So, 2 Sundays ago we decided to have a mexican brunch. We had just finished moving in to our cute new little apartment, and we wanted to relax and...cook for 5 friends in 1 and a half hours. So we got up early and finished cleaning the place. Then we went to Pancho's and got stuff. Then we came back and started cooking. Luckily, our friends are not punctual, so we ended up having plenty of time.
We made a big mess of food.
Guacamole, of course. Those avocadoes are not cheap. So back in the day we would have used 10 avocadoes. This was about 5 or 6 small ones. I just use cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Hell, I could eat a salted avocado. I probably have too...
nopales salad. Yum. Just pico de gallo with pickled cactus. Delish. I mean really. Goddamn cheap food can be...soulful. I think I'm going to come up with a new name for cheap food...uh, spirit grub, heart cuisine, soul food. Yeah, soul food. What? That's already a name? I've never heard of it. Hmmm. I'm sure no one's heard of it in SD.....I realize this is not funny, but I'm out of practice. Nothing seems very comical these days, with the state of everything. Okay, my face may be comical because my complexion is as bad as it was when I was in high school. I remember thinking that at least after I hit 30 I wouldn't have to worry about zits anymore. Ha! That is a joke.
Pico de gallo. No nopales. A classic must have for any mexican brunch.
But wait, The Food Ho, excuse me, what is that purple stuff in that lovely crystal bowl, you ask? It is purple tomatillo salsa. We put red and blue food coloring in it. No we did not. The Food Pimp made purple tomatillo salsa. You know, salsa morado. (Yes, I had to look up purple in the spanish english dictionary) You know, they have them at the corner fruit stand on 25th. What you've never seen a purple tomatillo? Oh, well, I have.
Sangria, of course. It's our cheap way to get liquored up! And we couldn't find a cheap pitcher, so we bought 2 trick or treat buckets for $2 each.
Black beans. I don't have a picture of the rice. But beans and rice go hand in hand, of course. The black beans, and the rice were delicious. The FP made them. The black beans were pretty standard, but so good. The rice, he put tomatoes and stuff in them. He steamed it, but it wasn't cooked all the way, so he had to add more water. He was sure it was ruined, but it ended up being tasty. Maybe a little overdone, but isn't rice usually overcooked at mexican places?
I don't have a picture of my effed up eggs. I wanted to make eggs like the oaxacan style eggs at super cocina. So I made a yummy tomato broth. And I added avocado and cilantro. Then I scrambled the eggs in it. But I didn't add enough acid to coagulate the eggs. It sucked. Even though it tasted good. No one ate them.
Chicken. This was the last minute decision we made at the store. We needed some kind of meat to bulk up the food. I made it last. I just practically burnt onions and garlic. Then I threw in some ground up peppers, cumin, coriander maybe, and the chicken. I let it tan (that's not brown, but tan) then I threw in the crushed tomatoes and took a shower. I had no hope for this dish. I got out of the shower and the FP informed me that it was boiling really high and he had turned it down. But even then it was still boiling kinda high. So I turned it lower. Guess what. It was perfect. The chicken was so tender, but not leeched of it's moistness, and it had soaked in all the flavor. It was as if I had spent all day on it. So the key to good stewed chicken is to abuse it. Food Ho Cooking Tip No. 39.
So the FP had gone to a charity even the day before, and he had a few leftovers from that. So we served it. Lamb meatballs with romesco sauce. Yeah, it's not mexican, but still good. And he made this amazing dessert. Mango and maradol papaya ceviche with coconut milk. I wish I had a picture of how he served it at the event. But anyway - he small diced mango and papaya. What a nightmare finding ripe mango! But we found it at the place that sells purple tomatillos. Then he mixed coconut milk with some condensed milk (my idea) and I can't remember what else. The important ingredient is the condensed milk that I suggested. Then he garnished with little fine diced candied mango and crystallized ginger and toasted coconut. I mean, c'mon. I imagine you've stopped reading this and are already heading out the door to go to the store and recreate this. I'm not offended. Just tell them who came up with the recipe. Me. Well, I came up with the condensed milk idea, which really pulled the whole dish together. Really. Well, The Food Pimp helped with it...it was like I was the chef and he was the sous chef.... Well, you know, it might not have been as good if he had just sweetened it with sugar, right?
So then, the lady who organizes the charity event makes cookies. She had the FP put out some of them. I guess he accidentally had some leftovers that made it back to our apartment. So we put those out. They were a hit. We ate all of them. My favorite were the jam cookies. So that was our first lazy day off. Cooking for 7 people....
So the great thing about having a party is leftovers.. right. Especially when you are pretty poor and you just dropped $100 to have your friends over. But we figured we could get a few more meals out of it. But our friends loved the food so much that they all took a bunch home. So we were left with one meal worth. They really scooped up the chicken. Barely any left! But the feeling of a job well done was our reward, right? Damn, why did we have to make the food too good?