Pickled taters, courtesy of the Yucatecan Peninsula

If you don’t like pickled taters, you’re off your damned trolly and there’s nothing more I can do for you.  Yeesh.

  • 1 c. sliced onion
  • some boiling water
  • salt
  • 1/4 c. lime juice
  • 1/2 of an habañero, minced almost into oblivion
  • 12 oz. young taters, whacked into rough cubes (no need to get fussy)
  • 1/3 c. chopped cilantro

Drop the sliced onion into the pan with the boiling water.  Let them get their groove on for about a minute and then drain the water off and toss the onion around with some salt, the lime juice, and the habañero.

What you want to do now is:  Cover the taters with water, bring that up to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, and then let it all do its thing until the taters are al dente–probably eight minutes or so.

Drain them thar taters, wait until they’re cool enough to handle (but still warm), and then peel ’em and add ’em to the onion stuff.  Stir in the cilantro and then taste the hail clanjamfrie, tweak as needed, and you’re done.  Lovely.

Now, on to other things.

Have you ever stopped at a gas station and seen little packets of Mexican peanuts for sale?  Don’t lie; of course you have.  There’s no reason to allow yourself to get gouged by a gas-station-flunky-Mexican-peanut salesman when it’s to easy to do it for yourself.  Witness:

Cacahuates enchiladas

If nothing else, it’s a lot of fun to say “cacahuates enchiladas.”  Go around town saying that, and people will think that you’re cock-of-the-walk (gallo de la caminata).

Anyway, here goes:

  • oil
  • 1 c. peeled peanuts, unsalted
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • good-n-hot chile powder or cayenne (I find that about 1 1/2 tsp. fits the bill, but you can use however much you want; it’s one of those “to taste” things)
  • salt–to taste, once again; a teaspoon works for me

Heat up the oil and add the peanuts and garlic.  Don’t let the oil get unreasonably hot; there are few things on earth more disquieting than burned garlic.  Let them get to know one another for about two minutes.  Stir them around all the while, in order to encourage their socialization.

Turn the heat down even lower and add the chile powder/cayenne and salt.  Jumble all that around for a minute or two, and you’re done.

As long as we’re up to no good, how ’bout

Sopa de Bolitas de Tortillas

I’m fascinated by this soup, for a couple of reasons:

  1. I’d never heard of it until just now
  2. I inherited my daddy’s fondness for dumplings
  3. I’m head-over-heels in love with corn tortillas
  4. It’s the only way I know of to put stale corn tortillas to good use

In other words, it might just be the world’s most perfect food.

  • 12 stale, dry corn tortillas
  • 1/2 c. hot milk
  • 1/2 c. queso añejo
  • 1 egg, beaten up
  • some salt
  • 1/4 c. cold milk
  • lard or oil or whatever your frying medium might be
  • 1 1/2 qt. veg. or chicken stock, or whatever soup or stock you have going on

Break up the tortillas and zap them around in your food processor until they look like little bread crumbs.

What’s that?  You don’t have a food processor?  Well, that’s okay.  Neither do I, and I get along quite well without one, thank you very much.  That’s what knives are for.

Anyway, add the hot milk, the cheese, the egg, and a bit of salt.  Knead the resulting dough with vigor; this is no time for pansies, so tell your pansies to come back later.

Now invite the pansies back in, because you have nothing to do for a while:  The dough is resting comfortably in your refrigerator overnight.

Next day, knead it well for a while again, adding the cold milk as you go along.  You should now be able to make about 24 little dough balls, about 1″ each.

Fry them gently for five minutes or so, let them drain for a bit, and then drop them into your simmering soup or stew or stock or whatever.  Leave them in there for about two minutes and you’re done.