Wednesday, August 3, 2011

mo food

I spent this last weekend hanging out with my family at Mo Ranch, where we enjoyed catching up, soaking in the Guadalupe, reading, playing with a puzzle (yeah, we're super cool), watching adorable toddlers run around...all of these things are wonderful.  But let's be honest.  The main event of family reunions is the food.  It's no different in my family.  You should've seen the massive ice chests full of food that arrived.  The sweet treats brought (those nutella brownies included).  It makes kitchen stadium (aka Iron Chef's abode) look like a 7-11.  

This year, we did what we should've done years ago and let folks sign up to prepare a meal for the rest of the group (15 hungry adults + little ones).  It worked out great.  There was SO much amazing food and I had to share some of it with y'all.  There are a few things I missed (like my sister's rockstar egg casserole) but that's only because I ate them before I could get a picture.  Yummy.  Here's breakfast the first morning:

Yeah, I know.  You're drooling on your laptop aren't you?  Fluffly, light, sugary blueberry crumb cakes, made in individual little loaves (so one could eat say, five, and not feel guilty).  My cousin Adele made these, and I think she used this recipe. God bless that Pioneer Woman.  Alongside the little loaves of wonder was keilbasa sausage, providing the perfect balance of saltiness to go with the sweet loaves.  And of course, there was gallons of coffee (literally, y'all, we go through more coffee than Starbucks) to wash it down with.  Fan-tas-tic.

(Oh, did I mention she's friends with someone who has a blueberry farm?!  And that this amazing friend brings her pounds of fresh blueberries every year??  If any of you fall into this category, pretty please be my friend.)

Now, one might think that after such a substantial breakfast we would perhaps "go light" for lunch.  One does not know my family.  You could say we instead went "the whole hog" for lunch, because we had amazing barbecued pork ribs with pinto beans, homemade bread, corn and cole slaw (we're such vegetarians).  My Aunt Madelynn put a crazy-good teriyaki marinade on the ribs. Sooo good.

I signed up for dinner that night and made my fabulous friend Karen's chicken and black bean tacos (because it can feed an army and a Texan family gathering without something at least a bit Mexican is just wrong).  I'll share this super-complicated recipe with you.  You ready?  Think Julia Child's aspic-complicated...and then go in the totally opposite direction.  

1 can mild Rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed really well
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
10-12 flour tortillas (as fresh as possible: don't mean to brag, but my grocery store makes fresh ones there.  Yum.)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

shredded cheese
sour cream
chopped cilantro
fresh lime wedges
chopped avocado
(Makes 4 hefty servings.  Naturally, I quadrupled the recipe for my family).

Heat 2 T vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high, add chicken, s&p, cumin and chili powder and cook until almost cooked through (about 7 min).  Add onion, cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, cook for 2 min.  Now, add Rotel and black beans.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes (gets the chicken nice and tender and lets all the flavors come together).  

Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a cast iron skillet (very hot), with no oil, until charred a bit and starting to inflate (fresh tortillas will puff up wiht air when heated).  Keep hot in foil with a paper towel in it to absorb steam (you don't want soggy tortillas).  

Serve chicken and black bean mixture in tortillas and squeeze fresh lime juice on top and top with whatever you like (I love a bit of fresh cilantro on them, but I don't judge those who think cilantro's grown in Hades).  I served mine with spanish rice (made by my awesome Mamacita).  

 Easy, right?  And SO good.  Thanks, Karen!

The next morning, we had more amazing tortilla goodness: chorizo (Mexican sausage) taquitos.  I love salty, spicy chorizo and eggs.  And my cousin Lee and her boyfriend Luis even brought fresh tortillas that they cooked.  We topped 'em with my mom's homemade hot sauce.  Wow.  Good morning to us.

And, finally, there was my Mom's amazing chicken tetrazzini with caesar salad (yep, we're so healthy) and garlic bread.  The chicken tetrazzini recipe comes from my Great-Grandmother Mimmie and it's always amazing.  What a delicious weekend.  What are y'all eating these days?  Share, share!

Bon appetit!

1 comment: