Friday, August 18, 2006

~August Cooking With Washington Wines~

The past several weeks it has been too hot to cook! I haven't done much other than making lots of salad fixin's and a casserole I can nuke in the microwave. I did make strawberry and blackberry jams, but does toast and jam go with wine? Hmm - it could happen.

Last weekend I went camping in the mountains by a river (secret family property. trespassers) with my sisters, cousins Eric and Melissa from the Tri-Cities, WA and their families. This is the third summer we have camped together. We take camping to a new level. I try to rough it the best I can with my mauve colored "two-room" tent and queen size air mattress. Lots of Washington state wine flows and this year Aunt Barbara made vodka martinis in her new Pottery Barn martini shaker. Do we know how to camp or what?

Therefore, with the weather I haven't done much in the way of finding a recipe that can be used for the month of August. But I can share the tastiest thing I have had all month and it was delicious with red wine. For our camp-out, cousin Eric was in charge of lunch and he really came through for us. He cooked tacos on his Coleman stove - delicious morsels of crispy fried goodness. Eric said he first tasted these tacos at hunting camp with friends. Often wild game was used, but for this weekend Eric used ground beef that comes with a cellophane cover (I know nothing about meat unless it comes with cellophane or butcher paper). Named after the cook who was the father of a good friend of Eric's, I present:

Rip Kirby's Hunting Camp Tacos

A dozen or more of fresh corn tortillas
1 lb or more of ground beef (or venison, buffalo, or any wild game)
Vegetable oil
Seasoning salt and pepper
Grated cheese
Shredded lettuce

In a deep skillet, heat 1-2 inches of oil (hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle). On each corn tortilla, spread (a fork works well) uncooked ground beef (not too thick) on one-half side of the tortilla (Eric made a high stack of these ahead of time until ready to fry). Sprinkle the uncooked ground beef with your favorite seasoning or seasoning salt and pepper. Slide each meat side of the tortilla into the heated oil (I noticed that Eric was able to get three - four in a pan at once) leaving the other half of tortilla, without the meat, laying on the side of the pan until ready to flip over. Fry the meat-tortilla side until done. When done, then flip and fold the empty side of the tortilla over the cooked meat. Turn the folded taco over and fry the other folded side. Repeat.

Remove folded and fully cooked tacos from oil and drain on paper plate or towels. Gently pull them apart and top with cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce. This is a filling and perfect recipe for camping instead of the usual hotdogs and hamburgers.

Keep it simple like we did or "fancy" them up with different seasonings and condiment toppings like cilantro, green onions, sour cream and mango salsa. These little half moons of fried crunchiness pair excellent with the red table wines that the Walla Walla Valley has to offer.


Melinda said...

Sounds great! I'm no fan of camping, but I am all in favor of tacos...especially with some good red table wine.

Sue said...

It sounds like a lovely way to do tacos on a camping trip. If people are doing them at home you can microwave that tortilla for 20 seconds put your ground beef in it and shape it and toothpick it shut and fry it and turn it without having to flip. Filling at home: Boil your ground beef till done. Break it up. Cut up a microwaved potato into cubes ad it to your burger and fry with enough tomatoe sauce to give it a good flavor. This is a nice filling. Anyway just some thoughts if you are to make them at home. Coleslaw mix is a nice topping.

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