24 January 2009

Cooking for my adoring fans

If you are ever in Chicago, go to any grocery store and find these. This is not a suggestion, this is an order. For the low, low discount price of between 25 and 30 cents, you can get a little slice of heaven. These are El Milagro corn tortillas. They come in a paper packet. Sometimes they are still warm from the delivery truck. It doesn't get any fresher than that. Just pick up the package and take a deep breath. Breathe in that heavenly corn aroma. If you put them in your car, they fill up your car with that scent as well. If you walk out with less than 10 packages for the return trip home, you have incredible self control. El Milagro corn tortillas are--as they say--just one trick up D-master's sleeve.

I like cooking for Beckie. She raves on about my cooking. She brags to her husband about my cooking. Now maybe you'll say Beckie is such a fan because she's from Tennessee and I'm from Kentucky and we share similar tastes. And while it's good, Southern cooking tends to be pretty low-brow. Quite a bit of it is po' folk food. Soup beans, corn bread, and cheap cuts of meats. Seasoning depends heavily on pork fat, onions, ketchup, and salt. Now if I was going to cook Beckie a meal to remind her of home, I'd probably have cubed steak and onions, green beans cooked in a pool of bacon grease, cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet greased with more pork fat, real butter, and mashed potatoes. Wash it all down with a Coca-Cola.

And not that that isn't good eating, but I don't cook like that much anymore. My life is too sedentary. And anyway, it isn't the home cooking I do that Beckie likes the best. Beckie is a fan of the foods I picked up from friends and restaurants and when my interests led to experimenting in my own kitchen. One of the recipes I really like to make is a variation of one my ex taught me. He called them American tacos. Browned hamburger and onions, no sauce. A sweet tomato chili sauce laid down on fresh El Milagro corn tortillas, followed by meat, cheese, a mild or medium picante, lettuce, tomato, more onion, avocado, sour cream, and black olives. When I make them today, I skip the cheese, sour cream (for reasons obvious to those who know me), and black olives, and I make a taco sauce for the meat. What can I say? I'm a fan of cumin. I guess that makes them just regular tacos. I served them to Beckie and her son Payton once when they came over with cherries from her mama's tree and we spent an afternoon putting up some awesome cherry jam.

The Tennessee faction went wild over the tacos. They looked a bit like these.

While my favorite part is the El Milagro corn tortillas (BTW, this picture is just using Ortega shells not the heavenly El Milagro corn tortillas--there really is no comparison) , the thing Beckie liked so much was the fact that I put refried beans in the meat mixture. It's a trick I picked up in needing to freeze things for later use. I just dumped the leftover refried beans into the meat, stirred it up a bit and froze it for later use. Saves time, pans, and tastes great.

You never know when a little something is going to go over big with your guests. In any event, it's fun to cook for people who appreciate your effort. Beckie can eat at my house anytime. And I promise I won't skimp on the corn tortillas.

Oh, and if I'm really feeling sassy...much like I was today...you might just get this for dessert. h/t Pioneer Woman.


  1. Event though I don't comment often, I love your blog and read every post. It's a great escape. Keep it up.