Tacos, just like in Gdansk
Most of the time I cook regular man-food; burgers, spaghetti, roast beef, and of course I grill the occasional hell of a steak. Pretty standard fare for this part of the world. However, I do sometimes come up with something a little outside of the norm and I like to share that information with the world at large, because let’s face it, you’re not figuring this stuff out on your own.
A recent concoction of mine was the source of a certain amount of amusement at my workplace, but it is in fact quite tasty. I refer to none other than the Polish Taco. The key ingredient here is of course cabbage. I don’t measure much of anything when I cook. Basically I measure by ratios and that’s it. So if you intend to savor the ambrosia that is the Polish Taco this is what you’ll need:
* Ground Beef (Some.)
* Onion (Enough.)
* Cabbage (Also some.)
* Garlic (As much as you like.)
* Paprika (Just dust it all over everything.)
* Crushed Red Pepper (Enough. Or a little too much. How the hell should I know how much heat you can stand? I mean, really, it’s red pepper, you figure it out.)
* Salt and Pepper (I don’t use much, but go ahead, wreck your health.)
* Pepper Sauce (The kind you put on turnip greens, not Tabasco. As much as you like. It’s mostly for the touch of sourness.)
* Rice (Some.)
* Grated Parmesan (Plenty and keep it coming.)
* Soy Sauce (Only if you like it.)
I take about a half pound of ground beef and brown it with a medium onion cut up in pretty coarse chunks. Drain most of the grease and add the crushed red pepper, garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Then throw in some chopped cabbage. Like I say, I don’t measure anything but you want about the same amount of cabbage as you have of ground beef. It doesn’t take long for the cabbage to cook so don’t walk off and have a beer and forget about it because the electric skillet could start smoking and then you’ll have to take the battery out of the smoke alarm and throw the flaming skillet in the yard and the neighbors will call the cops and people will think you’re cooking meth.
This has never happened to me. I don’t even drink beer, I drink Scotch.
When the cabbage is just done I sprinkle it liberally with the pepper sauce and turn the heat down. I have a rice cooker and generally I don’t do anything to the rice except add just a little butter to it. If you start it at the same time you start to brown the beef it should be done in plenty of time. I normally just serve the beef and cabbage over the rice, but I had some left over taco shells one night and I discovered that if you mix the beef and cabbage with a little rice (about one part rice to two parts beef and cabbage) and stuff it in a taco shell, sprinkle a little soy sauce on it, and put some grated parmesan on top you have yourself one hell of a fine Polish Taco.
I mean sure you could call it a Mexican Egg Roll, but that would just be silly.
Edwin E. Smith is a poet, heckuva writer and all around swell guy. Send him an email at email@example.com or visit him on the Internet at edwinesmith.com