Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Super Yummy Delicious Hour

Okay okay! So I like to cook. May might kill me in my sleep tonight if I don't put up my cooking feature post. We've actually been planning it for months now and she's been awesome enough to even plan ahead and take pictures of some of the various meals I've concocted throughout our time together. But me....well, I procrastinate. A lot. Really, I wonder how I ever get anything done.

But here I am and I'm writing something for the blog. I'm not exactly sure which recipe I'm going to put up, but I am sure that we'll both know it when I get there. ;)

I'm not so sure how I'm going to proceed with my feature yet, either. That's all part of my process, though. *Yeah, that sounds good...let's go with that* I'm thinking I'll just put out random recipes of things we've eaten lately. I know, 'sounds' super exciting...but I promise it will be! ;) We eat awesome stuff at the compound. In fact, you might say that our house has the best meals you can find in all of Compoundia. I frequently cook for the compoundian society's elite. ;p

I've been at a minor disadvantage, though. Our oven broke and, in protest, I've stopped using it. At first I wasn't so enthusiastic about the idea. I like to use my oven. It makes me feel warm inside. It makes me feel warm outside, too, but that's only good in the winter. I wasn't a stranger to my slow cooker, but up until now I'd really only ever used it to cook roasts & chickens, never anything complicated. I'd always mooned over the many recipes I have that require a deep fryer, too, but unfortunately I'd never owned one. But as circumstance would have it, right around the time my oven broke down my mom gave me her old deep fryer(*and when I say old, I mean it. I lived with this woman for 17 years and I never even knew we owned it!*). So that opened up a whole new aspect in cooking for me. I may be without oven at the moment, but I've used this experience to expand my cooking horizons by making better use of the tools available to me and not 'relying' on my traditional method of preparing food.

Recently, the governing body of Compoundia has been favouring my Home Made-Ish Taquitos. I made this dish in honor of Karloff's love of Mexican food and it has quickly become a national favourite, or "craze" if you will. It very simple to prepare and the recipe is very flexible. I say it's home made-ish because I'm not going to bother to cook a roast when I can buy one pre-cooked and because I'm not going to make flour tortillas (May does it better anyway). It's also nice if you can get a Tex-Mex shredded cheese mix. Like I said, though...the meal is very flexible so you could use any kind of cheese you'd like, I imagine. Just make sure to pick a cheese that will stand up to some melting and isn't going to go all weird if you heat it up too much.

So you'll need - that's right, you guessed it - a deep fryer for this recipe! I feel a little guilty inside right now because I think of all that time that I didn't have a deep fryer and wanting to try so many recipes that needed one and feeling crappy about it. I hope I'm not making anyone else feel like that right now. Awww! I'm sorry! Don't cry, I'll make you taquitos! I can send them to you by mail....

Okay, no really start off by marinating the meat. It depends on what kind of meat you have, I guess. For beef I'd use some marinating steaks (y'know, the really thin ones) cut up into very thin fajita-like strips, poke some holes in them and let them sit in some kind of spicy marinade. I'd do this for a minimum of an hour before you cook them, but the more time they marinade the more flavour the meat will have. If you don't have a marinade you can add hot sauce to your meat once it's cooked. Of course, you can marinade cooked meat as well. In point of fact, I prefer to use shredded roast chicken in a Club House Tex-Mex marinade. It's just a spice you add to the chicken along with some oil and vinegar, but nineteen out of twenty Helens agree - it makes a big difference!

That's pretty much all the preparation you need. Turning on the deep fryer helps since things don't seem to cook so fast when it's off. Putting the taquitos together is easy. You put a little bit of meat and cheese and the edge of one of the tortillas, roll it into a tight...ummm...roll(for lack of a better word)...and keep it rolled tight by using some toothpicks. Don't put too much into the tortilla initially or it won't roll up tight. When you're done rolling the taquito use a little more meat to stuff the each end. That way all the deliciousness won't be localized at the center of the taquito and all parts of the taquito will be enjoyable. You won't loose any cheese when you put it in the deep fryer, either. Just make sure it's packed kind of tight or else it will come out when you cook it. When they're ready stick them in the deep fryer and cook them until they're golden brown then take them out and let them drain on some paper towel. I think I usually cook them at 400o, but I don't really trust the temperature gauge on my deep fryer so I always just turn it all the way up until I know it hot. Since I'm never actually sure of exactly how hot my deep fryer is, I can't judge cooking times so I always just have to watch it until it looks ready. Fortunately, deep fryers don't really take very long to cook anything, so it's never too much of a problem.

Once they've cooled you can cut them in half and serve them with various sauces for dipping. I like to have a variety on hand that includes salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and a chipotle-honey sauce that I like to make. Okay, okay...don't be such a bug, I'll tell you how to make it...
Take a bbq-sauce(pretty much any will do) and add some liquid honey, lemon juice, hot sauce, and chipotle powder. Ta-da! You can get creative and add garlic, onion, or Cayenne pepper, too. I never really worry about measuring things out exactly when making sauces, though. Add everything to taste! ;p

So, like I said..easy as pie. Actually, much easier than pie. Pie requires an oven.

So I can tell that the format for this feature is going to have to change somewhat. I'm sure I could somehow make this all look much better, but this is a start, isn't it?! :) *lol* I just realized that my first cooking feature doesn't have a picture! Funny considering how many pictures of my meals I happen to have. Oh well...I'm sure I can get one. You'll all just have to wait.

As a final side note, I have decided to name my feature The Super Yummy Delicious Hour. This is in homage to my favourite video game. *Wonder if anyone knows what I'm talking about?* I was initially going to call the post "Craptastic - Things I Make At Home!" but May and Karloff didn't think it would help our readership. *Maybe I was just in a bad mood* ;)