Cinco de Mayo in South Texas... I really ought to be having more of a feast. Oh, well, we are a small family, and didn't invite anyone over because I'm still getting over a cold. I'm 90% there, but... want to make sure I don't share my germs.
On the menu tonight:
Rice, pork, chips and guacamole, saucy bits, watermelon. And, of course, margaritas. But not the blender kind.
I sautéed the rice in olive oil before tossing it in the rice cooker this time... a step in the direction of more-authentically Mexican. I didn't add in the onion and garlic and such that are common south of the border, because I wanted the kids to eat it. And I wanted to be able to tell what, if anything, the extra step adds to the final flavor. I was rather disappointed. Maybe I should have toasted it a bit longer... but it didn't seem worth the effort. Luckily, I could reuse the pan for the saucy bits.
Sauté half an onion, sliced thinly, in about a tablespoon of bacon fat. Add three crushed garlic cloves, stirring quickly to prevent burning, and then pour in about a cup of chopped tomatoes. Add more tomatoes, if needed, to make a pretty thick sauce. Plop in a small dried pepper (I think mine are chipotle, but they weren't labeled at the store.) Cook for a while, adding more tomato or a splash of wine. Add salt to taste.
Pork loin strips, a flambé
The Grill Geek made a quick rub for the loin strips (I've never seen this cut of pork before... very fatty, hence the leaping flames) consisting of equal parts cumin and salt. Then he grilled 'em and chopped them into bite-size pieces. We piled the pieces on top of rice with sauce, added a little marinated lettuce for crunch, and served it up with toasted (toaster ovens are a godsend) and guacamole.