?’

Dos mas beers and The Owl burgers gone and then one more beer and 3 gallons of gas more and Bacchus talks Mrs. Quarters herself into rolling up dos ‘killer’ El Rancho Greenplats for our dining pleasure; an ugly plata with an even uglier name that:

Me: ‘definitely lives up to its billing’.
B: ‘Whatever the fuck that means.’

The ERG TKOed us both. I recall little more than a cracking jolt to the system as maw closed down on the final bite.

Post blackout, the Mrs shuffled me y B across the gravel parking lot to digest down and sober up ‘neath the shade of the Guinessmobile.

While I never set boot back into Quarters, yonder in NYC and again high in Colorado, I tracked down the ingredient which I believe provides El Rancho Greenplat with its essential ‘Fuck yeah!’: fresh smoked turkey breast.

No longer down the road from a Rocky MT smokehouse and/or Jewish deli I settle for the bridesmaid: applegate organic smoked pavo. The remaining ingredients: non-canned pinto beans or canned refrieds, fresh roasted NM Greenchile, prepackaged preshredded cheddar cheese, flour tort. Tasty cold to hot, sober to drunk.

No surprise aqui, all platas – to me -take no prisoners and even less time to make than they do to eat (quite to opposite to most things ‘worth the wait’) or to read about even. Guaranteed to make all go boom boom boom…down comes the gavel….and I’ll leave the last word on whether or not tu will buy torts y salsa turns all comers into Chorizo to Pat Travers:

If it looks like fish, smells like fish, and tastes like fish…

20 Jul

it must be fishy. Verdad? And if it’s a fish cake, should it be cakey? Served on a hamburger bun, bunny? Yet we’ve  been told bunny is supposed to taste chickeny, just like her cold-blooded anicmal friends froggy, alligatory and rattlesnakey?

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And if this all sounds mildly insaney that’s because waking hours ’round here pass interpreting the caterwauly requests of a 4 week old and/or re-re-re-re-reading books written for the under 4 set to the nearly 2 tortilla model which makes this blogger’s brain jell-o-y.

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So dig this big crux: even with dbl dad duties I managed to corral ingredients for a flippin’ rico patty as salmonly as it is Az-Mexi.

Before heading onto the recipe – and possiblamente the cooking secret of the century – as is my habit, I must clear my head:

Where is the logic in tossing out fishy fish? I mean, if it were gummy or furry or gnawing on your testicles, yeah, fish gotta go.

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Whomsoever won’t eat their meat meaty, fish fishy or elk elky can head on over to the latest vegan blog for a Satany seitan dish (conspiracy theory sidebar: veganism no doubt is the work of Satan. Mira, el diablo figures if he can convert Homo sapiens over to not eating and killing animals, well unless the Internet beats them to it, once the rest of animal kingdom friends up on Facebook, they will surely rise up and destroy us all.)

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But because as I blogged antes, ‘my idea of seafood is a cow standing in a puddle’ one might pensar I’d be the last person on earth – save the few remaining teetoaling vegans foraging for twigs and loam – to delight in a fishy dish concocted from pungent Puget sound canned pink salmon
(actually from Trader Joe’s, Chicago).

Message to ‘The One’ doubter, in the words of the prophet James Brown, ‘Get Up Offa That Thing” and get up on this:

Stinkin’ Salmony Salmon Green Chile Gringo Fishy Fish Cakes

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The Innards:

1 can of canned Pink Salmon (skin, bones and all)

1 quarter bag of roasted, peeled, defrosted (duh) NM green chile (in a pinch roast, peel and seed a fresh jalapeno)

1 egg

1 handful binder (I used saltines, flour and bread crumbs will do)

1/3 cup of roasted cut fresh from the cob corn (0r canned)

chopped handful of fresh cilantro, parsley and scallions

salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

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Optional toppings: lime, sour cream, crumbly queso blanco, fried egg.

Optional edible delivery vehicles: hamburger bun, english muffin, etc


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The How To:

Mash together the fishy, stinky mess with your bare hands then form patties. Size does not matter. Fridge till firm. Fire up the grill to medium. Grill 3-5 a side. NOTE: Don’t blame me if the cakes lose their firm grip on the grates and jump to their own fiery death.

Orale, ready for that how about that Cooking Secret of The 21st Century? Glad you reminded me – wait for it –

How to prevent a fish cake freefall through the grill grates.

Option A – My Great Idea:
Add binder. Fine and dandy if you prefer your fish to taste, um, ‘bricky’.

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Option B. y mi esposa gets full credit for aqui y ahora: Fry the patties up on a piping hot griddle. No caca, right?

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You, in the back row with your hand up, pinching your nose, you have a question? How do I compensate for the essential and superb deliciousness of ‘grilly’ness?

Uno word mi amigo: butter.

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Anyone who has a beef with ‘buttery’, I say let’s feed ‘that one’ to the salmon.

On ‘The One’ now if you please, JB: