Monday, January 28, 2008

Taco Sunday

The Gilbertson's and the Kallos' came for dinner last night as well as for Peter to take some photos of the kids. Seemed that everyone had a great time and I know for sure the boys had very fully bellies (mine was not far behind) and I believe Jeremy may have severally hurt himself trying to keep up with the likes of the Kallos' brothers!

On the menu was Guacamole, Salpicon (shredded beef), Ranch Beans, Mexican Rice, & Blondie's with ice cream for dessert.

The Guacamole is a recipe I have had in my head for years.

3- Ripe Haas Avocados
1- Sm. Jalapeno, seeded & finely diced
1/4 Sweet Onion, finely diced
1- Sm. Tomato, seeded & finely diced
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
Juice of one Lime
Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl mashing the avocados until almost smooth but still chunky.

The Salpicon is a recipe I first made for Peter's 30th birthday party almost two years ago. It was a hit then and I made it once or twice shortly after but had not in a long while which is what inspired the entire meal.

The recipe is from a book, Fiesta Mexicali, By Kelley Cleary Coffeen and is described as "a cold marinated beef salad". Cold did not appeal to me so I adapted the recipe to be served warm in tortilla's, the only difference is I serve it immediately rather than waiting for it to cool.

5-6 Pound Beef Brisket
2- Large Onions, quartered
4- Whole Garlic Cloves
1- Cup Cilantro, chopped
1- 12 oz. can Whole Tomato's
1- Tbls. Chipotle in Adobo, finely diced
3/4 Cup- Italian Salad Dressing
Salt & Pepper

Place brisket slow cooker and just cover with water. Add onions, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the chopped cilantro, along with the tomato's, salt, & pepper. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8.

Remove meat and cool slightly. Shredded meet with a fork. Place shredded beef in a large bowl. Thoroughly combine the chipotle in adobo, salad dressing, reserved cilantro, and several of the cooked tomatoes. Pour over beef stirring to combine.

I served the beef on fresh tortilla's which I literally fought a woman for at Whole Foods in Alpharetta. Apparently these tortilla's are in high demand, which I can see as they are truly delicious!

Traci rounded out the meal with the Mexican Rice and Ranch beans, both recipes can be found on and were very good. I will try them both myself the next time we have a craving for Mexican food.

Dessert was Blondie's from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook- The Original Classics which I served with vanilla bean ice cream. The recipe calls for Kosher Salt which I thought was very odd but it turned out to give the blondie a sweet yet slightly salty taste which I love. The recipe also calls for chopped pecans which I do not care for, so I substituted them with chopped toffee bars. They turned out great!

12 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup Heath bar, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center of the oven. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and Heath bar.

Spread batter into pan. Bake until the surface is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out barely clean 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rake to cool. Cut into squares.

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