The decision of what to prepare on February 14 could not be taken lightly. As former Arizonans we were acutely aware that this year marked the Valentine State's centennial. The meal had to have a southwest theme, and be worthy of two souls whose love transcends any Hallmark drivel, and be easy to prepare after working all day. The solution was found in The Well-Filled Tortilla byVictoria Wise and Susanna Hoffman. The recipe? Tamale-Style Beef. As Wise and Hoffman point out "making a tamale is an arduous task" and is traditionally done only at Christmas time. The tamale-style beef tortilla is an-easy-to-prepare meal, that can turn any day into a fiesta. We began by sauteeing onions and garlic rabe in our indespensible cast-iron skillet. Then added one chopped cubano pepper, and chopped steak which had marinated in Cachaça. (The recipe actually called for ground beef, but I read it wrong, and simply put "beef chuck" on the list, which James couldn't find in any case, so he just bought a steak and cut it up, which we agreed probably made the dish way better.) Next we added one chopped tomato, 1 cup of corn kernels, a bit of fresh oregano, and a dash of red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup red wine. This was cooked until the liquid evaporated. The filling was wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla shell along with some of the Crema Mexicana we still had left from our ajiaco recipe. This was the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and creamy (what could be more sexy?). It was paired perfectly with a peppery Savignon Franc from Sakonnet Vineyards. See James' post on Loving Coffee to find out how our dessert went. That Intercourses cookbook does not fail!
If you really couldn't think of anything more creative than candy, flowers, and dinner in a crowded restaurant to celebrate Valentine's Day you didn't deserve to get laid. Start planning now for next year.