Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rosie Makes A Nice Tortilla Lunch.

Here's the Hawthornes' lunch today. Fried tortilla with seasoned strips of beef, pepper, onion, black beans, and Queso Fresco, a Mexican crumbling cheese, with a tangy side sauce to complement.
I found some nicely marbled Denver cut steaks in the freezer ...
... and sliced them while still partially frozen. Slicing while frozen is easier and gives you a thinner, more even slice.
Slice into strips.
I'll be seasoning the beef with oregano, coriander, and smoked paprika. And I'll be using half an onion, sliced, and a bunch of pre-Irene peppers from the garden. They're all sweet peppers.
Chop the peppers and the onion. Add about a teaspoon each of the coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika to the meat and toss to coat. While the flavors are kicking back, make a quick, sweet and tangy sauce for an accompaniment.
I had 1/4 cup of creme fraiche I'd made earlier which I'm using for my sauce. If you don't have your own creme fraiche, use sour cream. Apple cider vinegar, heavy cream, lime juice, and pepper will be the players here.
Along with about a tablespoon of sugar.
And about 1/4 cup mayo.
1/2 teaspoon coriander
A teaspoon of cumin. Add in some lime juice (1 TB ?) and heavy cream (1 TB ?) and cider vinegar (1 TB?) until you get the taste and consistency you want. Cover and refrigerate, letting the flavors meld. After an hour or so, taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. I know my recipe isn't exact, but it's a sauce for crying out loud. Adjust the amounts and seasonings for your tastes. Do this for me, Grasshopper.
Ready for the tortillas. I have my seasoned beef strips, sliced peppers and onions, black beans, Queso Fresco, and tortillas.
First, fry the tortillas in oil. I love puffy tortillas.
Drain on paper towels.
I heated my pan over medium high heat, added 2 TB butter and 2 TB oil. Heat to almost browning the butter and then add in the beef strips.
Give it about 1 TB sugar sprinkled over top to help in the caramelization of the meat.
When the beef is nicely browned, add in the onions and peppers ...
... and the black beans.
Heat through.
Plate the fried tortilla, add the beef, onion, and pepper mixture, sprinkle on some Queso Freso, and drizzle on your special sauce. Exactly what is that special sauce, you ask? It's up to you. I've given you the basic components. But I want you to make this sauce your own. I wanted a slightly tangy, slightly citrusy, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, slightly pourable sauce. Hence the mayo, creme fraiche, lime, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Basically, this meal was another one of my "moreovers." I already had the black beans and needed to use them up. The peppers were picked pre-Irene and needed to be used. As for the meat, if you have a Sunday roast in your fridge, you could make moreovers and use that. Any already cooked beef that you have - shredded pot roast, grilled steak, bottom round roast, flat iron steak London broil - all of these could be used in this dish to make Version 2.0. It's not a leftover. It's a moreover. Rosie Tip #4: Cooked black beans ferment in record time in your fridge. Do not let this happen to you.
I wish I'd had cilantro to put in the sauce. That would have been perfect. Would have given a lovely green taste and flavor. Parsley for you cilantro-haters. Even 2 1/2 - 3 feet of water didn't kill my parsley. I just ain't particularly fond of eating it until it's been thoroughly washed off. Since the last 3 days have been nothing but rain, rain, and more rain (I love it.), I'm OK with using my parsley now. I can thank Irene for no cilantro.
Try it. You'll like it. Yup. The sauce needed green. Irene took out my entire herb garden. Even my chives. Fie!

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