[Spicy black beans, rice, roasted potatoes, cilantro and avocado tacos]

[Braised chicken thighs and red onions with chipotle chiles in adobo with more avocado & minced parsley… tacos]

[Roasted broccoli burrito with leftover shredded chicken, sharp cheddar and leftover tomatillo salsa with spicy coriander and tumeric rice]

Over Memorial Day weekend I went to a totally insane BBQ where I had the best tacos (really) of my life. The marinated carne asada was so tender and sliced so thin it that had the texture of cotton candy. I ate mine with homemade super spicy tomatillo salsa and avocado wedges on grilled corn tortillas. There were also soft, caramelized onions and grilled, fibrous cactus and hot chorizo and gigantic pork ribs that we ate with our fingers and it was just perfect.

I brought boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I had marinating all afternoon in fresh orange pulp, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and olive oil. They were good, but easily schooled by the Cornish game hens that were slathered with chili paste. I don’t even know why I even bother trying. Anyway, my taco looked like this:

The contents of which came off of this lucky grill:

I picked up a lot of killer tricks, watching these guys grill. For example, hot sauce is really good on watermelon wedges. For another, the chorizo sizzled on a baking sheet, so that the juices gathered in the crevices of the pan, and then the corn tortillas were dipped in the bright red pork juices before hitting the grill so that they were essentially frying in fat, getting super crispy and outrageously tasty. Onions were grilled whole until they turned black, skins and all. When they were sliced in half, the insides had turned into this gorgeous onion paste, sweet and soft and spreadable.

So many new techniques to adopt and reframe. Everything I’ve done since then has been a semi-homage to that afternoon, trying to recreate what I ate, as shown by my lame taco-attempts of the first four photos.


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