May the 5th

Doesn’t have quite the ring as May the Fourth Be With You, but it is still a very fun day in our house.  I ended up with the weekend off…..I KNOW…how is that possible in May?  I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, I thoroughly enjoyed having two whole days off, IN A ROW.  It is like a miracle.  Anyway, May 5th was Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby.  What’s a girl to do, that is too very food heavy holidays in our house and I couldn’t decide….so I took inspiration from both

beef chimi

For dinner, I made shredded beef chimi’s with a southwestern style coleslaw and rice.  The coleslaw is super simple.  I grabbed a bag of pre shredded coleslaw mix and made a vinaigrette with minced garlic, half of a jalapeno, minced, cilantro, lime juice, white wine vinegar, a drizzle of honey, and a bit of olive oil.  Toss it all together with the cabbage and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.   Once the coleslaw was done, I turned my attention to making a batch of pickled red onions, when we were ready for dinner, I added a handful to the slaw.  The rest of the onions I have been using in my salads and in sandwiches this week.  DELICIOUS!

For the meat, I start with 2 lbs of beef cubes in a sauce pan.  I add a couple of cloves of garlic, sliced, and a ton of spices: cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, Arizona Dreaming, chili powder, cayenne, smoked cumin, and ground chipotle.  I added the other half of the jalapeno from the coleslaw, only because I had it and didn’t want it to go to waste.   Cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for three hours, until tender.  Bring the pan back up to a boil to reduce the liquid until almost dry.  Shredded beef using two forks.

I put a handful of beef on the bottom third of a tortilla, roll it up and fry it.  Once they are golden  brown, I transfer to a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack and place them in the oven at 300 degrees to keep them warm while I finish frying the rest.

All I had left to do was make a batch of Goya Mexican Rice and dinner was served!

derby pie

We finished dinner just before the start of the Kentucky Derby.   I sat on the couch, watching the race with a glass of bourbon and a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Pie, AKA Kentucky Derby Pie.   I’ve made many versions of this pie over the years.  I saw this one and was intrigued by the addition of cornmeal to the batter.   I used walnuts, because I had them on hand, I used yellow cornmeal, again, because I had it in my pantry, and finally, I used half white corn syrup and half treacle – because I had an open container that needed to be used up! This pie is awesome, chocolate, bourbon, nuts….oh my!  Don’t wait until the next Kentucky Derby to make this!  It was a fun day with some incredible food – can you ask for a better way to spend the first Saturday in May?  I can’t think of one.

Bread and Butter Pickled Jalapeno’s

Last week I got a huge bag of jalapeno’s from our CSA, it was exactly what I was waiting for, I couldn’t wait to make Bread and Butter Pickled Jalapeno’s again this year.   I made them for the first time two years ago and they were delicious, sweet and hot. I ended up putting them on all sorts of things, but my favorite way to use them, was dicing them and adding them to a batch of cornbread.

pickled jalapeno

As with any pickle recipe, it is a whole lotta prep and wait.   You clean the jalapeno’s (wear gloves….unless you like pain, then, by all means, tough it out), and put them and some sliced onions in salted water for a few hours.   After four hours, you drain, rinse, and drain the vegetables.  While they are draining for the second time, I went ahead and boiled my jars and started the brine.   As soon as the brine comes to a boil, you add the vegetables, cook them for a short time, can them and then process.  It goes fairly quickly once the brine comes to a boil.     I found the recipe on the Simply Recipes site.   I have used quite a few of their recipes, with wonderful results, and this one is no exception.   If you get a chance, check them out, and by all means, make these pickles!