August 21, 2005

No Problemo a la casa

Among the weekend’s planned projects were trying to mix up a Thirdmate, further testing the drinkability of Captain Morgan’s Tattoo, and a valiant attempt at recreating the No Problemo beef taco experience in the privacy of my own home.

For this PLUS more of Buster being menaced by a sheep, read on.

I threw together that animated gif of Buster in honor of the 8 episodes of Arrested Development Season 2 we watched last night. For others who have been watching the summer reruns of this excellent show, it looks as though there are two episodes left in the second season which have not been re-aired. “Sword of Destiny” (the episode with Tony Wonder) and “Righteous Brothers” (plumbing problems in the Bluth model home, and Tobias takes a liking to Kitty).

Still my favorite Arrested Development moment: In “The Immaculate Election” when Buster is discovered fooling around with the Roomba. “What do you expect, Mother… I’m half machine. I’M A MONSTER!!!!

Prep Work

I’d never bought tequila before, and I needed something to cook with. So I aimed for the high middle and bought a bottle of Cuervo Especial. And at $15, Tattoo is cheap to try.

I’d sought the advice of experts on what a good drinking tequila would be. Patron Añejo (which may be cheaper elsewhere in the world) is going for an out-of-bounds $50+ here. If I decide I really like the stuff, perhaps I’ll look into the Tradicional. But, for now, I’ll experiment with the more reasonably-priced stuff.

A supermarket trip filled the pantry with other goods necessary to making Mexican delicacies.

Early in the day, the meat went into an excellent tequila-based marinade. I’ll provide recipes later. Just before dinner, I threw together a pico de gallo. Basically, it;s a salsa or salad which will go in the taco along with cheese, black beans and beef.

When Julie arrived it was time to light up the grill and grill the marinated steak tips over mesquite wood. This would definitely work for chicken as well. For you vegetarians, when you see the recipe in my next post you can just skip the meat entirely and still end up with a decent meal.

On To The Beverages

I’ll focus more on the food in the next post. But now… for the beverages.

First order of business, mix and drink a Thirdmate. The Thirdmate recipe was posted here in a comment by the friendly author of the local blog HMS Impossible. I repeat it here for convenience:

* Three fingers of your favorite rum over ice and lime.
* Fill the rest of the glass with cream soda

We used Captain Morgan’s. The verdict? Drinkable. Extremely drinkable, in my humble opinion. I’m not a fan of cream soda, but I love both rum and lime. The sweetness of the soda was offset by the tart lime (we were liberal with the lime, using about half a fresh lime each in the first attempt.) We adjusted the rum and cream soda and found that it’s a natural.

Julie appeared to enjoy hers and I drank mine far too quickly. These are way oo easy to drink. Make sure you have lots of the ingredients on hand if you plan on serving these for more than two people.

Unfortunately, it was this point where I started to realize our refrigerator’s icemaker is no longer working. We had plenty of ice but the poor thing has just stopped making new stuff. And just when the ice started tasting decent!

Next stop, Cosmopolitans. Friday I’d had a chence to sample the much-vaunted Kelly Cosmo (cosmos mixed by Kelly at the local Not Your Average Joe’s). Kelly does mix a mean cosmo. And I think her Mojito is even better. I’m not sure what recipe she uses. We used the one I found on Webtender: Cosmopolitan #1.

A few shakes of a shaker later, we had a mixture of vodka, triple sec, lime juice, cranberry juice, and a drop or 2 of grenadine to adjust the color.

Verdict: Kelly’s cosmos are great, but this recipe does not steer you wrong. Meant to be drunk slowly, this recipe yeilded excellent results. Now, if only I had the correct glasses to serve this sucker. One of these days I’m going to have to find some cocktail glasses. Problem with this is, it just doesn’t look like a very masculine drink. It packs a punch, though, so take it seriously.

Third on the agenda as the Captain Morgan’s Tattoo. My inclination was to mix the stuff with Coke Zero. So we did.

Straight up I find Tattoo to be undrinkable. Subsequent tastes after my first were just a sub-par experience. However, in Coke Zero the stuff finds a home. I think it’s the closest I’ve tasted to “Cherry Coke Zero” yet. It convinced me to keep the bottle. In fact, it’s better in Coke than regular Captain Morgan is.

Karaoke and the Little Screen

Sufficiently lubricated, it was time for a little Karaoke Revolution 3. Maggie even joined in for a rendition of “California Dreamin’.” There was a second Thirdmate in there somewhere, and Julie experimented with Tattoo in it to generally positive effect while the kids repeatedly belted out “Joy to the World” and “Oops, I did it again.” If there was any question who Jeremia was, that question has been resolved. My kids need some practice, but they have incredible lung capacity.

As for the lot of us, we are not bad at singing. I can tell you right now that Julie knows a lot of these songs a lot better than I do. Even trying to find difficult challenges she was able to hit the right notes. Me — I’m challenged by “Under Pressure” on medium level. I guess I was never really listening to those lyrics like I thought I was.

Then came the Arrested Development Marathon. As a group, we made it through 6 episodes, with Julie and I bringing up the final 2.

I was tired, but wired from a couple of Coke Zeroes. I actually stayed up to watch that not-very-inspiring The Jacket. The acting was really good, the story was OK and for some reason I couldn’t really care. Maybe I’ve had enough of these psycho time travel stories. I don’t even really want to review it.

Stay tuned for more info on how the food came out.

Feel free to borrow my animated Buster icons.

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Posted by James at August 21, 2005 9:09 PM
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Aargh. I was out of town this weekend.
On the other hand: Lucky I promised myself to stop scamming meals.
All hacked "No Problemo"-recipe tacos are yum-derful. Unfortunately Matt and Craig (from "NoP") are eyeing you suspicously.
Some day, we'll all celebrate the The Carnivore's Ball. "All beef, pork, fish. Marinated or rubbed. Carbs: ONLY as handles."(Last time, I think we were personally responsible for the destruction of 60% of the wildlife population of Zambia.)
Unfortunately, I have a coriander sensitivity. Makes cilantro a challenge. (It's like being allergic to caffeine. Sneeze uncontrollably standing near Starbucks. You get the idea.)
Thus: Rum beverage. Glad to see the official beverage of H.M.S. Impossible is getting out'n'about. Remember: One hand for the boat!

Posted by: ThirdMate at August 22, 2005 3:48 PM

Sounds like that would have been a blast. Glad you had fun! :-)

Posted by: Chuck S. at August 22, 2005 4:21 PM

Come to think of it, everyone sang Joy to the World except me. Some of them sang it multiple times. Personally, if I ever run into Jeremiah, I'll be tempted to kick his big froggy ass.

I enjoyed the Cosmo, but the Thirdmate has the advantage of lasting for more than a few sips. The small amount of Tattoo I put it in didn't ruin it, though I wouldn't say it much improved it, either.

I had forgotten you did the steak tips with mesquite. I wasn't sure if that would be a good idea, but either I didn't taste the mesquite or it matched so well that it blended perfectly with the other flavors.

Posted by: Julie at August 22, 2005 5:32 PM

Not only was there mesquite, but there was a helluva lot of it.

Hey, don't mock Jeremiah. He sure has some mighty fine wine.

I had another Thirdmate last night. But I feel the need to brace myself for a cosmo. It's meant to be drunk slow. I just don't have the correct glasses.

Posted by: James at August 22, 2005 5:47 PM

The wine was mighty fine... by frog standards.

Oh, wait. Maybe they meant he was French.

The only way to get me to drink a Cosmo slow would be to lock it up and let me have one sip every ten minutes.

Posted by: Julie at August 22, 2005 9:07 PM

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