Marta’s picadillo

I’m in a funk. All week I’ve been working on a chapter I don’t like. I mean, I would like it if it was any good, but it isn’t. So I don’t like it. The next chapter, which I just started even though the previous chapter is not yet finished, I also don’t like.

Not to worry, of course. I usually hate my writing for a large portion of the process. Just, today I can’t bring myself to stick with it. So a little bit ago I went outside and sat in the sunshine. I let my mind wander—Come back when you have some brilliant thoughts to show me, I told it firmly—but nothing happened. So I came back inside.

Thrilling stuff, this writing business.

In other news, last night a car crashed into our front yard. Nobody was hurt, but now we’re short 30 feet of fence, a row of mailboxes, and a scrubby tree. Also, it poured—I mean, POURED—rain all night so I didn’t get to go for my run, and then today we learned, via an x-ray follow-up, that my son’s break has worsened and now he needs surgery to reset and pin it.

So yeah, I’m in a funk.

Picadillo. How about we talk about that? It is Cinco de Mayo, after all. (Not that I follow the holiday. At Costco yesterday, I was marveling at all the salsa samples, but it wasn’t until today that I was like, “Oh, riiight.”)

Picadillo is a Spanish-flavored meat-n-potatoes sauce. The first time I had this, years ago, was when we were visiting some friends. Our hostess had grown up in Mexico so Latin cooking was second nature to her. When I asked Marta for the recipe, she didn’t have one. Which means this is the real deal!

We eat our picadillo over rice. It’d be yummy with toppings though, so feel free to add anything Mexican-ish. Cabbage slaw makes a great side, though broccoli will do in a pinch, and fresh tortillas for scooping are a must.

And now, this post written, I’m calling it quits. Off to the library I go! This sore brain is in desperate need of some high-quality entertainment. Else it just may explode. Or shrivel up. Wish me luck!

Marta’s Picadillo 

My notes were cryptic, but here’s a recipe, more or less. Feel free to play.

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 big carrot, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 chipotle peppers, minced, and with their sauce
1-2 cups tomato (fresh, canned, or in sauce form)

½ cup beef broth

lots of salt and black pepper

Brown the ground beef, onion, potatoes, and carrot over medium high heat.

While the meat and veggies are cooking, measure the garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and broth into a blender and puree until smooth.

Add the sauce to the meat and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and serve over rice.

If you want, dress up the picadillo with fresh cilantro, sour cream, green onions, salsa, hot sauce, avocado, cabbage slaw, warm tortillas, tortilla chips, olives, fresh cheese, boiled eggs, etc. The sky’s the limit!

 Leftovers freeze well.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (5.2.16), a simulation, stages of acting, the quotidian (5.4.15), the quotidian (5.5.14), depression chocolate mayonnaise cake, creamy avocado macaroni and cheese, baked-in-a-pot artisan bread, the definition of insanity. rhubarb daiquiri.

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