Tag Archives: cheese

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.


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.


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.


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:



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


The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)


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


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?


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


*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.


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


‘Peking Duck?’


‘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!

A Torta Worth Killing For

1 Jan

Have you ever found yourself hungrily watching another person eat in such a way it made you want to eat not only what they were eating but also the hand holding the eats, on up the arm, past the shoulder, neckchlipsnose, their whole flipping engorged, orgiastic, blissed out face? To not just jump in for some sloppy seconds at their taste bud orgy but to flat out deprive one of one’s life. Surely we’re blogging about something primal and instinctual here – moi métier. As the incident coming into focus via Google earth 2011 this time out stars a dirty blonde CNA at the glass-topped dinner table of my late mother’s Youngtown, Az memory care unit not-so-daintily dredging flaming hot cheetoes (crunchy) through a soft brick of generic cream cheese. Not comida tipica of murder one. A diet of donuts and farmer brothers truck stop coffee though will drive a man hot wire Sly’s ‘Death Race 2000’ ride straight down desperation blvd.


 Another  but actually my first ever autonomic nervous system overload facing down starvation – fight hormones MMAed flight ones – can be located by google mapping a Houston, TX Astrodome parking lot in an era when Astroturf was the Google of its day and turned out to be little more than Krispy Kreme.


Why would responsible parents think waiting for a bus after a Major league sporting event in a unfair city, in the dead swamp of summer, seem the sensible alternative to driving to and from the motor hotel? True, the station wagon was loaded to the dome light with all the personal effects needed to survive our cross-country summer from Phx, Az to Coco Beach, FLA and back. (Years ahead of the Griswolds, we.) ((But seriously folks, is it because we kids were all adopted you deemed us as replaceable as diapers?))

Far past midnight the other 5 of family sat, starving and delirious and nervous and yeah sure very very white watching waiting and pacing and panting while I stared rather ignominiously at the mouth of an extremely drunk black dude rather passionately devouring a double Whopper with cheese in about 5 bites. I’m still not quite clear whether he even bothered to remove the wrapper or use his hands.


Now if only my own starving college student days ended in my twenties. Instead, I cued up for the twenty year plan. Es verdadm The Fire Cheetoes era ran concurrent with both my fourth decade out of diapers and the finishing up of bachelor degree. Obviously I did not expire from malnutrition. But most days – whenever the 4 for $2 JITB tacos wore off – the brain fattened on knowledge as the rest of me ran famished.

 Too old for dorms, credit fucked, and un pello away from foreclosure on the underwater residence (La Madre’s Loco’s condo) forced to sell for a b-side, rather than live out of my LandCruiser I took a room in the home of a quadriplegic man.  “J” paid me ‘in kind’ to wash, dress, feed and ready him each morning and should I be home between classes, cover lunches – my landlord, my leash. Since I’d never held another man’s penis in my hands before, let alone wrestled a prophylactic onto one not connected to my person (NOTE: notably easier sober), and always being one for a new experience to add to largest collection of jokes ever assembled, that tome being my life, I figured it was either “Go Jimpy*” (*J’s vanity licence plate) or set up camp in the Wal-mart parking lot.


Back to school: Of all the psychology lessons college taught, that which resonated with me – due in no small part to my living arrangement – was studies in highlighter-penned ‘altruism’; mas research suggesting it’s something akin to Santa Claus. Conclusion: Moving in with Jimpy grew not out of some faux kindness but Darwinian survival. What was at work working on Jimpy was an extend dance remix of the other psyc 101 concept that stuck: ‘Change blindness’. (You can You Tube this one ’till yer actually blind – and still not quite believe it.)



For this second most viewed memory of undergrad multiple choice psych exams of yore when faced with the aforeblogged Jimpy duties – including occasional doody duty – got me through even the leakiest morning.

As fine and dandy as a handi-wipe, verdad?

Yeah, about that…

Neither change blindness nor cognitive dissonance nor altruism nor even singing a happy song* could derail the homicidal tendencies aroused whenever Jimpy inquired once I got one foot out the door: ‘Are you going to be around at lunch today?’

 (*Heard or read outside of psych class how when forced to complete a less than desirable task, singing removes some of the sting. Unless of course you’re Sting, Then you can only hope the children love the Russian’s too. On those mornings when Jimpy took longer than the  change blindness lasted – pun ragin’ full on – I broke into song. Since I only know the words to three

1. Happy Birthday by Preston Ware Owen

2. Take Me Out To The Ball Game by Harry Caray

3. The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5

I often skipped off to school smugly satisfied in a job well done leaving Jimpy in my wake in a puddle of befuddle.)

Personally and perhaps even spiritually I believe no person on earth, except maybe Jeff Bezos, should ever have to suffer hunger. I say spiritually because the same beige agnosticism aroused when churchgoing scrambles my ceso whenever traipsing down my local grocer’s aisles. Unless there’s some invisible race of gluttons and/or drunk frat bruhs who ravage every last shelf of every last grocery store everywhere every night, how is it possible any mouth goes to bed unfed?

