Sunday, May 5, 2019

Weekend Roundup

No time to work on this, as I spent Sunday trying to break in a new Mexican cookbook. Much of Saturday too, and more of Friday -- not that I had even started then. The one story that dominated the interest of the liberal media was Attorney General William Barr's Senate testimony and his failure to appear before the House. I was tempted to tweet when I looked at Talking Points Memo and they had devoted their entire front page to Barr (aside from one bit on the implosion of Stephen Moore's Fed nomination).

Actually, this should have been a banner week for the media to pick apart Trump's increasingly manic and deranged foreign policy. The US hasn't been taken such a nakedly imperial stance toward Latin America since FDR traded in his cousin's penchant for Gunboat Diplomacy for the sunny promise of a Good Neighbor Policy. I didn't link to anything below on Trump's phone call to Putin, mostly because no one seems to know enough about it to write intelligently. But there were also fairly major stories that could have been reported about Korea, China, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Yemen, and Israel/Palestine (where Netanyahu celebrated his election victory by launching the heaviest assault on Gaza since 2014).

Some scattered links this week:

For the record, tonight's Cinco de Mayo menu, nearly all from The Best Mexican Recipes (America's Test Kitchen):

  • Chicken adobo
  • Braised short ribs with peppers and onion
  • Cheese enchiladas
  • Classic Mexican rice
  • Skillet street corn
  • Restaurant-style black beans
  • Shrimp and lime ceviche
  • Mango, jicama, and orange salad
  • Cherry tomato and avocado salad
  • Key lime pie
  • Duce de leche cheesecake

I generally cut the hot peppers back by 50%. I made the beef and the desserts the night before. Started around noon, aiming at 6pm dinner, but it wound up closer to 7pm, putting a couple guests to work. Used a gluten-free shell for the key lime pie, but made cheesecake crust from scratch, using a box of caramel and sea salt cookies plus some graham crackers. Used store-bought yellow corn tortillas, which were the weak link in the enchiladas (otherwise pretty great). Ten people, so the table was pretty crowded. Kitchen was a colossal mess, but got it straightened out by bedtime.

I've never been a big fan of Mexican food, but figured I should give it a try, especially given access to specialty grocers here. But when I bought my first Mexican cookbook, I found it impenetrable. This one is intentionally simplified, which helped get me started. This cookbook didn't have any desserts, so I scrounged around the web, not finding much that interested me. (I've made flan and rice pudding many times before, but didn't want to do them here. And while I'm partial to cake, tres leches isn't a favorite.) On the other hand, lime figures large in the meal, and I had the pie shell on the shelf. The cheesecake was a second thought, and turned out to be a nice complement.

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