Sunday, November 07, 2004

Slip Me Some Tongue

Today tastes like cornmeal, chiles, cheese, and tongue.

I've been playing with the Dowager Empress Odie-Bird's Revered Relleno Recipie (TM), and the results have been . . . tasty. Scroll down for the actual instructions, then pop back up for the modifications.

For the first itiration, I wrapped the Monterey Jack cheese straws in smoked turkey slices before slipping them into the peppers. That worked nicely, smoky salty turkey with the gooey cheese and the sting of the chiles.

Today I tried adding beef tongue. Oh my.

Bink, First Consort Gareth's father, would make tacos de lengua for special occasions. It's a good deal of (hot, nasty) work -- first to obtain the tongue, then to cook it and let it cool overnight, then chop chop chop the meat into little nuggets of rich beefy goodness. THEN, you can heat the oil and stand over it folding and frying tacos; which have to be eaten while they're hot, so the cook ends up feeding everyone else first, and then making one more serving for himself.

And of course, one tongue makes about four dinners for four people. We are two. There's lots of leftovers.

This would not be a bad thing, except that tacos are a lot of work, and even with the tongue prepared, you still get to stand over the vat of boiling oil for an hour or so.

But rellenos--that's a five minute dish. And the tongue and the cheese interact to make a wonderful buttery flavor, spiked out of its rich dream by the chiles.

Here's how it works.

You'll need whole roasted chili peppers--Big Jim is the common variety. They're four to six inches long. We're lucky enough to be able to buy them roasted, stuff 'em in baggies while they're hot, then toss 'em in the freezer.

So, thaw, peel, and seed one chile per person for a side dish, three or four for a light meal.

Take a block of Monterey Jack, and cut one narrow slice of cheese per pepper. Wrap the cheese with a thin slice of the chosen meat. The whole bundle should be about the size of your little finger, or a breakfast sausage link. Stuff the chile with the bundle.

Scramble one egg, and lay out some cornmeal--about three tablespoons per chile. Swish the chile through the egg, roll it in the cornmeal, and fry the chiles in about two tablespoons of oil until the cornmeal is golden brown and crunchy.

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