Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Few Holiday Statistics

How patriotic are me and my porch?
A Few 4th of July Weekend Statistics:
No. of days that it did NOT rain this weekend: 0
No. of gallons of water that I lugged out to the garden pre-downfall: irrelevant since it rained all bloody weekend
No. of nations represented in our kitchen: 3
No. of patriotic thoughts:  also irrelevant as were quickly dashed by this article

Ok, maybe not all patriotic leanings were dashed. Normally, I defend American exceptionalism to my dad, because I do think the ideals and ideas that America was founded on are unique and inspiring. But this holiday brings out the curmudgeon in me. Maybe the German Shepherd I had as a kid sat on my head through one too many firework displays.

Nevertheless, it's also The Boy and my anniversary, so we had lots to celebrate. I'll spare you the smarmy details and skip to the pictures of the sweet-ass fort I built.

Handy window through which to view firework display

In the spirit of American acceptualism* The Boy and I decided to eat loads of foreign food and not rename any of it some bullshit like "freedom fries". And loads we did eat. It was practically the United Nations up in here.

Saturday night we had Mexican or, more specifically, some of the best steak tacos I've ever tasted with mango margaritas. Recipes below:

Mango Margaritas
1.5 shots of blanco tequila
1 shot Grand Marnier
1 shot mango puree (optional)
2 shots Santa Cruz mango lemonade (it's on sale for $1 at Whole Foods)
Fresh lime juice to taste
Sugar or, if you like, salt to rim the glass

Rim glass with sugar or salt. Then combine remaining ingredients in shaker and strain.

Strip Streak Tacos w/ tequila marinade
makes around 4 servings

For tacos:
8 soft tacos
5 oz. creamy goat cheese (chevre or similiar)
2 tomatoes, diced
lettuce, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 onion, sliced
black olives, chopped
1/2lb strip steak

For marinade:
1/2 c. tequila
1/3 c. fresh lime juice or 5 limes worth
1/2 tsp. cumin2 cloves garlic, crushed
Dash Adobo seasoning
          Black Pepper
          Sea salt
Hot sauce to taste

Marinate steak for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.

Begin sauteing the sliced onions in olive oil on medium low heat. Cook until caramelized and a little crispy, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, chop vegetables and prepare any other garnishes you'd like (guacamole, salsa, sour cream). Make sure you do this before grilling, because the steaks won't take long to cook and are best served very hot.

Wrap your tortillas in foil and preheat the oven to 350. Once it's heated, throw them in the oven.

Meanwhile, grill the steaks on high heat to char the outside. Cook them to your liking (I reccommend medium rare).

NOTE: It took only 5 minutes on the George Foreman, which is how long the tortillas take to warm up, but if you're using a hibachi or traditional grill you might want to wait a little before putting them in the oven.

Remove onions from heat, and combine with the steak. Assemble tacos.

This meal pretty much used up all my cooking mojo for the weekend so on the 4th we ordered in.

There's nothing like a little French champagne and Japanese sushi cooked by a Thai chef who was raised in Australia to make you feel like an American. Furthermore, there's nothing like eating those things inside a fort to make you feel just amazing.

Yeah, we fancy.

All in all, it was a delicious and delightful weekend that has yielded leftovers galore. Now we're onto a short week leading up to an engagement party for which I am inexplicably nervous. Have a good week!

P.S. Am still in the fort.

*See what I did there? Instead of exceptionalism where we believe we're better than everyone else I used the word "accept" giving the idea that we should accept other cultures. The words sound the same. It was hilarious.

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