Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All My Memories Gathered 'Round Her

I've spoken of my mom's cooking before the restaurant when we lived in the first house. How it was very rustic and different from the Americanized plates they would come to serve at El Charro. Which by the way I loved and can't even think about without my mouth watering up. But her home dishes were amazing.

She did this ground beef with potatoes that she'd simply serve with a batch of warm freshly made tortillas. Blow your socks off. Why, I don't know. Something about the way she could make all the seasonings perfect. My mother had magic with her touch and just like many true artists there was some tragedy in her story. She never truly enjoyed her food like so many others did. She didn't love meat or heavy foods but preferred lighter fare. Or I like to think, maybe she reserved a portion of her talent just for herself as she would make these beautiful plates of salads just how she liked it with tomatoes, avocado, pickly things.

I have no idea how she prepared it but on this day, I had to have it so I fiddled with what I thought were the ingredients and created something satisfying and very tasty. The potatoes absorb the thin slightly tomatoey broth. The meat is cooked to almost a ragu-like texture. Whole tomatoes are used along with chicken stock with cumin, chili powder, onions, garlic but nothing is overpowering. I'm ashamed to say I've never made a home-made tortilla but the ones on the market did the job, nice and warmed in my steamer.

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