Maybe it was the conversation about hamburgers at work that afternoon, but Tuesday I started to get a craving for beef. Since I had a package in the freezer, I knew it wouldn’t be hamburgers or meatloaf, it needed to be something where the meat cooked in the skillet. A quick mind scan of what I had on hand in the fridge and I knew what I was going to make: tacos!
I had to mow the lawn that evening, so when I got home, I took out the hamburger and corn tortillas and put some frozen corn in a small bowl to defrost for a little while. I have a love-hate relationship with mowing the lawn; it gives me 40 minutes of meditation time to daydream about my day, recipes to make, and other things going on in my life, it’s great exercise, and in the end, I can see the fruits of my labor, but I also get hot, sweaty, and it’s hard work. So this evening, I daydreamed about what I was going to put in my tacos; I always figure if I think about food, the job will go faster! A cool shower and a glass of Moscato and I was ready to go.
Although I’ve made tacos many times, this evening’s meal was totally on the fly. In a skillet, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil and when warm, add a thinly sliced clove of garlic (we’re finally getting the first garlic bulbs of the season, so this was nice and mellow). Add about a pound of hamburger (ground turkey or chicken would work nicely too) and gently cook until the meat is finished. Perhaps it was the Moscato talking, but I got a little crazy with the spices: a couple of dashes of chili powder, some curry, a bit of cinnamon, and cumin and coriander filled the kitchen with a Middle Eastern scent as opposed to Mexico, but it was delicious. While this was cooking, I set up my mise en place: chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, corn, lettuce, and a diced avocado with a couple squirts of lime juice were placed in small bowls. I didn’t have cheddar cheese, but no matter, with the avocado and salsa with a dollop of sour cream, it wasn’t missed at all. If you are a vegetarian, this can easily be turned into a veggie meal, with either crumbled tofu or black beans in place of the beef.
Summer in Vermont, a newly mowed lawn, a glass of wine, a quick and delicious dinner, and episode 3 of “Downton Abbey,” I felt like I was in heaven!