Friday, April 29, 2005

Awesome Chicken Tacos with mango/roasted corn salsa

You'll need to invite some friends over. This makes rather a lot. Delegate the margarita-making to someone with whom you don't mind sharing counter-space.

Salsa:

a couple, three, ears of fresh sweet corn
two or three fresh limes
a fistful of fresh cilantro
a couple or three ripe mangos
at least one fresh jalepeno pepper
a couple of fresh anaheim chile peppers
a medium red onion
a couple of small ripe tomatoes
a couple of cloves of fresh garlic
sea salt

In a big black skillet, or a wok, or whatever you have handy, roast the kernels of corn you've managed to save from falling all over the floor while you were slicing them off the ears. Send someone out for more ears of corn, if needed.

Just heat your pan with a little good olive oil. Before the oil starts smoking, toss in the corn. You want to roast it fairly hot, so it just begins to carmelize, but the kernels are still crisp. Have a margarita while you're working. Have two. Roasting corn while everyone else is out on the deck is hot and thankless work.

Take the corn up and let it cool, while you chop all the other stuff--you want it all chopped fairly fine, but not teeny-tiny. Holding back the cilantro, sea salt, and limes--chop up all the mangos, peppers, onions and tomatoes and put 'em in your biggest bowl. Add the corn. Then juice the limes and add the juice a bit at a time, until the mix starts to take on a salsa-ish texture. Add the cilantro according to taste. I like quite a lot. Sprinkle the whole thing with a bit of salt to bring out the flavors, then clear off the top shelf in your fridge until the bowl fits. Cover it with plastic or something. Have another margarita, if you want one.

Chicken:
fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced across the grain into strips about 1/2" wide
1/2 cup of decent tequila
2-3 limes
2-3 cloves fresh garlic

toss the strips into a big bowl with three or four shots of good tequila, the juice from two or three limes, and a couple of cloves of finely chopped garlic, marinate for an hour or two.

Pour off the marinade and toss the chicken into the big black skillet, or wok, or whatever you cooked the corn in. (You've cleverly cleaned it up so that the chicken doesn't stick like crazy.) Cook it fairly hot, with a little more olive oil, so that it browns nicely. Salt as needed.

Set that off on the back of the stove, while you grill some nice corn tortillas. You want to cook them just a bit past "hot" but stop well short of "crispy". I like 'em just a little toughened, so they don't fall apart when you fill them.

Have another margarita.

Grate a bunch of Monterey-Jack cheese.

Serve with either plain yogurt (for the low-cal, low-fat contingent) or sour cream. Either tastes pretty good. Chicken, salsa, cheese, sour cream, in the grilled corn tortillas. Have more margaritas, as needed.

You'll probably have enough salsa left over to go on top of omelettes in the morning, too.



1 comment:

.:J.r.A.:. said...

Brings back the memories...The best tacos ever. Then I'm reminded of the rum christmas cookies.

I wouldn't say worried...Just figuring some stuff out, and getting into minor amounts of mischief in the process.