Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ole! Gourmet Taco Party

My friend Christan and I came up with the fantastic idea to walk to the Raleigh State Farmer's Market.  If you are not familiar with Raleigh, let me show you the walk we did:
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This was quite a walk, up hill, downhill, through the rough TWO BLOCKS of raleigh, under the interstate bridge and finally up a long and winding road to the farmer's market through the grass.

The Farmer's Market in Raleigh is unlike the market I used to visit in Atlanta.  I will have to write an entirely separate market comparison.  The produce is right of the vine/tree/stalk and lasts forever. It is a truly unique experience for me. The walk to the market was great, the shopping better, and the company best.  However, a walk home was probably not in order after buying watermelon and bundle of other goodies.  [Superhero Music] my smart friend (Bill) with a "smart" phone saved the day by providing us with the number to Yellow Cab Co. 

After our walk to the market, we decided to invite a group over to share our fresh bounty of produce.  I had been dying to have a taco party to try out a recipe I had found, so we came up with some ideas for dinner that amounted to the easiest and by far most gourmet taco party I have ever been to.

Event: Gourmet Taco Party
Location: Susannah's House
Reason: Fresh Bounty of Produce
Menu: Ancho & Cocoa Carne Asada (tacos)
          Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter
          Watermelon Salsa

Ancho & Cocoa Carne Asada
  • 1 Tablespoon ancho chile powder (I find these ingredients at the international foods market)
  • 2 Teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 (1-1/4 lb) piece of flank steak or skirt steak
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Flour tortillas (I use the 5-6 inch variety)
  • 3 cups packaged slaw or shredded lettuce) mix (7 oz.)
  • Sliced, pickled jalapeno
  • Lime wedges (I find limes at the international market at 10/$1.00!!)
  • Sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together ancho, cocoa, and cinnamon; pat steak dry (an important step, meats should be dry when going on the grill or heat), season with salt, then coat liberally with spice mix.  Heat oil in non-stick pan (I use my grill pan) over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Cook steak, turning once 8-9 minutes for medium rare.  While steak cooks, wrap tortillas in foil and warm in oven.  Let steak rest 5 minutes, then slice across grain at angle.

Chipotle Lime Butter

  • 3/4 stick of butter (unsalted)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle in adobo, chopped
In a mixing bowl, add butter, lime juice, and chipotle.  Mix well.  Spread over hot corn on the cob.

Watermelon Salsa

  • 3 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 fresh squeezed limes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/2 -1 chopped fresh jalapeno, (seeded or not, depending on your preference)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Small handful mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

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