California Day, Margaritas and Taco Bell

Today we celebrate the Golden State – California. And the unofficial state cocktail – Margaritas. Today is both California Day and Margarita Day. If ever there were two days that should be celebrated together, it’s these two.

In 1850, California became the 31st state admitted to the Union. But did you know that in 1840 the independent country – the California Republic, existed for an entire month? Yep, California was once an independent country. That might explain why California is so great at passing our own laws that are seeming outlandish, and our cities are even more law-passing crazed than the state. It turns out that laws are easy to pass, but not so easy to resend. And that explains some of the insane city laws are still on the books today.

Silly California City Ordinances:
In Long Beach it is against the law to place anything other than cars in a garage. So those bikes, or camping gear or Holiday decorations most of us keep in our garages would make us criminals in Long Beach.

Do you own cowboy boots? We do. It’s a good thing we don’t life in Blythe where it’s against the law to wear cowboy boots unless you own at least two cows to go with those boots.

In Palm Springs, you are not allowed to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of 4pm and 6pm. Was this such a problem that they actually had to limit camel walking? Perhaps walking camels contributed to rush hour traffic jams.

Now San Francisco’s Market Street had a different animal problem. There it is illegal to walk an elephant at any time down Market Street, unless the elephant is on a leach. I’ve got to say I’ve never seen an elephant, leached or otherwise, walking down any San Francisco street.

San Francisco prides itself on liberal attitudes and open acceptance. Yet they actually have a law governing ugliness. Any person deemed “ugly” in San Francisco is not allowed to walk on public streets. No joke. Which begs the question, who decides what is ugly and what is beautiful?

Speaking of beauty – in Arcadia, peacocks have the right of way on all roadways and driveways.

Today we are celebrating California – home to Taco Bell since 1962. Over the years, Taco Bell has introduced their own spin on many American-Mexican Classics. I can remember when you could get a burrito or enchilada or a blend of the two. Taco Bell’s Enchiritos should not be mistaken for another dish – the wet burrito. It’s similar, but not the same. The Enchirito was introduced in 1967 and dropped from the menu in 1993. But don’t worry, Enchiritos are super easy to make. And like most Mexican dishes, are is oh so delicious. Perfect for honoring my home state, California.

Taco Bell Enchiritos
Beef Mixture
1-1/2 tablespoons Masa Harina
4-1/2 teaspoons New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
Pinch Sugar
1 teaspoon Dried Minced Onion
1/2 teaspoon Beef Bouillon Powder
1-1/3 lbs Ground Beef
3/4 cup Beef Stock

In a bowl, mix masa harina with all the dry spice ingredients. Stir the mixture well to make sure it is well blended. Sit aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumble the ground beef. Brown until cooked through, breaking meat into small pieces as it cook.

Remove from the heat. Dump the meat into a strainer over a large bowl or pot in the sink, rinse with hot water, then let grease drain out with the water. Return the beef to the pan. Stir in the spice mix and about 3/4 cup beef stock. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until most of the moisture has cooked away. Remove from heat before the meat is completely dry.

8 oz Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup Water
1/4 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon Dried Minced Onions
1 tablespoon White Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
Pinch Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Place tomato sauce and water into saucepan. Add all spices, stir well. Bring sauce just to the boiling point, the simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

1/4 small White Onion
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 can Refried Beans
4 Burrito-size Flour Tortillas
Black Olive Slices (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and dice a quarter of an onion, set aside. Finely grate cheese from a block of sharp Cheddar, set aside. Warm refried beans in the microwave for 2 minutes, set aside.

To assemble the enchirito; spread 1/4 of the heated refried beans onto the tortilla. Add ground beef to the tortilla. Roll the tortilla, and place seam side down in an ovenproof dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour the seasoned tomato sauce over the rolled enchiritos. Scatter onions over the sauce, then top with cheese.

Place enchiritos in the heated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. If desired, top with olive slices just before serving.

Awesome with Mexican Rice and Margaritas.

Mexican Rice
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexican Hot Red Chili Powder
Pinch Kosher Salt
1 cup Long Grain White Rice
8 ounces Tomato Sauce
2 cups Chicken Stock

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in seasonings and rice. Let “toast” for about a minute or 2.

Stir in tomato sauce and chicken stock. Bring rice to a boil. Reduce to a high simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

Remove lid, fluff with a fork and serve.

Grand Margaritas
1 Lime
1 Orange
6 oz 1800 Tequila
3 oz Lime Juice
Margarita Salt
4 oz Grand Marnier, divided

Chill 4 Margarita Glasses for 30 minutes in the freezer before making margaritas.

Cut lime in half. Cut half the lime into wheels to garnish the glasses. Use the other half to moisten the rim of the glasses before salting. Set limes aside.

Cut orange in half. Cut half the orange into wheels to garnish the glasses. Juice the remaining half an orange, set aside.

In a pitcher, mix tequila with lime juice and the fresh orange juice. Stir gently. Chill pitcher well.

When ready to serve, remove glasses from the freezer. Moisten the rim with a sliced lime. Spread margarita salt out in a small plate. Roll the moistened glass rims in the salt to coat lightly.

Divide tequila mixture between the glasses. Top margaritas with an ounce of Grand Marnier in each glass.

Garnish with sliced fruit, serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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