Someone Else's Farm

July 15, 2010

Mexican Party!

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , , , , , — M @ 10:44 AM

Casey has four students (R., K., K., and K.) and a high school teacher (E.) doing research with him this summer. We wanted to host all of them for dinner, and Tuesday night was the day that worked for everyone except R. We wanted to plan the menu to use some of our CSA produce, as well as work within everyone’s dietary guidelines (shellfish allergy; no meat or fowl). So we opted to do a bunch of things that would fit into a roughly Mexican meal, and everyone could pick and choose to make a meal suitable to their own taste. Casey checked ahead of time, and everyone was OK with spicy food.

Table with food

More food on the table

I started by turning 8 poblanos into rajas my favorite way: using the blowtorch to remove the skins, putting the seared chiles into a sealed bowl to steam, scraping the skins off with a grapefruit spoon, cutting the chiles open to remove the seeds and stems, and finally cutting the chiles into strips. The rajas went into the two vegetarian taco fillings, and were also on the table as an addition for anything else someone wanted to use them for.

We made another batch of Rick Bayless’s potato and chard taco filling. I used water rather than chicken broth, to keep this filling vegetarian, and this time I put some feta crumbles on the side rather than sprinkling them on top of the whole bowl. We also used up our yellow squash and zucchini by making the Santa Fe-style calabacitas from Mark Miller’s Tacos (recipe available from Google Books), another vegetarian filling. We ran the rice cooker, and reheated a can of vegetarian refried beans. I shredded a brick of sharp cheddar and chiffonaded some of our CSA lettuce, and we had  guacamole, sour cream, our special chipotle crema (in the squeeze bottle), two different jars of salsa, and three hot sauces. We had flour tortillas on hand, since that’s what is generally available and what’s generally served as soft taco shells in this neck of the woods.

For those who wanted to eat fowl or meat, Casey concocted a marinade for chicken breasts out of dried chiles that were soaked and pureed, vinegar, Mexican oregano, and some other spices that I didn’t catch; the chicken breasts were grilled outdoors and then cut into strips. And we made some plain old ground beef taco-seasoning standard filling, just in case anyone was freaked out by the thought of something different.

The hit beverage of the day was a sort of limonada: half a squeezed-out lime half, an ounce of fresh lime juice, two ounces of purchased limeade (Newman’s Own brand uses sugar rather than HFCS), and the rest of the glass filled with sparkling water. Dessert was also a hit: ice cream (vanilla, cookies and cream, or Southern Lemon Pie frozen yogurt), with dulce de leche for those who wanted to gild the lily.

I’d forgotten how much boys eat. We didn’t have as much left over as I thought we might, but there’s enough that we won’t need to cook for the rest of this week, which is good because it’s going to stay hot. It was a great evening, and a delicious dinner. Afterwards, we cleaned up the kitchen, watched the coverage of the Tour de France we’d recorded live that morning, and then pretty much fell into bed.



  1. […] Melissa @ 11:08 AM Another hot and sticky day. We first thought about using some of the leftover calabacitas taco filling in a frittata, but that would have involved turning on the oven since neither of us is very good at […]

    Pingback by Hot. Again. Salad. Again. « Someone Else's Farm — July 15, 2010 @ 11:08 AM

  2. […] want to heat up the kitchen any more than absolutely necessary. Casey made dinner. He used up the leftover calabacitas taco filling and some of the poblano rajas, and cooked with […]

    Pingback by Outdoor Frittata « Someone Else's Farm — July 16, 2010 @ 19:03 PM

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