ilana freddye


Taco Night

If I had two million dollars (people always say a million so I decided to up the ante) I would throw dinner parties bi-weekly. I really would. Is that obnoxious? It  isn't meant to be...I mean, I would totally invite you...probably. Well, to at least one of the dinner parties. The point here is that cooking is fun, but cooking food for people you actually like rather than complete strangers (hello restaurant life) is damn lovely. 

See, I keep a list on my phone of food I want to cook and I'm happy to report that I am making progress! I already crossed off twix, and taco night was next.   Since I'm home for a bit and chillin' with my parents I decided to go for a produce packed version of the meal for friday night dinner, mostly because I went a little wild at the vegetable stand. It ended up being a night of many cultures, we sipped on champagne mixed with St. Germain and finished off the meal with a peach pie I made special for my pops (recipe to come). 

4 ears of corn, shucked
1 tbl canola oil
1 red pepper, roasted and peeled
1/2 Anaheim pepper, roasted and peeled
1/2 Serrano pepper
1/2 lime
1 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
  1. Heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush the corn with the canola oil
  2. Grill the corn on all sides until charred in placed but not ashy and completely burned, about 10 minutes. Make sure to close the lid in between turning the corn
  3. Remove the corn from the grill and let cool
  4. Meanwhile remove the seeds from the peppers and roughly chop the red pepper and Anaheim pepper, combine in a large bowl. Finely mince the Serrano pepper and add to the bowl
  5. Once the corn has cooled stand it up in the large bowl and cut the kernels off the cob, slicing down each side right into the bowl
  6. Drizzle the mixture with the olive oil and squeeze the juice of the lime over top
  7. Mix it all together and generously season with salt. Taste, and then add more salt.
  8. Finally, top with the cotija cheese or mix it right in

Other topings for the tacos included:
  • Cilantro
  • Mashed Avocado with lime & salt
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Shaved Radishes
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Lettuce
  • Roasted Annaheim Peppers
Some people hate cilantro. It baffles me. To each his own though, to each his own.

I really wanted to make grilled fish tacos, because...well, those are the best kind of tacos but we had fish the night prior so I grilled up some chicken breast and flank steak instead.

For the chicken, I pounded them out so they were thinner and even, then I marinated them with grated onion, a bit of olive oil, lime juice, paprika, cumin, just a smidge of cinnamon, a little brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and turmeric.  I didn't use very much of any spice, no more than 1/2 teaspoon...just enough to get some flavor in there. I used the same marinade for the flank steak and let it sit for about an hour before grilling.

Here are some other tips:
  • You can roast the peppers over a gas burner or a grill, after they are charred place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes, this will help the skin peel off easier.
  • Shave the radishes earlier (on a mandolin), and let them chill out in cold water before serving
  • Use corn tortillas and make sure they are warm. I heated mine up on the grill and kept them in a basket with a towel before serving. I also recommend buying the tortillas with the simplest, most obvious ingredient list, the taste is way better and so is the texture.

Happy Eating!

I'm off to San Francisco/Napa for a "why the hell not" trip. Let me know if you have any recommendations. Much appreciated!