Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recycling: Buffalo Tacos with Mango Salsa

Buffalo Taco with Mango Salsa
Wow! Has spring sprung? Where it was largely brown last week, everything is a beautiful shade of green this week. Sunday out at Delaplane Cellars, where Ann and I were catering the barrel tasting, was even more gorgeous than the week before, especially with the massive cherry tree in front of Jim and Betsy's house in full riot of bloom.

At the tasting, two of my pairings were shrimp and mango salad with the 2012 Chardonnay, to bring out the tropical flavors in that wine, and pulled bison with blueberry compote with the 2011 Springlot Bordeaux blend. We had a pretty good quantity of each left over after the event.

As you might imagine, Monday April 15th was a special day in paperwork hell and after I finished wrestling at the office with not only the usual Monday paperwork, but 2012 taxes and 2013 first quarter estimates, I wasn't in the mood to cook. But, it occurred to me that with almost no effort, I could recycle the two leftover catering dishes into a great dinner.

How Good Does This Look?
To the mango and shrimp salad, which was equal quantities of diced mango and diced shrimp tossed in a bit of bright lime dressing, I added cilantro, green onions, garlic, black beans, a couple of finely minced jalapeños, more lime juice, and a good bit of salt for an almost instant mango salsa.

One Man's Pulled Bison is Another's Carne Machaca

The inspiration for the dinner was this big bowl of pulled bison which struck me as a really tasty version of carne machaca (literally, crushed meat) from Northern Mexico where beef or pork was preserved by drying it, then rehydrated and pounded to soften it. Tacos de carne machaca have always been a favorite food of mine. In the modern era, now that we have refrigeration, carne machaca is no longer dried first in most restaurants. Although it is possible to buy commercially prepared machaca seca, most restaurants do as we do: braise the raw meat slowly and then shred it. It doesn't hurt that in our case, we reduce the cooking liquids to a syrupy glaze and mix them back into the meat for maximum flavor.

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