New Year’s Eve Tacos!

I beg of you… if there is ANYONE else out there who isn’t long sick of the holiday season once New Year’s Eve comes around, please… e-mail me! I hate feeling like I’m the only one out there who can’t (and even if I could I wouldn’t bother to) work up any amount of energy for the night of December 31st. I don’t want to go to a party, I don’t want to go to a bar, I don’t want to go to Catalina, I don’t want to go to the top of a building with a spectacular view of the city, I don’t want to go to a specially-catered dinner at a local restaurant that includes a bottle of champagne, hats and streamers for the reasonable ticket price of $150 when I can normally go there and order anything for at least $125 less.

I really dislike this holiday… always have.  The demand all around me to celebrate it is annoying.  When I was younger, I, alongside all my friends, hooted and reveled until the sun came up, but even then I was faking it.  The start of a year holds absolutely no significance for me.  I don’t care to reflect, or to prioritize ambitions and yet-to-attain goals.  The only thing the dawn of the first day of a new year means to me is that I’m going to have to wait longer to use all of the equipment at my gym to make room for all those idiot-resolutioners who crowd the place for the first three weeks of January because this year they’re “really gonna do it!”


By the way, Dick Clark couldn’t count down from 20 seconds without faltering.  I know I’m not supposed to notice it, but I did, and I think he should hand the whole show over to Ryan Seacrest next year.  I love Dick Clark, but it’s time to retire.

So this year, I didn’t force myself to go out against my better judgment, and I didn’t even call anyone at midnight to wish them well.  From the sound of things in my apartment building, no one else did either.  But I still had a fantastic night, watching MSNBC documentaries on Patty Hearst and David Koresh, drinking martinis, and making tacos with my sweetie.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey meat or ground beef (or pork, or chicken, whatever floats your New Year’s boat)
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of black or cannellini beans
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • whatever peppers you may have on hand… 1-2, say it with me now… finely chopped
  • white corn tortillas, 4 to 6 inches in diameter
  • sour cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • hot sauce of your choice along with salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup tomatillo sauce – you can get the recipe for that right here

This recipe is about as easy as it gets, but it’s one of my favorites because MG and I make it together. It’s an equal work distribution between us. I prepare the meat, and MG takes it home by frying up and folding over the tortillas… a talent I have yet to master.

First, cook your meat with the peppers and onions. Add 1 cup of water and the tomatillo sauce for extra flavor, turn down the heat, and let simmer, making sure to stir every few minutes. I like to keep it on the fire for about a half an hour. You should time it out so that you are just letting it swim in a final puddle of fluid when you take it off the stove, so keep an eye on it and add water if you want to simmer it longer. The longer the better, I always say.

MG takes over from there, heating a second pan with olive oil. The tortillas should sizzle the moment they touch the pan. If not, let the pan heat longer. He cooks them open with cheese, beans and tomatoes distributed for 6-8 tacos.  Once they begin to crisp, he folds them, using the side of the pan and a spatula, and then quickly flips them over.

And that’s pretty much it. Let the tortillas brown a bit on both sides, scoop them out, and let them dry for a few minutes on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Garnish with sour cream, more tomatillo sauce, and the hot sauce of your choice.

And BONUS! You get great leftovers for your New Year’s morning omelettes, which were spectacular!  Trust me… knowing all these goodies await you in the morning will help you suffer through the dragging arduous pain that is known as the Rose Parade.

And for the record, i wasn’t the only one in the house underwhelmed by New Year’s Eve.

Z was out by 10:45. Not even promises of The Muppet Movie at midnight were enough to keep him interested.

Even though it’s my least favorite holiday… Happy New Year and good eating to you in 2010!

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