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Tuesday, February 24, 2004  

Fat Tuesday
Happy Mardi Gras! In celebration of a holiday that I never remember to celebrate I cooked up a quasi-traditional meal: jambalaya. Though I was pressed for time and ingredients, so I whipped up my quick and cheep version. One package of Rice a Roni "Cajun Chicken" flavor ($1.39), half a package of fully cooked andouille sausage from Trader Joe's (half of $3.99), a three or four chicken tenderloins I had kicking around in the back of the freezer ($uh... 2 bucks?), a couple of cloves or garlic and 1/2 an onion. All in all it takes about 30 minuets and costs all of 6 bucks of ingredients and turns out pretty damn good. My mom would probably balk at the thought of jambalaya built on a box of rice-a-roni, but I made up a batch of cornbread so that should make her feel better. I think there is a place for complex dishes made with the best fresh ingredients that require time and skill to prepare, but sometimes you just don't have the time, the energy, or the fresh stuff. For these time it is handy to have an arsenal of recipes that can be made fast with stuff that should be sitting around the kitchen.

On a similar note, the night before last I had a dream where I was in my very favorite taqueria in Santa Cruz where I ordered 4 carnitas tacos and a carnitas burrito. So sometime yesterday I decided that I was just going to have to make up a batch of carnitas for myself, and wondered why I hadn't ever tried to before. Turns out the first couple of recipes I found included "2 Pounds of Lard" as the first ingredient. Now I love pork fat as much as the next guy, but 2 POUNDS is a lot of lard to have to deal with. I'll still probably try to do it though...

posted by JMV | 2/24/2004 09:00:00 PM
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