Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OLE! A MEXICAN DINNER IN ITALY!

Much as we LOVE Italian food, we sometimes want something different. Some nights I'll fix meatloaf with mashed potatoes, or roast a large chicken with stuffing (and wish I'd brought back some cranberries!). One of the tastes we miss the most here in Italy is Mexican.....chips and salsa, refried beans, fajitas, tacos. Yes, some of the ingredients are available here, but for the most part I need to plan ahead.

Sometimes the convenience foods and mixes we take for granted in the states are a blessing when you live in another country. I bring back a mix for salsa: just add tomatoes and green onions and let sit until the flavors mix....fantastic! I also bring back seasoning mix to make fajitas...grill some peppers, onions and chicken, add the seasoning packet, water, and ole! it's fajita time! Of course the one key ingredient we need to complete our Mexican feast is cheddar cheese, and thanks to our friend Nedra we have two nice chunks. Friends Jill and Larry left us a large bag of tortillas, and thanks to Jane we now know about the dried refried beans that cook up quickly and taste really, really good. It's time for Mexican night!

Whenever we have Mexican food we always call Wendy, knowing how much she loves spicy and/or Mexican food. She was finally able to get away from work the other day to join us for chips and salsa, refried beans, and chicken fajitas. Our English friend Janine also joined us, and I wondered how she'd react to our version of Mexican food. She loves spicy stuff, so I wasn't too worried.


Everyone agreed that this dinner was a success -  we'd all had THRRE fajitas each, in addition to the chips and salsa! Maybe the sign of a successful dinner party is when your guests groan as they get up from the table! We've now satisfied our Mexican tooth, at least until we return to the states in December. Thanks to all who helped make this meal possible, and thanks to our friends for sharing it with us!

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7 Comments :

At 11/13/2008 07:16:00 AM , Blogger rscotty1965 said...

Barb,

I kept your recipe! I still live in the states and have Mexican restaurants readily accessible! However, I still long for those long walks in the Italian countryside! This blog has been wonderful! I look forward to every installment!

Scott

 
At 11/13/2008 08:50:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

thanks Scott! What recipe was it you kept?

 
At 11/13/2008 08:57:00 AM , Blogger rscotty1965 said...

Hi, Barb,

I kept Jamie Oliver's Tiramisu as well as the mixes, which I did not even know existed. It's usually easier to go to a restaurant rather than make it myself! I'm not much of a cook, but I do appreciate good food!

I look forward to more interesting readings!

Scott

 
At 11/13/2008 09:23:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

I really love the salsa mix....it's great, but I use green onions instead of the purple onion the packet suggests.

As for the tiramisu, I really liked it, but next time I'll use the full 6 cup pot of coffee, and maybe just a bit less vin santo ...just to keep the marscapone filling a little firmer.

 
At 11/13/2008 12:13:00 PM , Blogger rscotty1965 said...

Barb,

What is "vin santo"? Marscapone escapes me as well. I would really have a difficult time finding it if I have no idea what it is! : -) Do you get these vegetables fresh from a local market or is there a supermarket (just like a supermarche in France?)? My friend who lives in England says that life is quite different in Italy, but then, that's what a want --something much less hectic! Are there any other recipes on your site that I should check out?

Thanks again!

Scott

 
At 11/13/2008 12:46:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Vin Santo is a sweet after dinner wine, and marscapone is a sweet Italian cheese...sweet, used for desserts. Google the terms and you'll find more info.

As for recipes, there are lots of recipes on my blog, and you can probably do a search for them...there's a box in the right hand column where you could type "recipe" or any specific food you might want to know about. I usually only post the winners, so IMO they're all good!

 
At 11/15/2008 09:26:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Barbara,
Seems like I remember a little shop in Perugia you might look for next time you are there - having all sorts of other ethnic stuff like Mexican -- downstairs in the Mercato on Piazza Matteotti -- you know the one I mean? With the great view in the back? We had a fun Mexican restaurant in Sicily (of all places!) where we ate a Cinco de Mayo dinner. Very fun. The margaritas were killer! A very Italian take on it but great...Or maybe the margaritas clouded my judgment...

 

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