Sunday, May 07, 2006

Veggie Cinco de Mayo

Like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo is a contrived holiday for the rest of us who don’t hail from the country of origin. Rather than go out drinking (are there other drinking holidays like these? New Year’s Eve….), I chose to make a nice dinner for my family.

I was craving carnitas, that delicioso braised pork it seems I can only get at taquerias. I’d noticed that Costco was carrying it. Only problem: Juiceboy is deep in the thick of veggiedom.

What to do? I made a vegetarian Mexi-fest.

Vegitas (fajitas minus the meat)
One yellow onion, thinly sliced.
One large red bell pepper, sliced
One Anaheim pepper (or other mildly hot pepper)

Stir fry the veggies until soft. Add one packet of fajita seasoning mix and ~1/2 cup water, simmer on low until sauce has reduced. Serve with hot tortillas, guacamole, shredded cheese.

Another meatless entree that was enjoyed by all was:

Chile Rellenos

Roast poblano peppers (the bigger the pepper, the better)
Once the skin is charred and blistered, pop in a paper bag for about 15-20 minutes. After this the skin will come off easily.
Slice down the middle to remove the seeds. I like to remove the stems and top, though this results in a floppier chile. Some restaurants serve the chile seeds and all, but I don’t recommend this, as the seeds are the hottest part of the chile and it’s just darned unpleasant to have all these little seeds marring your cheese.
Fill with the shredded cheese of your choice. I was lazy and used the pre-shredded Mexican mix from Safeway.
Top the cheese with scallions.
Bake until the cheese is melted. (350 degree oven, about 15 minutes)

I like these in a tortilla, Juiceboy ate them with a knife and fork. The Bug gave his away.

I served these two dishes with black beans, rice (Uncle Ben’s makes a really nice garlic & butter rice that I get for special occasions, otherwise I make it myself), guacamole, chopped cilantro, chopped romaine lettuce, good salsa, and sliced black olives.

Guacamole tacos are a good option too!

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