Thursday, May 19, 2016

Together We Grow to See the Light, the Beautiful Light

It's not everyday you see a bird perched on a rabbit next to a cat sitting on a table with parrots hanging out like nothing could be more normal.  This is the kind of scene that you move to New York for because it holds those brilliant surprises that no one could predict.  And this is so symbolic of the city's mystery and impressive traits.  Cats and birds and bunnies living together, literally on top of each other yet still managing to do so each day with some sense of normality.  Several varieties of birds, all kinds of cats and rare rabbits that you don't see in other parts of our country in large numbers.  Then there is the little table they are perched on, just like our tiny island. It doesn't work, it can't work, yet it does every day.  Almost as if by some random natural law not yet understood.
Sometimes I feel like there is nothing left to make with the same inexpensive ingredients that I have in my pantry.  I actually have made Mexican Meatloaf a few times before but this time it was just a bit more on point with the flavors.  I seasoned the ground meat like you would for taco filling, lots of cumin, garlic and onion powder, chili powder and pepper.  I fortified the ground turkey with black beans, pinto beans, jalapeƱo, oatmeal, onion, garlic, corn, and a bit of sharp cheddar cheese and an egg to bind.  Then I topped that with a Chipotle infused tomato sauce.

I get a real kick out of putting a Mexican spin on classic American dishes like this meatloaf.  It tastes comforting and familiar but also holds a spark of surprising flavors.
In the same spirit as all the amazing New York immigrants coming in waves each day, sharing their ways with the city, everyday cooks contribute to the variety in which you can enjoy classic dishes as well as introduce new ones.
But for lunch I enjoyed an amazing last bowl of that Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recreation.  Because at times authentic is the Americanized version.

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