That e-belched, the act of feeding Jimpy did not wake my inner-Lechter one iota. Nada. Twas what Jimpy ate had me reachin’ for the cleaver. As a Wisconsin farm boy from a large German family of farmers = incredibly well-stocked Frigidare.


A couple times each year Jimpy’s loving and wonderfully sarcastic sisters flew in to fill the house with aromas wholesome, mid-western and beefy. The menu they cooked up, then froze, ran from ground beef chili to chuck beef stew to roast beef sandwiches. And they always arrived bearing chocolate chip cookies with a hint of mint. I only ever got a taste of these. And if their lustful notes were suggestive of the beefier dishes I might have regretted not simply stealing into the freezer** for one of Jimpy’s juicy roast beef sandwiches w/ cheddar cheese had I not crafted a vastly superior mid-southwestern torta with recent batch of magnificent machaca – today’s featured comida.

(**Stealing another’s lunch is the only crime I consider punishable by death. So even though I could have cleanly blamed nicking Jimpy’s beef on our junkie/tweaker roommates – who actually stole from me [cheese] and Jimpy [Pace salsa] and met an untimely eviction and accidental demise – I’d have not been able to live with the guilt .)

 Today’s Featured Killer Comida: 

photo (29)Sloppy Machaca Torta con Queso

Kaiser roll

Mexi-mix Pre-Shredded Queso


Canned refried beans



If you know the rhymes you should rap along w/ yer bites…uh huh huh….

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

photo (2)

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:

No Chingano Cumin en mi Chile Con Carne

11 Dec

For the purpose of repeating myself without sounding the dementia alarm, and por que the fog is lifting from a hazy 1Am post-work Netflixing of Dr. Who among the Aztecs – is that yage I in my Early Grey or did I actually hear Montezuma rock a limey accent? – I’m gonna add a dish to the ever-growing line of heritable North American foods (and bullshit): meatloaf, casserole, Thanksgiving stuffing + chili.

imagesChili, not of the pepper nor sauce variation, but good old hobo/Sunday football/everything in the kitchen sink strainer chili con carne.

2013: Chile con Carne is as much a part of our collective American DNA as credit card debt. Thanks to the Gods at Wikipedia, this was not always the case + for blog continuity/creditability sake + I just now learned there’s also a Chicago connection, proving yet again, all blocked arteries lead from Chicag0-style eating just as sure as the Chicag0-style mannuel leads to better grammar/syntax/citing than you’ll ever read/find/experience here.


Mira, the San Antonio Chili stand (I’m plagerizing now: take that grammar Nazis!) at the Columbian Expo (Google it) introduced visitors to this frontier staple which/that used to consisted of dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt, which/that were pounded together, formed into bricks and left to dry, which/that could then be boiled in pots on the trail which/that likely kept pioneers from eating their horses, but sadly, not each other.


This all blogged, I’ve never ordered Chile Con Carne at a Mexican food restaurant, nor do I recall seeing on most menus back in Az called anything other than taco filling.

So I have to confess I’m straying from the usual Mexi-centric offerings, as to my mind, chile con carne, while colorado in color, is a plata a much whiter shade of brown than I usually care to eat.

Fact is, until this week, my newly retired chile con carne recipe hailed from Cincy. Cincy hobo chili is a blessed combination of spices equal parts masala and mole. The only variation I’ve ever made to my variation – and it’s not my family’s which is about as Texan as Dr. Who – which brings us to this post’s title and my, ahem, ‘beef’ with chile con carne en general: CUMIN.

Whenever I even smell cumin, that’s when I reach for my cliche about reaching for revolvers. (Oh, sweet THC, where is thy sting? By my phone? Car keys? Wha?)


Cumin, somehow, roughly translates for far too many North American chefs as “chili”. It’s as if the dominant flavor and odor is not of the cumin variety you might as well be serving tofu.

Newsflash: cumin is a umbelliferae, not a pepper.  Cumin hails from the Far East, not Latin America. Por favor: use it sparingly in your chili, or better yet: NEVER. Trust me, it’ll taste just fine. If not, then what you really have in that steamy calrdon before you is stew.


Mira, why don’t you instead next time try this mix, my Cincy/Mexichago mash-up which includes neither beef nor cumin:

Mexi-Cincy-Chago Chili Con Pavo Chorizo

Spice Blend: NM red chile powder, chipotle powder, NM Jilli Powder, dark red (cumin-free) chili powder from Jewel ethnic food section, ground cinnamon, unsweetened chocolate powder, columbia coffee grounds, salt, black pepper, Mexican oregano, and no fucking cumin. Blend according to your own personal heat/taste index

photo 2

Carne: turkey breakfast sausage*


(*the healthy alternative to kin and/or brick)

Cook: in butter and olive oil,  chopped onion and garlic. Crank up the heat and add sausage so that it sears upon hitting the sauce pan. Cook until brown, stir in spices, cook till aromatic, add enough water or stock to cover chile. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer forever.

photo 1

Ladle over pasta, Fritos/topped with cheese, sour cream, beans, hominy.

Pairs well with: