May 5, 2011
It’s my blog’s birthday! Happy birthday, blog!
In addition to being Blue Jean Gourmet’s birthday, today is also Cinco de Mayo: this is no accident. Of course I started my blog on a day that serves as an excuse to eat and drink some of my favorite things. That was good thinking on my part. High five, self. High five.
I’m amazed at how much can change in a year, or in two. The length of my hair, the color of my dining room, the amount of time I spend on Twitter, my concerns and worries, my growth as a teacher, my skill as a cook, the intimacy and trust in my relationships, the new people I am blessed to know. You know how folks will say “Oh, I would love to go back to…” and then insert “high school” or “college” or some other past period in their life? Not me, thank you. I have gained too much, am entirely too grateful to be the person I am now and not the person I was back then (shudder, cringe), and can’t imagine saying goodbye to even the smallest piece of that perspective, even if it meant getting to sleep really late on weekends.
To have had this blog (and you people out there!) as a constant over the last two years, meeting you here week after week, being able to look back on this archive of life’s ins and outs–it’s simply incredible. Looking to the year ahead, I plan to keep telling stories, sharing food that I think is delicious, working with Sonya to deepen our craft, and breathing life into this toddler of a blog with some new ideas and a lot of guest posts.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for being part of this conversation and a very meaningful part of my life. Your presence is humbling and cheering; I hope you will stick around!
If you’ve never had one of these Texan concoctions, you’re in for a treat. Refreshing on the hottest of days, micheladas are a snap to throw together with things you probably already have in your pantry/fridge. There’s no one “recipe” for this drink, though the consistent elements are similar to that of a Bloody Mary: salt, spice, & lime.
This weekend, I took things one step further and made micheladas using leftover, homemade Bloody Mary mix from last weekend’s brunch. Of course, you can make them minus the tomato part and they will still be delicious! Note: the drink is traditionally served over ice, but I prefer to freeze my glasses instead.
1 beer of your choice
2 fresh and ripe tomatoes
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce (adjust according to your heat tolerance)
juice of 6 limes, plus extra lime wedges/wheels for garnish
Rim the edges of the glasses you’re using with celery salt, set aside. Core the tomatoes and place in a blender along with the Worcestershire, Tabasco, & lime juice. (I left the skins on for texture). Whir until you’ve achieved a thick but still pourable liquid.
Fill your glasses with ice, if using. Pour about a ¼-cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of each glass, then pour the beer over and garnish with lime.
Jill taught me to love ceviche–it’s one of her absolute favorite things to eat. And though I had never made it before last weekend, I have eaten so much of it that I had a sense in my mind of the tastes and textures I was after.
Luckily for me and other Houstonians, knowledgeable fishmongers and the freshest, most beautiful fish abound around these parts. Last Saturday, I bought myself some gorgeous mango snapper and wahoo from the man they call Professor Fish Heads, and went home excited to prepare ceviche in a way that would do the fish justice. I dare say I was successful!
I’ve done my best to recreate how I made my ceviche, but bear in mind that it’s not a dish that requires precision or exactness. Feel free to swap in citrus for the mango, thinly sliced carrot for the radish, or jalapeno for the serrano. My only specific exhortation is this: fry your own chips! I much prefer the flavor of a flour chip to store-bought corn, not to mention the former is much sturdier and can, quite literally, hold up to the fish. Simply cut flour tortillas into wedges, heat up a pot of vegetable oil, and fry until lightly browned and puffy. Super delicious.
approximately 1 lb. very fresh fish (snapper is the classic choice), cubed (1/2 inch is my preference)
½ cup fresh citrus juice (I used a combination of sweet & regular lime)
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced radish
Serrano pepper, seeded & very thinly sliced
diced ripe mango
plenty of cilantro
avocado for garnish
salt & pepper
Combine the fish and citrus juice in a shallow plastic container fitted with the lid. Add the onion, radish, Serrano, mango, salt, and pepper, and stir gently to combine. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours, popping in periodically to stir the mix, evenly exposing all of the fish pieces to the citrus juice. Over time, the juices will “cook” the fish and you will see it change from pink and translucent to white and opaque.
When ready to serve, check again for salt & pepper and garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro and avocado and serve with chips.