May 13, 2008

recipe: mexican night

(Originally emailed May. 13, 2008)

[If you're reading this on Facebook, you can read the original, non-imported, correctly-formatted version on my blog]

I don't have time to type up a recipe this week either, so I'm stealing one that Jess typed up for me when we were putting together the Base Cero recipe book. This meal was a weekly occurrence in Costa Rica, and probably our favourite too (well, at least it was my favourite). It's very easy to prepare, seeing as it just involves a lot of chopping and a little bit of heating, and it's customizable so anyone can enjoy it. One of the neat things about Costa Rican food is that they have so many different brands of hot sauces, which all taste slightly different. So for our first few Mexican Nights, we put a different hot sauce on each tortilla as a taste test, to determine our favourite sauce. I unfortunately became slightly addicted to my favourite hot sauce (Chillerito!) and since then I've been bugging people to bring me back some from Costa Rica. Fortunately, one of the girls who just came back was able to find a bottle for me, so my supply of Chillerito will last until August 2009. Phew. I don't know what I will do when I don't know anyone in Dan's lab anymore! Anyways, this meal is clearly up to the individual, but it's fun to have tons of toppings on the table so that it's colourful and chaotic. Thanks to Jess for typing it up for me :) (note: Jess was the Mexican Night chef for most of last summer in Costa Rica).

Jess adds: Mexican night is a fairly low-stress meal that requires a lot of chopping, but it's delicious and filling. You can make the tortillas however you want to, so adjust recipe according to your tastes. This meal works best if you chop veggies into very small pieces rather than large chunks.

Some comments from now me, as opposed to 2008 me: I managed to convince a couple more people to bring me back some Chillerito, so my supply will last me at least a few more months. I will cry when it is gone. In the meantime, I'm trying to find substitutes. Frank's hot is delicious, but not a good substitute for Chillerito :(

mexican night
mexican night, by David Bradley

Mexican Night
Effort: 1 very easy
Speed: 4 not very fast
Ingredients: easy to get
Source: St├ęphanie Doucet

  • flour tortillas (as small as you can get. like the little ones in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store)
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • refried beans (black work best)
  • cumin
  • hot sauce
  • rice
  • hot sauce (chillerito or Tio Pelon)
  • diced cucumber
  • diced tomatoes mixed with minced cilantro
  • diced red pepper
  • onions
  • sour cream
  • guacamole (avocado + lime juice + garlic + sour cream)
  • eggs

cheese lakes
when heated, these'll become "cheese lakes"

  1. Start rice.
  2. Make guacamole and keep in fridge. (Jess' instructions: smush up an avocado, add the juice from a freshly picked limon (half lime, half lemon, grows out back), add a minced clove of garlic, and a spoonful or two of sour cream)...oh how I miss the limon tree.
  3. Start heating the refried beans... throw them in a pot, add a pinch or two of cumin, and a few shakes of hot sauce.
  4. Chop up all the vegetables, and put them in their own bowls.
  5. Put tortillas on a baking sheet spaced apart. Add some grated cheddar to them so that the cheese will melt and coat one side.
  6. Stick tortillas in the oven at a low temperature, and pull them out as soon as the cheese is melted (if you leave them in too long, tortillas will crisp up too much)
  7. Scramble some eggs (this only takes a few minutes, which is why I leave it until the end).
  8. Put the last few things in bowls (rice, scrambled eggs), put the hot pot of bubbling beans on the table (with a trivet underneath), and stick the sour cream and your hot sauces of choice on the table.
  9. Assemble tortillas as desired and CHOW DOWN!
  10. Optimal tortilla-assembling order: Beans, hot sauce (spread with spoon), rice, guacamole, veggies, + anything else.

What other toppings would you put on tortillas like this?

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