Tex-Mex Italiano

It was just your typical all-American-Mexican-Italian Sunday around the grill. And in the process, because of the sheer number of components, I learned to organize my cooking better than I ever was forced to before. The Fajita Pizza Party is now an official thing at my house, and you’ll want an invitation too.

It’s hard to say what caused the spark, what secret power pushed me from marinating and grilling beef and chicken to wrap in soft flour tortillas toward making those things and more as toppings for a tortilla “pizza.” But I’m happy the spark WAS caused, since I ended up with Mexican/Spanish rice, salsa-spiced black beans, caramelized green peppers and onions, and of course no small amount of grilled meat – and then a pizza coming hot and bubbly out of the oven. If you have any idea how much I love pizza, you’ll know how crazy-happy this marriage makes me. I’ll be the groom if you want. Or the bride. Or the preacher. As long as I never have to forever hold my peace.

All the same, my elation dimmed somewhat when I realized just how hard it would be to have all the elements hot and ready to serve at the same time. It would be, I understood, like being a short-order cook at a breakfast place – and I’ve always been in awe of short-order cooks. I’m thinking most people, in such a place, order two eggs over easy, with grits and hash browns, two sausage patties and toast without butter without a clue that such “simple” foods are tougher to pull off than half the stuff on fancy restaurant menus. In other words, it’s not about wearing a silly toque blanche atop your head. It’s all about being a master of timing.

I did OK at the grill outside on Sunday, not to mention at other tasks that involved oven, stovetop and microwave. I guessed most things right, and corrected for you the things I guessed wrong. I think you’ll have a blast. I know the people eating this food will!

Story by John DeMers

Leave a Reply