Let me start by saying the last week and 1/2 we had to close at De Nada due to a close call with COVID-19 from one of our employees was brutal. We have never closed the business for that long. I have been trying to find my mojo for the last few days so that I am ready to go back to serving our awesome customers tomorrow Wednesday. Thankfully, we are all safe and healthy.
Now, back to our stories. This is the second and last part of Si Señor and it comes with two recipes, so read up, or skip until the end for the goodies. Enjoy...
Sometimes we remember stories in certain ways that make no sense. Then years later when we least expect it, we can see the puzzle clearly. For years I’ve remembered this story and when I began to write this book, I opened the vault of good times hiding in the past where I remembered the chimichurri as a background, supporting the gathering, going around, and creating traffic of hands meticulously navigating in order to reach the spoon before diving in. Sometimes on idle, waiting for the other hand to return the spoon until it was your turn and then one would go taking sometimes up to three dives so that you wouldn’t have to wait in line again. Sounds a little selfish, I know. But that is what a good chimichurri causes at the table, or so I’ve been told.
The following recipe is an inspiration from Northern Mexico where I am from, with its delicious flour tortillas and those childhood memories of discovering the flavors of Argentina along with three of the elders I looked up to and respected growing up. The beans and greens recipe is an inspiration from Corey’s Dad, Jim who knows how to make the most delicious collard greens I’ve ever had, and a little bit from a Feijoada that I learned from chef Pedro, a friend of mine who happens to be Brazilian.
RECIPE: CHORITACO, makes 4 servings
4 Argentine sausages
4 fresh-cooked flour tortillas (EMAIL ME FOR RECIPE)
1 regular size onion
2 red bell pepper
8 tsp Chimichurri by Chef Oz™
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill or frying pan for sausage
Pre-heat a separate frying pan for onions and bell peppers
Slice onions and bell peppers and place in a hot frying pan. Add salt and black pepper to taste
Cook onions and bell peppers for about 5 minutes then turn to low heat and cook for another 5 minutes.
Begin grilling/cooking Argentine sausage between 10-15 minutes depending on if cooked on an outdoor grill or indoor oven top grill.
Once the sausage is cooked, remove from heat, slice in the middle, and set aside
To plate: One tortilla topped with chorizo campero, topped with bell pepper and onion mix and chimichurri.
Serve taco with a side of beans and greens (EMAIL ME FOR RECIPE)
And to wash this meal down, and for those times when you just want something refreshing here’s my limeade recipe. I must mention, I had years of practice as the official limeade mixer at home. I remember holding the sometimes blue, sometimes 70’s green plastic pitcher below the five-gallon bottle water spout and filling it up to about 3 inches below the top, slicing the limes--we call them limones in Mexico--adding the less refined sugar, or as it is called in stores in the U.S.A., “Mexican sugar”, mixing and tasting for flavor. Sometimes I felt it needed more sugar, sometimes more limes, sometimes both. As the years passed, one 2L size pitcher wouldn’t be enough so we upgraded to at least a gallon of limeade a day! I mean, Monclova is a hot city, found in a valley that sits in the middle of the desert and its main industry is a steel mill that takes 1⁄3 of the city called Altos Hornos De México (A.M.S.A). Drinking plain flavorless water got too boring, too quick. A.H.M.S.A. is a steel mill that employed more than 1⁄2 of my ancestors, including my dad, my mom, both of my grandfathers and uncles. So as you can imagine, houses were built all around this factory. The neighborhood in which most of the workforce lived was called Colonia Obrera. It was divided in 2, the south and north side. Needless to say, I grew up in La Colonia Obrera Sur (it literally translates to working class neighborhood, south), but in late 1989, we moved to La Colonia Guadalupe (Guadalupe Neighborhood, or direct translation “Guadalupe Colony”). This was a neighborhood that was founded by old money, the engineers and doctors of the time. As it continued to grow, new housing was added like the newer solid built, red brick homes for some of PEMEX employees. By the time we moved in the neighborhood had been growing so we moved into a newer development into an unfinished brick and concrete home painted in white, two football fields away from the cemetery.
So, every restaurant has a regular limonada, or the one with sparkling water. If you want an upgrade from the main citrus thirst quencher then you get to order a Naranjada! A naranjada is made the same way as the Limonada except the citrus used are oranges. Now, it is important to mention that these two drinks are not exclusive to my hometown but the more south you go into Mexico, the more varieties of Aguas Frescas will be made available at different food establishments or households. In the USA it’s easy to find all sorts of flavored powder mix to add to your water, but in Mexico they are made with fresh fruit, hence the word “Frescas” in “Aguas Frescas”. Fresh means fresca(o) in Spanish. Ready to quench your thirst?
RECIPE: LEMONADE MINERALE, Makes 12 - 1cup servings approximately.
1 cup of lime, lemon, or mixed lime/lemon juice
½ c sugar (or another preferred sweetener)
2 cups ice
6 cups of water
16 oz cold sparkling water
Add juice, sweetener, and ½ water into a blender.
Blend ingredients together
Add ice and rest of water and blend thoroughly
Pour in a chilled glass
Adjust if needed by adding ice or water.
Extra touch: Decorate drinking glass with a lime or lemon wedge