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