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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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An outdoor Latin feast

01_Grill

I think we can all agree the residents of metro Atlanta LOVE good weather, no? The city snaps alive with activity, and intown traffic, especially near parks, stalls like the Connector during rush hour.

This past weekend, some friends of mine took advantage of the weather and threw a Latin-themed dinner utilizing their Big Green Egg for grilling elote (corn) and carne asada for tacos. It’s good to have friends that share a similar passion for food. Especially when these friends are cooking everything, and all you have to do is show up with some booze.

02_drinks

I contributed some season-appropriate beers. And another friendly straggler, who was also relieved of cooking responsibilities, stationed herself in a tiny section of the kitchen that she took over for mojito production. Her first batch wobbled me like a Pacquiao right hook.

Tortillas - tomatillo verde - queso fundido

The friends that hatched this festive meal took care of most of the cooking, accompaniments and appetizers – mostly made from scratch. Earlier in the week, two of them actually conducted a tortilla taste test at Buford Highway Farmers Market to determine the brand they liked the best. They went with El Milagro. The soft corn tortillas used for tacos were simple in flavor, resiliently held taco fillings and only costs 65 cents for a thick pack. They also bought El Milagro’s 3 lb box of flaky, light and grease-less tortilla chips for a bank-breaking five dollars.

Chip dips of pico de gallo, salsa verde made with boiled tomatillos, and freshly prepared guacamole were set out and quickly attacked. An oozy queso (cheese) fundido dip made with onions and chorizo sausage teased my growling belly, and set the stage for the taco carnage that I planned on doing.

04_fiesta-mealDusk broke and so did the figurative sound of the dinner bell. The charred kernels from the grilled elote were sliced off the cob and tossed with Mexican crema, lime juice and cotija cheese. A medley of seasoned mushrooms en papillote (I know, straying a bit from the Latin theme here) were ushered out of the oven, and mashed seasoned black beans also graced the lively spread.

Soft corn tortillas were quickly roasted on the stove, and for taco fillings we had slow cooked ground pork, marinated steak grilled on the Big Green Egg, and Rick Bayless’s creamy chicken and greens with roasted poblano peppers.

05_taco platter

Not a bad way to spend the day outside. Enjoy your spring.

Gene-Lee-Tagline- by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

– Gene Lee writes about International Cuisine for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Eat, Drink, Man… A Food Journal.

29 comments Add your comment

Jose

April 20th, 2011
8:16 am

Reds

April 20th, 2011
10:14 am

I think you have some awesome friends. :)

Gene Lee

April 20th, 2011
10:26 am

@Reds – Indeed..

jonnymack

April 20th, 2011
10:37 am

I need new friends.

Typical Redneck

April 20th, 2011
10:59 am

Is it lunch time yet?

HIC

April 20th, 2011
12:07 pm

Awesome love the Big Green Egg. IMO, all spring, summer, fall weekends should involve some egg’n

YOP

April 20th, 2011
12:20 pm

I would called this Mexican Fiesta and Mojitos.

M

April 20th, 2011
12:20 pm

If you’re gonna drink Latin beer, at least go with the Dos Equis and get that disgusting Tecate crap out of this article’s picture.

Tecate is one of the nastiest beers I have ever tasted.

ATL4Real

April 20th, 2011
12:44 pm

Big Green Eggs are only for people that don’t have the skill and/or patience to cook the exact same thing on Weber charcoal. Spend $100 on a Weber and use your savings to take some cooking classes.

Rickster

April 20th, 2011
12:53 pm

Next, call me so I can indulge as well…..!

Kat

April 20th, 2011
12:59 pm

I need to get some new friends!

Soupy Sales

April 20th, 2011
1:37 pm

Great idea and nice write-up, Gene. (Wild guess: were you Chez BlissfulG?)

Por favor

April 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

“The first batch wobbled me like a Pacquiao right hook.”

Sounds like you enjoy being drunk.

Gene Lee

April 20th, 2011
2:23 pm

@Soupy Sales – Nope.

@Por Favor – I enjoy having a drink.

HIC

April 20th, 2011
2:29 pm

@ATL4Real – you obviously never been around an Big Green Egg. I’d like to see you’re Weber get up to 1200 degrees or hold @ 250 degrees for 12 hours without reloading charcoal. I agree that Weber are good grills but that’s all they’re useful for.

Typical Redneck

April 20th, 2011
3:13 pm

HIC, wrong about that being the only thing a Weber is good for. I have smoked plenty of racks and butts on my Weber and they were delicious. The BGE is awesome though.

KJ

April 20th, 2011
4:07 pm

Sounds muy delicioso! Although I’d take a Negra Modelo over Tecate or Dos Equis.

DMV Mami

April 20th, 2011
4:09 pm

I know what I want for dinner. Now, I just have to figure out a good mexican restaurant in the Conyers area.

Art

April 20th, 2011
5:48 pm

Gene, those tortilla chips look really good… were they? It’s so hard to find a good store-bought chip. I usually get them from a local Mexican restaurant. And “Por Favor”, what on earth made you think he enjoys getting drunk? Hes mearly konveying thah thuh drank wuz stronggg… Sorry I’m drunk.

Lorenzo

April 20th, 2011
6:56 pm

This reads straight out of Bon Apetit magazine.

Adam's McRib

April 21st, 2011
6:53 am

Wow, a new low: a beer-hater! If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

Beautiful food!

Vick=Dog killing Thug

April 21st, 2011
7:50 am

Man I’m starving… that food looks GREAT

Gene Lee

April 21st, 2011
8:22 am

@Art – The chips were very good. Not as sturdy/thick as usual ones in restaurants but a welcome alternative. Lots of little air bubbles on them so the texture is very “poppy” – if that makes any sense.

deegee

April 21st, 2011
8:53 am

Judging from the picture, it must have taken a while to warm a sufficient number of tortillas. If you don’t have a comal, you can place a jelly pan across the burners and warm them four at a time. If you have a large party, you can place the sealed pack of 30 tortillas into the microwave and heat them all at one time. Looks like a really nice feast.

cmr

April 21st, 2011
11:05 am

Looks and sounds like it was delicious, and got some great ideas I want to try this summer. However, to clarify – this was actually a MEXICAN feast of Mexican ingredients, food and beers. Calling this a “Latin” feast implies that cuisine from different Latin countries would be represented. It’s like offering an “Asian” feast and only serving Vietnamese food.

Brad

April 21st, 2011
11:20 am

Think I’ll save the trouble and just go to cincos on pib

Gene Lee

April 21st, 2011
11:47 am

@CMR – Sure and that was something I thought about. But like I stated, we had mushrooms en papillote included on our table and a dish adapted by American chef Rick Bayless. Had I called this a “Mexican” feast, I’m sure someone would have dinged me for having French-style prepared mushrooms and a gringo-adapted dish.

Bobby Coomers

April 21st, 2011
12:11 pm

Steak tacos… I’m hungry. The only thing I would add would be Modelo Especial.

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