Monday, September 16, 2013

Tex-Mex Tales

I haven't checked in for a while and shame on me! There have been many food adventures since I last posted and I have a lot of catching up to do. Today, though, I need to opine about Tex-Mex.

We recently heard some sad news about the state of  a couple of Tex-Mex restaurants in our little town of Sealy, Texas. There was a report of possible rodent infestation at two of our local restaurants. The sources which generated this information are credible.

I'm not going to mention any names...if you live in Sealy and you want to know, send me a private message. I will describe the incidents, though.

The first incident involved take-out containers. The recipients of the take-out containers are related to me, so I take their word on this. The containers had been gnawed on by rats (or other small rodents). I shudder to think of what else they might be up to in that particular kitchen. Why didn't the waitstaff notice the teeth marks? I don't know. Maybe they did and decided to use them anyway to save money. Maybe they thought no one would notice. Yeah, that didn't work out so well. Now the word is out.

The second incident is far worse. Witnesses described a scene right out of a horror movie...oh, let's "Willard" or "Ben." Meat had been left out on the counter to defrost, (already a big no-no and food safety hazard). The worst part? Rats were gnawing on the meat. Oh, yum-yum! NOT!

That's a little too close to "Demolition Man" food for me. (Remember the burger?) Not that that particular restaurant would have substituted a few of the rodents to make up for the loss of the meat, mind wanders.

So...even if there is an announcement that these problems have been resolved...I just don't see myself being able to dine at either of the places again. Ever. It's a damn shame, because both of them were good. Not the greatest ever, but good most of the time.

Now if we crave Tex-Mex, we're out of luck as far as dining out. Well, there is one other place here, but we haven't been in years. Their beans always taste "off," like they weren't held at proper temperatures. (My theory on that was that they must have used them for the lunchtime buffet and saved them for the evening meal.)

That leaves driving out of town or home-cooked Tex-Mex. We do it on occasion anyway, so it's not that much of a stretch. That's what we ended up doing yesterday, on a bigger scale. We did a "combo meal": salad plate with tacos & guacamole...then cheese enchiladas, tamales, Mexican rice and beans. All dishes were made from scratch, except the tamales. Fresh and delicious! Untouched by rodent lips! Win, win, WIN!!

Of course, some of the products had GMO ingredients...hard to avoid since GMOs have invaded so many of our crops. But, the good outweighed the bad, in my opinion. 

Cheese Enchiladas from the home kitchen

No need to boil your corn tortillas to soften them. There is a better way. We'll talk about that later, though.

Loaded Tacos! 

Fortunately, we had some sour cream on hand, too. Oh, and don't buy that nasty taco mix full of fillers. You can make it at home in a snap.

Cheese Enchilada Plate with a tamale, refried beans & yummy rice

All we needed for this was a little extra gravy...I should have made two batches. The beans were brined overnight before cooking. We've been doing this a lot really makes a difference!

Now our Tex-Mex craving has been satisfied...and we have leftovers!! WOO-HOO!!

Have a great day and may you enjoy "rodent-free" cuisine for the rest of your life!

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