Wednesday, September 19, 2012

South of the Border

Helllloooooo, Yankee Belle Cafe!  The Fresh Pioneer is back with a little recipe for those days when you need some extra spice in your life.
   Your food life, that is. The other parts are up to you. :) But I'm sure you've got that all under control, so back to the FOOD.

My husband hails from closer to the equator than I do and therefore enjoys some interesting food. (Please refer to my post Weird Food. But go there later. It's kind of gross. And we're making tasty food today!) Anyway, he swears he's NOT PICKY but that's a lie. Most of the good dishes we all grew up with like lasagne and spaghetti and ravioli and meatballs (hey, I sense a theme) aren't really tasty to him. So we end up making food that is more 




 Which I really don't get because they use all the same stuff: meat, tomatoes, grains, herbs. Just in a slightly different order. And amount. And maybe some peppers and tortillas. Okay, I still say Italian food is DA BOMB but that's another day.

  Let's see what's on the menu for the (NOT PICKY!) eater tonight, shall we? Working with what we have fresh and on hand, and on a budget...

  Hm. Let's grate some cabbage, lettuce, and carrots. And chop some tomatoes and avocados. That sounds tasty. Can't go wrong with that, right?

 (Yeah, I know this is sideways. Weird. And there's a shadow.
As if someone was LOOMING OVER ME in a hungry way.)

 Now, I'm all over a nice veggie salad but we're talking about picky eater so, let's pull some fish (on sale, love it!) from the freezer. Plop in a pan with a few cups of water, lemon, salt, pepper. Cover on medium high heat. (If we didn't care about calories, we could fry it up, with a crispy panco crust... *sigh* But we do. So, we'll be good.)

 These Anaheim peppers are pretty mild and I have a few left over from when I roasted them and baked with cream cheese inside. YUM. But that was for me. This is for... you-know-who. And some sprouts because they were on sale. (What was I thinking? I have no idea. Anyway.)
Gotta have some salsa. Mine's on the left. Mild, with corn and black beans. Hubby says that's not real salsa. It said 'SALSA' on the jar! On the right is homemade tomatillo salsa. HOT. Do not eat. For crazy folks only.
We checked on the fish and it's smelling GOOD but still a bit underdone. We have some tiny 'pepinos' so we slice those up. Mmm, garden fresh cukes. Lime and salt. Crunch, crunch. (Go away, looming, hungry shadow!)
So, another peek at the fish and it's almost ready. We need to start heating our tortillas. These come in a bag like this.
They make them in pretty much every area of the US. Find them in your local grocery store. And I know there are flour tortillas in the picture. Ignore them!  Corn is wonderful for you, lots of fiber, denser and makes you feel full longer. The trick is to heat them slowly, in a pan, no oil, for longer than you think you need to. This brings out the flavor.
When they're nice and soft they should look like this. NO BREAKING, NO CRUMBLING! That means undercooked and well, YUCK. And you can fry them, but we don't want the grease, do we? Unless you're frying them until they're hard and crispy, like tostadas, which are really delicious and look like this.
And they're about impossible to eat with one hand. And I never have two hands free, so I avoid this sort of thing. Unless I want to eat my dinner off my lap.
I forgot to take a picture of the fish when it was in the pan, so this is from Google. It looks exactly like mine! As if Mr. Google Images had been in my house!

Yay! We're ready to assemble the tacos! Just lay your savory fish piecesin first, then whatever you want for toppings (what, no sprouts?) and lay them side by side and you're ready to go.

Huh, there's that shadow again. Someone's HUNGRY!




  1. I'm going to come eat at your house, Virginia. When I make south of the border food it looks like...well, like a German made it.

    I'm saving this for later in the fall, when my traveling days are done and I'm back home for the winter....

  2. yum! I like the green salsa on breakfast tacos- I can't find it ina jar though -well they make it but it doesn't taste good IMO. now the red stuff I can chow on easily from a jar but I've become a fan of Texas Texas and Clint's rather than Pace (though Pace will do in a pinch!!)

    ok ya'll TAG this post 'how to heat corn tortillas' - I couldn't find the post without a bunch of searching last time when I was trying to do refried beans from beans in a can (not refried) took a while ya know?

    um could you do a youtube video on how to cook them? I guess they're cheap enough I can just stand there long enough and experiment! hmm maybe I should do a youtube video..nah would have to scrub the kitchen!

    you could just fix lasagna and the other good stuff and give your hubby a bowl of that green friend's hubby and dad and just about every male except her 4 yr old(though he's trying!) will eat just about anything so long as they have that tony chacher's? cant' spell it but they call it 'tony c's'. they shake it like crazy on everything - and if it happens to not go they reach for the ketchup...

    that was a heck of a deal on that fish! I very seldom catch a clearance deal at the store near me...

    1. I'm all about the deals. And out local store is horribly overpriced. :P So we try to store as much food as possible from our own garden and watch the sales. Feeding this many people takes a lot of planning! And it helps that our neighborhood has a lot of backyard gardeners an we all share our produce. My husband raises the corn and squash and tomatoes. Other people have cukes and zuchini and such. We also have peaches and pears and grapes. My neighbors share apricots. Etc!

    2. P.S. I've seen my husband put lasagne in a tortilla and add salsa. *sigh* What a travesty!

  3. Haha! Like a German made it! That totally made me laugh! And I think hubby has Teflon hands because I can't stand warming up tortillas on the 'calendor'. I burn myself every time. He never seems to notice it's 6000F.
    Can't wait to hear your stories from ACFW...

  4. Your food is so colorful. Like rainbow-colored. It reminds me of when Sandra and I were at the Orlando RWA conference together two years ago... the one with no COFFEE?????

    Must stop. Breath. Erase bad thoughts, erase bad thoughts....

    Okay, SO: Sandra's side of the closet was stinkin' tropical...



    I'm a Yankee cooker, too, and we don't have all that green color. Part of this is because I don't like some of the green stuff.... but it's so stinkin' pretty, Virginia!

    Although I'm making a ricotta cheese/whipped cream filled yellow cake with dark chocolate glossy frosting so although I'm not colorful, I'm gaining weight.

    That should count for something, right????

  5. I have to say I am more an Italian food liker (without to much spice or onion) I can make a spaghetti sauce that I like but thats about it.

    (Still trying to find out how long to cook carrots. So far I have told till they are cooked! the same with roast potatos I have been told between half an hour to an hour im looking at small potatoes (as I really dont like them much).

  6. Ruthy, someone told me your food has to be colorful to get the most vitamins for your buck. Cam you imagine how many vitamins were in that monster face cake I made???

  7. Ausjenny, roast potatoes in the oven? Or the microwave? I looooove potatoes. We boil them, fry them (although I'm not very good at that and hate the clean up)and cook them in the oven. Love with salt, butter, and pepper!!!!


  8. Heym, looks like everyone is at conference!!! It's just us and the fish tacos, peeps.... :D