Monday, July 13, 2015

12 July 2015

Summer is in full swing, and the local produce is at its peak! Our plot at the Victory Garden East is beginning to produce a variety of tomatoes, squash, peppers and even some red okra. I had my eye on around a dozen ears of beautiful corn in the garden, but it appears the deer got to them first. Luckily, the local crops are now coming in, so it was easy to find. In addition to the Victory Garden, the Canton Farmers Market is in full swing, and the locally grown fruit and vegetables are selling fast these days. If you haven't visited the Farmers Market, now is the perfect time to check it out on Saturdays from 8 AM until Noon in Cannon Park.

After a day of errands and chores, we treated ourselves to a last minute event in Atlanta on Saturday night to see Anthony Bourdain at the Fox Theater. His live talk included stories from his culinary travels, social commentary on trendy food movements, and some entertaining banter about some of today's celebrity chefs. He also did a Q&A with the audience at the end, and he was quick on his feet, intelligent and very funny. Before the show, I finally got a chance to check out Illegal Food in Virginia Highlands. It was worth the wait for one of the best hamburgers I have had in Atlanta. Check it out if you have a chance.

On Sunday, our first stop was Cherokee Market to celebrate the one year anniversary at their new location in Lathemtown. As you may recall, their previous location, the Historic Bell's Store on Highway 20, was demolished to make way for a Flash Foods convenience store and gas station. Sadly, the plans were abandoned after the demolition, and the lot stands empty today. However, Cherokee Market was buzzing with customers, local food vendors, bluegrass music on the back porch and Scott Boys BBQ out back! We had lunch with some great friends and picked up some supplies for Sunday Supper. Congratulations to Lisa Meyer and her team at Cherokee Market for their success and perseverance!

The summer heat and promise of fresh corn created a craving for real Mexican food, so I had to visit one of my other favorite shopping destinations on Sunday afternoon, Carcniceria Ramirez on Marietta Road. This authentic Hispanic grocery store is such a delight, and they never disappoint. Their produce, meats and bakery items are amazing, and of course, you can find any ingredient you need to prepare home cooked Mexican food. I loaded up on everything I needed to cook my Mexican dishes from scratch, including corn tortillas, salsa and guacamole.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen preparing fresh salsa, chunky guacamole, grilled Mexican corn, and marinated flank steak and chipolte chicken tacos on handmade tortillas. Yes, tacos sounded like a simple idea to begin with, but cooking everything from scratch took some time and effort! In the end, it was all worthwhile and delectable. There is no replacement for making everything yourself from locally sourced or grown ingredients. Some may find the process a bit tedious and obsessive, but it's just another Sunday Supper for me.

The Menu:

- Chunky Guacamole with Homemade Tortillas and Salsa

- Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Roasted Poblano Rajas

- Chipolte Chicken Tacos

- Grilled Mexican Corn with Crema, Cheese and Chile

The Recipe – Grilled Flank Steak Tacos


2 medium white onions, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

4 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/3 chopped cilantro

1/2 Tbsp salt

1/4 Tbsp pepper

1 pound flank or skirt steak, trimmed

3 medium poblano chiles

Vegetable or olive oil for brushing

Lime wedges for serving

12 good quality corn tortillas, warmed or, better yet, homemade!


Combine 4 of the onion rounds, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process to a smooth puree. Place the steak in a non-aluminum baking dish and smear the marinade over both sides. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Heat gas grill to medium-high or let your charcoal grill burn until the coals are covered with gray ash. Turn the burners in the center of the grill to medium-low or bank the charcoal to the sides of the grill for indirect cooking. Lay the chiles on the hottest part of the grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and blackened uniformly all over, about 5 minutes. Be careful to only char the skin, not the flesh. Remove the chiles from the grill, and cover them with a kitchen towel or place in a brown paper bag to steam.

While the chiles are steaming, brush the remaining onion slices with oil, and lay the whole rounds of onions on the grill in a cooler spot. When they start to soften and are browned, about 10 minutes, use a spatula to flip them and brown the other side. Transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and break the rings apart.

Rub the blackened skin off the outsides of the chiles, then pull out the stems and seed pods. Rinse briefly to remove stray seeds and bits of skin. Slice into 1/4 inch strips, stir into the onions and season with salt.

Remove the steak from the marinade and gently shake off the excess. Oil the steak well on both sides, and lay it over the hottest part of the grill. Grill, turning once, until richly browned and done to your liking, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side for medium rare.

Cut the steak into 3-4 inch sections, then cut each section into thin strips across the grain. Mix with the chiles and onions, season with salt and set on the table, along with the limes wedges and hot tortillas to make into soft tacos. Makes 12 tacos. Serves 4.

The F&H Burger from Illegal Food!

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