Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On Fecklessness and Jicama

Recent headlines suggest that as long as AK-47s remain legal and marijuana remains illegal* there’s gonna be serious trouble south of the border. Being a Blogger of Little Brain I cannot speak intelligently about how to solve this problem, but - hello?!? - it’s not a new one. Mexico has had powerful drug cartels (feeding Hollywood with an endless supply of storylines) forever. Seems we’re just taking notice now because the country finally has a President with a backbone. Of course he’s going to need a lot of cash to beef up enforcement of his War on Drugs. Which is why we should all eat more jicama. Hey, it’s a start. And with NAFTA up for renegotiation and the last US dollar already spoken for, it’s the least we can do. Plus, jicama is really good.

I was served jicama this way as an amuse bouche at a great restaurant in Washington DC (maybe Tim can comment on the name). I've loved jicama always but only use it in one recipe: Grilled Pesto Chicken Salad. Here I've trimmed it into batons, doused it with a spray of fresh squeezed lime juice and sprinkled it with a good chili powder (in this case, a medium heat chili powder). When you've got guests coming over for Carnitas or Tacos you should feed them this, plated individually. They will be very impressed.

* Eat Cheese or Die?
Calvin Trillen once took suggestions for making Wisconsin's license plate motto ("America's Dairyland") as flamboyantly patriotic as New Hampshire's ("Live Free or Die"). "Eat Cheese or Die" won. Too funny. Of course lawmakers in the nation's capital (their plate moto is "Taxation without Representation"), terrified by perils of listeria and concerned that cheese could kill a foodie, took legislative action to save us all.

I don't want to get the common American Libertarian all fired up but, really?!? Bicameral support for cheese legislation?? (Ok, ok. I don't know the ins and outs of how a bill becomes a law, but bicameral sounds awfully good here.) I just don't see how the case can be made that an unpasteurized cheese aged less than 60 days is illegal in the US and not an AK-47? Does the news that Walmart, the master of the supply chain, cannot keep up with the demand for ammo right now scare you? It should. More than listeria or taxation without representation.

For more info on Mexico's drug problem read an informed opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal: In Praise of Mexico's War on Drugs.


Unknown said...

Hmmm, Tosted tortillas, jicama, gusty spring day making me feel like Spring break should be right around the corner. I am thinking Fish Taco's for dinner tonight! I love to slice thin matchsticks of jicama mixed with shaved cabbage, olive oil (or mayo)fresh lime, and cilantro with sliced avocado on top of grilled mahi mahi and fold it into a grilled flour tortilla - yum!

Katie Fairbank said...

we haven't had fish tacos in so long! thanks for the reminder. i love mine on corn torts, tho. lucas oughta sell them - does he? even his flour ones would be worth it.

i'm a fan of cabbage on tacos too though the girls still feel i was trying to pull one over on them (they thought for sure it was grated cheddar). they're still on guard every time they spot a cabbage in the house.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear ... pinch turns 1 and starts getting all political on us

Unknown said...

Hi! (So I left you a message on your birthday cake blog - a little too late. hope you got it) Lucas does have corn and flour - I used to be a corn fan but have read too much about all corn being GMO so I am shying away now. BIT sells fabulous whole wheat locally grown and made tortillas that I love! XOXO

Mariana said...

I used to eat Jicama this way (lime, chilli powder and salt) growing up in Mexico, and it was my favorite. We used to buy it from street vendor outside of school-which I would not do now. Come to think of it, we used to put lime, chilli powder and salt on lots of stuff including cucumbers, mangos and oranges. If you've never tried the cucumbers this way, I highly recomend it!
Happy birthday, Pinch!