Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amanda's 22nd Birthday

Diana here--Amanda and her best friend Alex came up to Santa Monica last Friday night to celebrate her 22nd birthday and so Katie, Sarah, and I decided we wanted to make a fun, paleo-friendly dinner that was good for our bodies and our bank accounts. We made delicious lettuce wrap tacos again, but this time we had chorizo, beef and lamb to fill in for the chicken! When planning for guests, it's always a good idea to consider possible combinations that are gluten free friendly, vegetarian friendly, and in this case we had a guest who didn't eat lamb. Hence the choice to have multiple meat options.

The evening started with Sarah and Katie taking stock of everything we had in the kitchen before heading out to the store. We already had the lamb and most of the greens needed for our dinner, but we still needed the beef, cauliflower, avocados and a few other items, plus 6 bottles of wine (eeps!). There's no dinner party without wine! Especially a 22-but-we're-pretending-it's-her-21st-Birthday kind of dinner party.

Because Katie was doing 3 different types of meat she played it lose on the recipes. While Katie went to town in the kitchen, I was able to chat with Amanda and make sure everyone had enough wine. Our friends Lynne and Alysia came by as well, and so we had a nice little gathering--7 girls--the perfect amount for a build your own taco style dinner!

First up: an incredible Avo-ziki Sauce.

Avo-Ziki Sauce:

1 ripe Avocado
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 small clove garlic, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped

Katie here with the procedure tips--After prepping the items I combined all the items in a food processor.

Then I moved onto then lamb. I did a simple rub and cooked it in bacon fat.

Lamb and rub:

1lb lamb stew meat
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1tablespoon bacon lard

In a medium bowl I mixed the seasonings and tossed in the lamb meat. Then I melted the bacon lard in a skillet and added the lamb. I cooked the lamb approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Once the meat was cooked, I chopped it into 1/2-inch pieces.

For our garnishes I chopped up grape tomatoes, lemons, cucumbers, green onions and avocado and used the butter lettuce in place of tortillas.

I moved onto prepping the Cauli-rice. Since I just did that one recently,  I"ll skip the steps on that. Just not that the only difference was that I doubled the recipe.

For the ground beef and chorizo I kept it simple. I started with the chorizo in a skillet cooking it through. And I seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, cumin, onion pawer, garlic powder, and chipotle powder, then cooked it a skillet. I didn't measure out the spices on the beef,  I just based it on taste.

We set everything up on our bar for a create your own taco experience. I got hungry while cooking and couldn't wait to have one sitting down :)

And Sarah, my sous-chef, hard at work.

Overall I am really happy with how it all turned out! Happy Birthday, Amanda!

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