I've decided to shareat long lastthe only two recipes I can call my own. Both these were developed before I really knew how to cook, in times of poverty (which seems to come and go with alarming regularity). They're good and cheap, an unbeatable combination.
Here's number one... Copious quantities of ice cold beer is the best accompaniment for this. This dish is a truly international one and bears little resemblance to anything from either Sweden (I'm part Swedishhence the name) or Mexico. The inspiration is Mexican, the utensils and some of the techniques used are Chinese, the ingredients are all-American (with the exception of the tortillas). It's "peasant food" in the best tradition cheap, full of flavor, healthy and satisfying. I cooked these so often that I got to where I could knock out a complete, filling dinnereven with the frozen hamburgerin less than half an hour. Follow the recipe closely at least the first time to see what it's s'pposed to taste like. I've never had anyone dislike this recipe, with the possible exception of a
The sharp cheddar, hot chilies, and yellow onions all contribute without overpowering one another. The tomatoes, besides adding a nice acidy zing, also give moisture. But the key to the savoriness and to the unique taste of the dish lies in the first two steps involving the garlic, onions and hamburger. Cheap hamburger is used because it has a high fat content and lots of taste. I've made this with chopped sirloin and the like and believe me, the result is definitely inferior to using the cheap stuff. Now that you've got everything sliced, diced and chopped you can start cooking. Actually, I usually do these first couple of steps prior to doing most of the cutting.
That speeds things up a bit. Heat a wok over high heat and put in a nice dollop of peanut oil about 2 tablespoons or so. Let it heat for a minute then toss in the minced garlic, followed a second or two later by about 2/3rds of the chopped yellow onionthe rest goes on the table, raw. Right about now, it's gonna start smelling good in the ol' kitchen. Stir the onions and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Take the frozen hamburger out of its wrapping and put it in the wok as is. Smoosh it down and push the onions and garlic out of the way so the surface o
This goes on during the whole cooking time. Flip the block of meat over and scrape off the browned bits. Let the other side brown a bit then repeat the process. The idea is to brown both the onions and the garlic well. Big no-no's, I know, but I was young and ignorant and what did I know. As it turns out it was a happy mistake. The browned onions and garlic give an nice sharp, distinctive savoriness to the finished dish. I salt the meat periodically while it's cooking. The reason for using frozen hamburger is that when it's all finally cooked, you'll have bits of meat ranging all the way from well done and crunchy to nearly raw. Th
Now's the time to tackle the tortillas. I prefer soft tortillas over the deep fried, crunchy shells. I use an old, cast iron griddle that fits over two burners. I heat the griddle over a medium fire, then pour a bit of olive oil onto it. This doesn't add any taste, but the aroma while the tortillas are cooking is heavenly! I warm two tortillas at a time, flip them over and let them cook a bit more. As they're done, I put them on a plate covered with pot lid to keep them warm. Soon as the tortillas are done, put everything on the table in the individual bowls and dig in. Everyone assembles their own tacos according to their tastes.