This is the recipe we start with when we make chili, but the final product always varies, depending on what we have on hand. This time around we had some incredibly flavorful venison on hand. A gift from our friend Anna whose dad scored it on a hunting trip.
Jim Rockford Memorial TacosMatthew Wright • July 21, 2014
Molly and I were both sad to hear the news of the passing of James Garner. My first and fondest memory of him was in The Great Escape and later in a little gem with Sally Field called Murphy’s Romance. Both my Southern grandmother and Molly’s Aunt Mary were huge fans of The Rockford Files, but we didn’t watch it ourselves until last year.
We’ve tried a few classic TV shows on Netflix, but The Rockford Files is the only one that’s hooked us. With the exception of some of the 2-parters of later seasons we’ve watched most of the episodes. Some of that’s the surprisingly good writing, but most of it is Garner himself. He brings a charm and personality to Jim Rockford that’s as cozy as the roadside tacos he’s always eating.
We decided to delay our planned post in favor of what we’re calling the Jim Rockford Memorial Taco. We’re pretty sure Rocky and Jim would appreciate it.
As far as we remember the contents of Jim’s tortillas is never disclosed. He always orders simply a “taco.” If this were the Midwest that would mean just ground beef, but if we’ve learned one thing in California about tacos it’s that they come with any and everything.
As luck would have it we ate at Belcampo a few nights ago and had leftovers of our goat porterhouse. That may sound like a strange start, but several of the taco trucks around us offer goat. It’s not even the most exotic cut of meat we’ve seen.
We cubed it up and started next on some homemade salsa. Jim was always ordering his tacos with hot sauce, so we thought we’d use the heirloom tomatoes and poblano peppers we picked up recently. We roasted the peppers, let them cool, and then added garlic, cilantro, white onion, salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, and some dried pepper for a little heat.
We were going to concoct a Rockford-inspired cocktail, but the more we thought about it the more we thought Jim would have had his with a beer (unless of course it was a breakfast taco, which he always had with coffee). We thought New Belgium’s recent throwback, Skinny Dip, was a fitting pairing for our Rockford tribute.
This one is for you Mr. Garner! You’ll be missed.
This recipe contains anchovies. With that, I’m sure I’ve lost half my audience. I’ll keep going for the other three who either like anchovies or have come to learn that like them or not, they can lend the most intriguing umami flavor to all sorts of recipes.
Insofar as possible, I like to take advantage of what the earth is offering. In California, in midsummer, it offers blackberries. Our old backyard is covered in them: nasty thorny invasive weedy Himalayan blackberries. As much as I hate the plant, the fruit makes a hell of a good cocktail.