When someone refers to Southwestern cooking, most people would immediately assume some version of Mexican cooking—New Mexican, Cal-Mex, Tex-Mex. Mexican dishes with an American influence—or vise versa. However, there were people and cooking going on in the Southwest long before the Spanish got there to influence the cuisine.
Tag Archives: barbecue
It is Memorial Day and barbecue is the traditional way of celebrating. Son-in-law, Chris, is avoiding sugary foods, so many a barbecue sauce was out. I decided that a spice rub would be the way to go.
We have not had a Sunday feast in a couple weeks—travel and other events got in the way. As I was trying to come up with Sunday’s meal, Jan first suggested barbecued tri-tip and then Argentina. To Goggle I went, to discover just what that entailed.
Jan asked me last week why I never make chicken wings. As is usually the case, at some point in the past she told me that she did not like them. As is also the case, she completely denies ever having said that or that she did not want them that day. Eilene prefers legs to wings, so I threw in some of those as well.
When I make teriyaki chicken I usually use the traditional Japanese (and my mother’s) simple recipe—soy sauce, mirin, saki, ginger, and sugar. Years ago—like 30—I had a friend who added wasabi and brown sugar to his teriyaki sauce. For this meal, I decided to go a bit less traditional and do a variation of my friends recipe.
A barbecue is very traditional for a Labor Day weekend, this year I decided to do tri-tip. Tri-tip is a very popular beef roast to barbecue in California—popularized in Oakland and Santa Maria in the 1950’s. The problems with this cut—it’s thick fat cap and odd shape—leads much of the rest of the world to slice this roast into steaks. The Hispanic world—of which California is really still a part of—knows better. Done right it is flavorful, moist and juicy—of course done wrong it is carbonized, dry and chewy.
I am doing a fusion Mexican theme this Labor Day. Spices from South of the (U,S,) Border, but in ways that are probably non-traditional. Jan and the kids have been pushing me to make more vegetarian dishes. I decided to make a second vegetable dish to go with my cauliflower. I had used an annatto sauce to make a bright red cauliflower. I am using the same sauce on zucchinis before I barbecue them.
When I made hamburgers—a long time ago—I simply took the meat out of the package, formed it into patties and threw it on the grill. While I still think there is a place for a plain burger, you can do so much more to make simple ground beef into something to write home about. Of course, fancy burgers require fresh buns.
My son-in-law is on the Adkins Diet, which means cooking with little or no starch and sugar—except for artificial things—of which I am rather suspicious. He had requested pork loin and I had been thinking “Italian,” until Miriam said she wanted bok choi, as well. Jumping half a world away, I decided on “Chinese.”