Thursday Night Smackdown: The second-best way to blog

As previously established, the best way to food blog is to write about food and how you might have prepared it without actually producing any food.  The second best way, as it turns out, is to have your husband do the actual cooking while you sit on the couch with your new MacBook Pro – did I mention I got one of those? – and do a real-time play by play.

Tonight:  Chilaquiles al chipotle, Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate At A Time.  Highly convenient for several reasons:

  • The aforementioned not having to do any actual cooking
  • The fact that the dish I said I was going to make on Monday but didn’t was chilaquiles, then I promised them to you yesterday and totally failed to deliver, so now I’m hitting, like, 19 birds with one stone.  One giant fricking stone. (That I don’t even have to throw!)
  • It turns out that Rick Bayless’s chilaquiles al chipotle are almost identical to my chilaquiles-that-weren’t.  Slightly more intensive and less reliant on the blender but on the whole, pretty damn close.  Although he doesn’t use bacon fat to fry the sauce, so I say -1 for Bayless.

Aside:  Brian is concerned that he’s putting “too much garlic” in the pan.  Isn’t he cute?  This from people who regularly increase the amount of garlic in any written recipe by a factor of four.

This isn’t actually the first time I’ve unknowingly invented something that had already been created by someone else.  Once upon a time, when I played in an instrumental stoner rock/doom metal jam band – and no, I am not making that up – I would routinely write songs that (1) had already been written by Black Sabbath* or (2) had already been written by Rage Against the Machine. (As it turns out, when you slow a Rage Against the Machine riff waaaaaay down it turns into a doom metal riff. Who knew?)

A quick quiz:  The name of my band was Esquilax.  If you can correctly identify the source of that name, you will earn 10 brownie points.

*Yes, I was in a stoner metal band and was not familiar with the entire Black Sabbath catalog.  I remain largely unfamiliar with any part of that catalog that is not “Ironman” or “Paranoid.”  Judge away, but know this: I rocked, and I rocked hard.  Like a hurricane.

If I have to be derivative, at least I’m derivative accidentally.

So there are good smells emanating from the kitchen right now:  Spicy chipotles and my all-time favorite onion and garlic sauteeing in olive oil.  An egg is frying, and since there was no specification as to how to fry the egg, Brian has wisely chosen to work bacon fat into the dish as his egg-frying lubricant of choice.  Tortilla chips are soaking in a chipotle-tomato broth.  Yes, they are store-bought, pre-made tortilla chips and yes, Rick Bayless told us we were allowed to use them.  I’m pretty sure he meant the thicker, heartier kind that are more like actual fried tortillas you can find in Mexican groceries; I may know this because he explicitly stated it.  But I’m sure Santitas are nearly the same.

The egg.

Seriously, I could take a nap here.  He’s even taking the pictures, despite his usual resistance to using the camera because of his shaky-hand syndrome.

Or instead of a nap, I could spend more time playing with a MacBook Pro which, incidentally, I happen to have right here.

Chilaquiles, as I don’t need to tell most of you except the freakish few who claim not to like them, are delicious.  Prior to tonight, I’d only had the green (tomatillo-sauced) version.  I think they’re still my favorite; there’s just something about the tart brightness of the tomatillos with the earthy corn that is, for lack of a better word, yummy.  These are now my second-favorite.*  The acid of the tomato and smoky-spicy chipotle went perfectly with the unctuous egg yolk and fresh bursts of cilantro.

The other thing to note: chilaquiles are WAY more filling than they look.  I don’t know if we had especially fiberous tortilla chips, but we each only had a small bowlful with a single egg and were full.  And although I didn’t keep track, this was cheap: can of tomatoes, can of chipotles in adobo, an onion, some garlic, a few handfuls of chips and an egg.

Tonight’s short post brought to you by my abrupt switch from Photoshop to Aperture and resulting inability to figure out how to resize a photo.  (Seriously, it took a good 20 minutes.  And I can’t even claim to have figured it out myself, I had to Google.  Shame.)

*Lest you think those are the only two kinds, Rick Bayless begs to differ.

14 thoughts on “Thursday Night Smackdown: The second-best way to blog

  1. my mil makes chilaquiles and would not for the life of me give her damn recipe, would only tell me a few spices to use. finally figured it out and now mine is better than her’s. ha. even my mexican father in law who hates me likes mine better!

    *simmer some stew meat and olives in the sauce when those are tender add tortillas and then fry an egg. best meal ever.

  2. Tell Brian the photos looked great!
    Esquilax: a legendary horse with the head of a rabbit and the body of a rabbit. 90s Simpsons, thanks for the flashbacks

  3. damn! i forgot to put an egg on top of dinner last night!!! oh, well. sunday supper will involve eggs. thank you for reminding me…

  4. Sometimes I forget that there are foodies out there who will allow their spouses to cook. Last time mine went at it alone in the kitchen was March 5 of this year, or as I like to call it “the time Chris accidentally put bratwurst in spaghetti sauce instead of the handmade spicy Italian sausage I had set out for him, shown him, and was looking forward to eating”. Before that it was around Valentines day, or “the time Chris was making a chocolate shake for dessert, stuck his plastic tongs into the running blender, shooting shake all over the ceiling and decimating the tongs, only to STILL SERVE IT and tell me that the black crunchy pieces were ‘cookies’”.

  5. Two things:

    1) When I let my husband loose in the kitchen, he cooks whole octopus. I wish I was kidding.

    2) The word “unctuous” makes me shudder. Gross.

  6. I must confess – Prior to finding this blog a few months ago, I had never heard of chilaquiles, much less tried the dish. I’m determined to try making them once I get past this weekend’s festivities (son’s First Communion).

  7. According to the Urban Dictionary it can also mean a item in a Weebl and Bob cartoon. It is a laxative that is gentle as a rabbit and makes you crap like a horse. I thought that was a description of my sister-in-law’s cooking, but I digress. Seriously, the chilaquiles look amazing. The egg on top is making me woozy. MUST TRY SOON! Like today :)

  8. I hope this is not a terrible thing to suggest, as I am not schooled in chilaquiles etiquette , but I have made somthing similar where you poach the egg right in the sauce. One less pan to clean is always good!

  9. hey y’all, i know it seems like i’m being unresponsive to comments, but i’m reading them all, i swear. work is psycho, and to make my friday even better, i’m 99% sure i’m running a fever, and am currently switching from the feverish part to the chills part.

  10. OK… so, this is a totally dumb questions, but how do you fry your eggs? When I make them, they get slightly browned and crispy on the edges, which I love, but hubby HATES. How do you get yours so evenly cooked and white? I know it’s a simple question, but I’d really like to know!

  11. Thanks for the inspiration! This was perfect on Saturday morning after an impromptu get together on Friday night went a little too late. I even got the cute girlfriend to try it and like it – she’ll never doubt my breakfast cravings based on food blogs again!

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