Well it’s the height of summer and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Just tootling along: making and selling Magical Card Cases, led a very successful Mask Making workshop (and have plans to do at least two more this year), been working on ‘Solstice Dawn’ – a wearable, performance-based art piece. I’ve been finessing my studio and spent yesterday afternoon trying to get on friendly terms with paperwork. In May, we took a trip to the South of France (to celebrate our first wedding anniversary) and travelled around by train, when we weren’t based in the lovely city of Arles and took Steve’s Mum to London for a long weekend in June.
Steve and I have been making some easy summer suppers, too. ‘Gringo Tacos’ is a dish that we used to have when I was growing up in West Covina, in the San Gabriel Valley in SoCal. It’s an easy, cheap family meal and really, really tasty! When I had dinner at my boyfreind’s house, they had it too. Normally called ‘Hamburger Tacos’, I guess it’s a Whitey’s take on Mexican food, so I call it ‘Gringo Tacos”. Some of the recipes I saw called for a packet of Taco Seasoning Mix stirred into the hamburger, but we always just used salt.
- Chopped onion
- Sunflower oil
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped lettuce (sorry folks, but it has to be Iceberg)
- Grated mild Cheddar or Colby cheese
- Corn tortillas**
- Hot sauce
- Minced fresh cilantro (coriander) & spring onions for a tasty garnish
Sweat the onions in a little bit of oil. Add the hamburger and cook until it’s nice and brown, but still moist. Season with salt. Put into a serving bowl.
Chop the tomatoes and lettuce, grate the cheese and put them into their own bowls.
Heat about ¼ inch of oil in a skillet. Over med-high heat, cook a tortilla on each side until it justs starts to get crispy on the edges, but retains an overall chewiness. You want to be able to pick it up and wrap it around the filling when you eat your taco. As you cook them, stack between paper towels to drain off the oil.
Put everything on the table and assemble the tacos as you go.
I can’t begin to say how delicious these are. Hot salty beef, smooth creamy cheese, crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes and don’t forget the hot sauce!
**Finally, just a word about the tortillas. We can’t get corn tortillas in the supermarkets over here YET, so we either make our own (from masa harina) or mail order them from the Cool Chile Co. They freeze beautifully and come in two sorts – for frying or for soft tacos.