Monday, August 8, 2011

UnRecipe: Suddenly Tacos

You know what rhymes with hasty? Why, tasty, of course. Another whirlwind meal was chalked up to random ingredients delivered in a CSA box and scrounging through pantry and freezer staples. Despite its scrappy beginnings, it was still quite a fiesta to behold. Viva la UnRecipe!

The CSA box said, it's Taco Night - Photo by Wasabi Prime

The truth of the matter is, I just don't know what the hell I'm doing from week to week. Blame it on a combination of doing too many things and too few hours in the day, but I'm never going to have the bandwidth to be a fancy food blogger who regularly spends several days preparing a specialty meal. I'm all about quick-prep foods so that I can spend more time enjoying the meal versus fussing over it. This is compounded by our CSA delivery, which makes for a delicious mystery every two weeks. One of the boxes included a whole mix of random things like radishes, corn, tomatoes and a mango or two. Based on what shows up in the box, I go with my gut instinct, and that day, the gut said: tacos with mango salsa.

Let the season guide your meal - Photos by Wasabi Prime

You should listen to your gut. Aside from the occasional stomach growl and gurgle, it can make for some inspiring conversation. I think my gut was also aware that I always keep dried beans in the pantry and corn tortillas in the freezer. I'm a sucker for bulk buying and I knew I'd never use the five million tortillas in a single dish, so I divided them up into smaller stacks and froze accordingly, knowing I'd have a few stacks ready for future meals. The dried beans were soaked and mixed into a spicy seasoned rice with the fresh corn as a side dish. A bunch of fresh breakfast radishes were the perfect crunch for a spicy taco. Radishes are definitely my favorite for taco toppings; much more character than shreds of iceberg lettuce.

Botannical summer booze - Photos by Wasabi Prime

I couldn't enjoy a summer taco banquet without a frosty beverage, and no I did not waste away in Margaritaville. The CSA box had some oranges and a cucumber. My gut was still ruminating over tacos, but my brain immediately went to fruit/vegetable-infused vodka. The cucumber was a thicker-skinned pickling variety, so I didn't feel bad sacrificing it to the liquor gods. It got pickled all right -- in a glass carafe of booze. I mixed the cucumber slices with orange wedges and let them soak in vodka for a few hours. Using a French Press is great, as you've got a strainer built-in that helps press all the flavor from the fruit that's been soaking away. I took some gin and steeped some Earl Grey tea bags in a separate glass for a short time. It only steeped for about a half hour, as tea can get bitter if it's left to sit for too long. I didn't have a defined idea in mind for these cocktails, except that I mixed the cucumber/citrus vodka with some St. Germain and seltzer for a light-tasting fizz, and mixed the tea-steeped gin with Luxardo maraschino liqueur, some simple syrup and seltzer for a more rich-tasting fizz. Lately my at-home cocktails often look like this -- favorite liquor, a fruit component, light bitter or sour element, simple syrup and fizzy water to liven it all up. I could add more things to it, but that may require more dishes or utensils to wash, and I'm a lazy bartender.

Summertime fiesta at home - Photos by Wasabi Prime

So even though I'm not throwing any wild sexy summer parties at Casa de Wasabi, we manage to eat and drink well enough in the warm, sunny evenings. The fresh produce deliveries keep us on our toes and a well-stocked freezer and pantry shore up whatever we're missing. If I'm very lucky and wish to fully celebrate my laziness, I manage to get away with skipping a trip to the grocery store for a week!

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1 comment:

  1. good food is all about fresh local produce! that looks amazing. i love love love the colours-just shouts summer! to me. used to be a fan of bulk buying too until i moved to a really really small studio with my friend and have a tiny box for a freezer. that said, i just posted about sourdough crepes which i like to use as tortilla wraps too, and i do freeze them (they're flat anyway, not much space taken), this sounds perfect.


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