We ARE The Kind of People You Invite to a Party  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in , ,

Some teachers from Leslie's old school had a little get-together last night, and the lady who hosted it happened to live in the neighboring apartment complex. So on Thursday, we whipped up some enchiladas to bring over. We were the only people that brought anything; the hostess made some dips and things, but we wanted to and it was fun.

Potato and black bean enchiladas with salsa:
Leslie's salsa involves a can of diced tomatoes, whizzed with green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. We made a large batch, big enough to warrant using an empty ice cream bucket. After we got done making the enchiladas (and having tacos for lunch), we brought the rest of the salsa for dipping.

To make the enchiladas, we boiled potatoes until soft, strained, and added black beans. These were mashed together to make the filling. Then we formed a production line of
1: Putting salsa on a tortilla
2: Adding some filling, sprinkling on grated cheese
3: Wrapping it up, placing it crease-side down in the pan.

When that was done, we covered the whole pan with more salsa, and topped with a layer of cheese. Baked for about 12 minutes at 350. They were a big hit; comments included "tastes like a restaurant" and "you should try these, I'm not sure who brought them but they're great." We've still got some leftover so I'll try to remember to take a picture of a finished product.

This was also a BYOB affair. With all the best beer stores being rather closer to Arizona State, I went back to a small wine and spirits shop nearer our place that's really ritzy. The beer fridge is rather meager compared to the racks upon racks of vintage wines and dusty Scotch shelves, but I found a couple of bombers to bring, both West Coast micros which are fairly abundant in these parts.

The first was Stone's Vertical Epic 07.07.07, the sixth in a series that are brewed one year, one month, and one day apart, and are meant to be aged for quite a while. Mine was all of two months old...it's a cross between a triple and a saison, and it's pulled off reasonably well. I suppose it would be obnoxious for me to pan it given that it's meant to be aged, but I thought it was just fine right now, though I'm not sure what would happen in the aging process. Clearly it's bottle-conditioned, and the yeast would continue to act in some fashion, but I'm sure they're all rolled over and napping at the bottom of the bottle already. Anyways, it was floral and full-bodied in the mouth, with a dry, slightly tart finish; quite spicy all around with a peppery kick at the end. Decent, and very unusual.

The second bottle is an old stand-by: Rogue's Brutal Bitter. Nice and hoppy, but mostly mild, it was indeed a nice brew to follow up the rather challenging Stone. Technically an Extra Special Bitter, Rogue's brewmaster John "More Hops" Maier lives up the nickname with the Brutal.

I'll post pictures sometime, like this afternoon. Also, I forgot to post two of the most amazing crossword grids I've ever worked. Friday's Times was a doozy, just about the right difficulty for a Friday where I went through and got perhaps one or two answers on the first reading, but I still finished in about 22 minutes.

Lots of z's and x's and other Scrabble-y answers.

And the NY Sun's Weekend Warrior puzzle, the first of three planned for this fall, was both themeless and asymmetrical; featuring six 15-word answers it was some of the most intense crossword construction I've ever seen. I couldn't solve the middle parts, but I loved the exterior so much. How cool is this!?:

Looking over it, there's actually 8 full-length answers, three across and five down. The Sun is nice because they're way more open to interesting construction than the Times and others. I've seen a lot more themeless puzzles, asymmetrical puzzles, and "artistic" grids in the Sun than anywhere else, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend warriors.


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