Friday, July 18, 2014

Zucchini Tacos


It's summertime, and for many of us that tend vegetable gardens, it is also zucchini time. A member of the squash family, zucchini has a habit of growing like a weed and many who choose to grow it find themselves with more than they can eat. I remember a Flash-created cartoon from the 90s Internet boom in which a masked man sneaks around his neighborhood during the night, leaving zucchini on unsuspecting neighbors' porches.

Yes, it's pretty much like that.

But truly, zucchini is an extremely versatile vegetable and can be used in many ways both cooked and raw. It is great for cold and hot pasta dishes, as a salad ingredient, appetizers and snacks (see the summer 2012 entry for a great summertime aperitif using zucchini, tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and basil), pizza topper, on a sandwich, in a stir-fry ... the list is never-ending. Seriously.

For this entry: a simple taco recipe. It's easy and quick to prepare. In addition to the zucchini, include whatever you like on a taco. Here's what I used:

- Zucchini, julienned into thin pieces.
- Avocado, cubed
- Pear tomatoes, sliced
- Jalepeno, julienned into thin pieces
- Shredded Monterey Jack
- Sour Cream
- Soft fajita-sized tortillas

Prepare the ingredients. I find that using a block of Monterey Jack and shredding it yourself is much more flavorful than the pre-shredded variety. When ready to build the tacos, heat the tortillas in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to make the more pliable. Then, place the sour cream on each tortilla first, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Finish them off by topping with the shredded cheese.

Enjoy with a cold beverage -- Happy Summer!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sheriff's Steak Relish


For our inaugural 2014 post, this recipe comes my good friend Sheriff Charley Cosmato, and is a recipe we concocted on the fly back in late October while spending a cold autumn night in the cabin on Craig Creek. Below are C's instructions -- we grilled medium-rare steak (rubbed with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper ... please refer to my previous posts about grilling or broiling red meat) and relish with a baked sweet potato and roasted red peppers.


INGREDIENTS:

- Five or so lightly oiled, long-bodied, medium-hot peppers roasted on the top rack of a hot grill (550 lid temp) with lid down until thoroughly blistered and softened through.
- 4 shots of quality bourbon and 3 craft beers (1 stout + 2 IPA)
- Dash of sea salt
- Red wine vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 dark-roasted, whole coffee beans

PREPARATION:

While grill his heating, pour beer and bourbon in the chef. A friend can help with this by telling jokes and co-drinking.


Cook peppers (see above).


While peppers are still hot remove stem ends with a sharp knife (discard ends). Take care as the knife is sharp and the senses are dull. Place peppers (seeds and all) in blender along with coffee beans, sea salt, a splash of vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Pulse blender on high speed. Scrape sides and repeat. Add vinegar and olive oil to taste and repeat pulse cycle until consistency of mixture is
creamy, but not runny (not unlike a prepared creamy horseradish). 


You should have enough relish for two large servings of flank steak. Relish can be used as a dip or topping.