GOD BLESS TEXAS….
I’m a Texas girl, y’all, and you know we do tacos, tortillas and football on the reg. In my home city Dallas, Tex-Mex is practically a revered as a sacred art. I myself have devoted endless hours to “studying” said art by way of eating non-stop Mexican cuisine and drinking many a margarita. I just wanted to make sure I left no stone unturned in my quest to find the perfect burrito.
I’m very devoted to my research, obviously! I have yet to experience a mambo taxi (a frozen marg that maybe should be illegal) I didn’t want to add to my list of Possible Last Supper Options. I really do keep this list, because you just never know. The Boy Scouts only think they came up with that motto. Not so fast, Eagle Scout! I was born touting that as my personal mantra! But I digress. Anyway, D.C. offers many great food experiences, but sometimes a girl likes to get back to her roots and go a little wild, Wild West on dinner. And so I did.
Tuesday’s Daring Dinner Challenge: spicy zucchini meatballs on a bed of Mexican lime rice, top with delicious avocados and a dream come true coconut-cilantro sauce. I’m a mega fan of this incredibly healthy dressing. I tweaked the recipe off from The Kitchn and I’m pretty sure it’s my new addiction. You can make it spicy by adding jalapeños to the mix. Don’t like spicy? It’s amazing sans peppers. Pile all these ingredient on hand made tortillas, and you’ve got yourself a little bit of Texas. I say Texan cooking not Mexican cuisine, because frankly the only people I know who make truly heavenly Mexican food are, in fact from Mexico. I’ve had tons of my friend try to teach me the trade secrets, but to no avail. One day, my darlings…one day I too shall learn this witchcraft!
→ TIP: PREP PREP PREP! I line my ingredients on several cookie sheets so I can zoom through my cooking process. It saves me a massive headache and possibly missing ingredients.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
MEXICAN LIME RICE:
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- Bunch of cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt to taste
Throw all ingredients in your rice maker while you continue to cook every thing else. All praise the kitchen gods for rice makers!
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup sweet basil
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- (Optional but makes amazingly creamy and YUM) 1/2 to 1 whole avocado
- To make hot: dice 1 small jalapeño
- salt to taste
Blend in Vitamix for 1 minute until texture is velvety smooth (side note, can I tell you how much I love my Vitamix?! It’s pretty much a big deal! Huge thanks to my amazing in-laws for that gift!)
→ TIP: Go ahead and make a bigger batch of this sauce, because this sauce goes wonderfully with just about anything and everything…well…within reason, you know.
- 1 3/4 cups masa harina
- 1 1/4 cups of hot water
TORTILLA DIRECTIONS ⇒HERE
→ TIP: I don’t use a tortilla press. I am, however, OCD about the shape and size, so I find if I measure dough in my hand to be the same size and roll out evenly in all directions like a pastry under parchment paper, and I get a neat and tidy circle. Control freaks, we’ve got this!
THE SET UP:
- Zucchini meat balls: follow this recipe and add extra red pepper flakes for more kick; I made mine without the cheese this time to make it vegan and I loved it)
- 2 avocados, sliced
- Fresh Cilantro
- 2-3 ear of whole roasted sweet corn, then cut off the stalk.
Layer tortillas with rice, meatballs, and other ingredients. Pour sauce over top and serve with sangria (love this recipe!) or margaritas to show some Tex-Mex love! This is a perfect recipe to serve to guests, because you can prep all the ingredients in advance. Again, organization will be your friend when it comes to making tacos or tortillas. I recommend making rolling the tortillas out and setting aside before guests come over. No one wants to see you harried and a hot mess with your kitchen about to catch on fire. Chances are, you’re food will taste like a harried, hurried hot mess. Hosting is about the guests, not our culinary skills. Tortillas are quick to cook, so you can leisurely sip your wine, chat up your guest and even get them involved in the tortillas cooking. The possibilities with tortillas and tacos are endless, so I think I’m going to add new variations to my Daring Dinner Challenge and make a Taco/Tortilla Tuesday night. It’s not trademarked, but if it were, you know a Texan invented a weekly Taco tribute! If nothing else, it will remind me that no matter how hot August is in D.C., Texas is only a few degrees cooler than hell. But way more fun. Much love and lots of spice from my kitchen to yours!