Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mango salsa, chocolate donut beer, and more: November Food Club

In celebration of a seasonally-odd warmth in the DC-area, November's food club started out quite summery. Our stated goal was to learn to make mango salsa. Everyone diced furiously for 15 minutes, after which we felt ourselves much more enlightened chefs. While we waited for the salsa's flavors to develop, we fried up some sirloin tips for fajitas. The meat was marinated in a fantastic and strangely autumnal syrup by our host, Ethan. My mom made zippy Mexican rice, which went right into the fajitas. As a bonus, she had secretly stashed Costco guacamole in her purse, which she produced at a strategic moment--and there was much rejoicing.

For dessert, I contributed a Mexican twist on C&Z's Chocolate Chile Bites, and Ethan furnished some small batch beer, which bizzarely (and intentionally) tasted precisely of Krispy Kreme chocolate-covered donuts. Just when you thought the trendiness of dessert wine was waning, get ready for...dessert beer. While I was unable to extract the recipe, those who would like to give the beer a try should email me, and I'll see if I can coerce Ethan to send you some samples.

Mango Salsa

1 cup plum tomato, diced
1 cup mango, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon jalapeno, minced
2-3 Tablespoons pepperoncini, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons lime juice

Let the mixture rest for 20-40 minutes.

Ethan's Fajita Steak Marinade

After pulling out a bewildering array of jars, bottles, and cans, Ethan conceded that the marinade was "flexible." Here is a sample of the ingredients:

apple butter
pearl cocktail onions
cranberry sauce with port
cocoa powder
raspberry vinegar
jamaican jerk sauce
papaya marinade
sweet potato rose marinade
(for many of the pre-mixed marinades, he likes The Chile Man)
Charlie Beigg's Apple BBQ sauce

Throw in a tablespoon or two of whichever of these you have on hand. Ethan was heavy-handed with the apple BBQ. Marinate sirloin tips in a Tupperware or large freezer bag overnight. Then grill or toss into a hot skillet and cook until meat is tender and sauce is reduced (approx. 10 minutes).

Eat heaped on tortillas with rice, guac, and mango salsa. Enjoy a tasty learning experience.

To read more about the food club, click here.

Stay tuned for my version of Chocolate Chile Bites... (UPDATE: It's here)

No comments: