The Dinner Project: Week 15

April 28, 2011

When my friend Jasmine was visiting a few weeks ago she kindly asked me why I seem to be obsessed with eating corn tortillas. Or to put it more accurately she said, “What. Have you never eaten a corn tortilla in your life or something?”  So that night I took her to the Mas Tacos food truck, which is where it all began for me, and I’m pretty sure she walked away with a full understanding why the corn tortilla is, in my mind, the greatest food vehicle for anything delicious. Mas Tacos has seriously perfected the art of the taco.

I mean, I only write my dinners down here, but in all honesty, I probably eat some version of a taco at least three or four times a week. That may be partly due to the fact that corn tortillas come in bags of about 100, so really, you have no choice but to eat them on a regular basis. But I think the real reason is that it is one of the easiest meals you could possibly make, it’s pretty healthy depending on what you put in it and you can experiment however you like, adding a little of this or a little of that, based on what’s leftover in your fridge.

Here are some of our favorites that we’ve experimented with these past few months: caramelized onion & chard; chipotle shrimp & mango salsa; grilled steak & onions; pulled chicken & kale; etc. Jazz ’em up with a little queso fresco, sour cream, yogurt sauce or salsa and you really can’t go wrong.

The thing I’ve discovered about myself through this dinner project is that when I find something I like that works for me, I stick with it. And the more I can avoid getting stuck in a rut, the better, so experimentation is key. And experimentation with a high chance of success, is even more key. You’d have to seriously screw up the sauteing of a bunch of vegetables and/or meat and topping it with some type of sauce and/or salsa to have it not turn it out pretty well. I have also discovered that I am not one of those types of cooks to be like, “Oh well, dinner was a failure again but at least I tried something new.”  To me, there is nothing worse than being excited about a meal, most likely being hungry while cooking it and then discovering with the first bite that it probably shouldn’t have even been a published recipe in the first place. I like to try new recipes but I also like to be pretty sure they’ll work, like having someone vouch for their success. It’s revelations such as these about myself that pleasantly remind me that I am definitely my mother’s daughter.

Monday, April 18 – East Nashville Business Mixer at Cooper’s on Porter: appetizers of hummus & pita, salmon mousse on crackers, a deviled egg, one delicious cake pop & a beer

Tuesday, April 19 – Black beans with tahini sauce, mixed with brown rice (beans and rice never tasted so good)

Wednesday, April 20 – Leftover falafels we made from a box wrapped in soft corn tortillas with fresh spinach from the farmers market, topped with yogurt, green onion, lime and garlic sauce (photo above)

Thursday, April 21 – Green barley pilaf with chipotle lime shrimp (Y.U.M)

Friday, April 22 – Stuffed cabbage rolls (very delicious and old worldy tasting)

Saturday, April 23 – Dinner that we cooked at Stuart’s place: soft corn tortillas filled with chipotle chicken, sauted onions & spinach, topped with sour cream and salsa

Sunday, April 24 – Easter! Fish & chips with Stuart at Batter’d & Fried (right up there with the fish & chips I’ve had in Seattle)

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