Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tasty weekend

Jeff came out Friday night for the weekend, so we decided to have some fun in the kitchen, and naturally, when Jeff is here, fun in the kitchen involves drinks (well, at least for Jeff and me). This weekend, it happens to be margaritas. When he got in Friday night, we started working on dinner, which was Tequila-Lime Shrimp. Of course, that demands margaritas, so we made those...and made them...and made them. They were so good! I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower to go with the shrimp, and that turned out nicely, too! For dessert, I broke into the freezer for some chocolate chip cookies that I had baked at the holidays and frozen for later use. A little zap in the microwave and they were soft, warm, and chewy.

This afternoon, we drove into the city to clean out Jess' office since his last day at work is Friday. After loading the truck, we drove over to a favorite spot for lunch, BLT Burger, where we enjoyed tasty burgers and crispy fries. Then it was back home to do some shopping, watch a movie, and make dinner: taco meat, which could be used in taco salad or just by itself on a plate, and guacamole...and of course, the movie and the food called for...margaritas! So we made them! And made them! The taco meat was spicy and delicious. I make it from scratch; I don't like most of the mixes out there, and they all have stuff that make them no good for low-carb dieting, and they are far too salty.

The movie was The Devil Wears Prada. It was hilarious, and Meryl Streep was perfect. But the real show-stealer was Emily Blunt, who plays Meryl's first assistant. She had too many scene-stealing lines to mention. It was priceless. I loved it. I must confess, when it was at the theaters, I didn't think it would be this good. I'd give it 4 stars. The cast was terrific, including Daniel Sunjata (Take Me Out, Rescue Me, Love Monkey, Law & Order SVU), Stanley Tucci (Wiseguy, Miami Vice, The Pelican Brief, and a million other things and he produces and directs as well), and of course, the terrific Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain, Nicholas Nickelby). But what am I telling you this for? I am sure most of you have seen it. I'm always the last too see a movie, because we are almost exclusively Netflixers.

Here's the taco meat recipe. If you make it, let me know if you liked it.

Taco Meat
1.5 Lbs 85% lean ground beef
1 medium white onion, diced
onion powder
chili powder (not hot chili powder)
garlic powder
crushed garlic
Penzey’s Ancho chili powder
10 oz. Ro-Tel tomatoes (mild), undrained
1/8 – 1/4 tsp Sweet–n-Low Brown
6 oz. Contadina tomato paste
1 tsp. olive oil
Penzey's smoked paprika

Crumble beef into bowl. Sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp. cumin, 1 tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. salt, 1 tbsp chili powder.

In a bowl, mix tomato paste and Ro-Tel tomatoes (leave the juice on the tomatoes before mixing). Add the Sweet-n-Low Brown, 1 tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tsp. ancho chili powder, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. chili powder, ¼ tsp. smoked paprika, and mix well. Set aside.

Pre-heat skillet over high heat; add olive oil to skillet and coat evenly. Lightly sprinkle bottom of skillet with salt. When skillet is hot, drop in ground beef and allow to brown before turning. After meat has been turned and juices are released, add diced onion to pan.

When beef has browned, onions should be translucent. Drain oil if necessary. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the tomato mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Allow to heat through, about 5-6 minutes. Salt to taste. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, and shredded lettuce.

If you’re not as concerned about carbs, you can add about 5 oz. red kidney beans (drained) to make this go even further.

Penzey's Spices:, or visit them in Grand Central Station; the best spices anywhere, and very reasonably priced. Ro-Tel tomatoes: these are usually found in the canned tomatoes section or the Mexican food section, but good luck finding them in New York! There is only one store here on the island that carries them, and I can't even find them at that store on a regular basis.


At 10:13 PM, January 27, 2007, Blogger Jess said...

But without your homemade guacamole, it's not the same. Not that you really could just type out that recipe. There's too much art to it, as opposed to the science of a recipe.

BTW, I really didn't need this recipe. All I do is tell Bokey I want taco meat, and it's made. Who needs a recipe? :)

At 5:10 PM, January 28, 2007, Blogger Marc said...

Sweetie, I hate to break it to you, but you're not the only one who reads my blog.

At 5:43 PM, January 28, 2007, Blogger pinknest said...

i hate packaged taco mix!! i can't believe the amounts of salt in there. anyway, besides that, i'll take taco meat any day. ooooh tacos. now i really want some.

ps i liked the devil wears prada, too. it was quite fun. although i can't stand emily's boyfriend in the movie...that guy from entourage. he's the WORST actor!!

At 2:45 PM, May 11, 2007, Blogger Jamie said...

I just wanted you to know that I tried your recipe and it was fabulous!

At 11:46 PM, May 11, 2007, Blogger Marc said...

Jamie, I am so glad you liked it! It's a favorite at my house!

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