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Change is inevitable, we can always rely on it waiting around the corner. They say that change is as good as a holiday. But sometimes I don’t like change. I’m a creature of habit, existing in my own little world that ticks on day by day. Sometimes we have no choice but to accept things which we cannot change. Other times we must grab change by the horns and let it take us where it wants to be, this is something we need to do before it forces itself upon us. Time for change is nearly here, time to do it before the opportunity slips away.

The ingredients for week 11 of Get Forked were, beef cheeks, avocado, rice and limes. I bet you can all guess my immediate thoughts. Yes that’s right, its screams…take me to Mexico! The creature of habit within reared its ugly head. I tried hard to fight it, I thought of going to Thailand, Vietnam, hell I even tried to think of ways to make a Spanish dish, but no, this time change was not hiding around the corner, it was nowhere to be found. Mexican won as it usually does.

The seasons are changing, summer is fading despite its best attempts to hang on, to breathe one last breath, it is slowly slipping away. Autumn is moving in, but before it does I decided to use these ingredients to have one last summer meal, cold beer in hand. This Get Forked meal was a mini celebration for the last of summer’s shimmering evening light. Although I prefer winter, summer definitely has its perks, ice-cold beer and Mexican food. Not to say you can’t eat Mexican in winter but let’s face it, it’s a very outdoorsy get your mates around and put the beer on ice type food. Those who share my love of Mexican food will totally get this. Sometimes there’s no need for change. Other times it’s a given.

This weeks post was inspired by Common Threads. Each week a group of six bloggers post photo’s relating to a set theme and then two of them post an article about that theme. This weeks theme was change… if you didn’t already work that out :).

Rice and Beef Cheek Quesadilla with a Lime Guacamole
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic gloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (or a few squares of dark chocolate)
  • 500g beef cheeks, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeno’s roughly chopped (remove the seeds if you like)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 150g grated cheese.
  • 2 limes
  • 1 large avocado
  • salt and pepper
  • tortillas – as many as you can eat

Now What?

  1. Place an oven proof dish over a medium heat, add the oil, onion and garlic and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. The onion should soften and the garlic should just begin to colour.
  2. Meanwhile place the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat, move them around a little until the aroma fills your nose. This helps wake the herbs up. after that place them in a mortar and pestle and beat them to a powder.
  3. Once the onions have softened add the spices you just beat up, also add the star anise, cinnamon, paprika and coco powder (or chocolate). Add a pinch of salt and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 145’c
  5. After the spices have ‘cooked’ add the beef cheeks and brown on all sides.
  6. While the beef cheeks are browning, place one roughly chopped tomato, 1/2 capsicum and jalapeno’s into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  7. Add the tomato mixture to the beef cheeks, cover and place in the oven to cook for 3 hours. Check occasionally and ass water or stock if needed.
  8. Once the meat melts when pushed down with a fork you know its ready to go.
  9. Cook your rice, following the packet directs.
  10. Place the remaining two tomatoes in a processor with a good pinch of salt and pepper and blitz until smooth.
  11. Once your rice is cooked, drain and stir through the tomato mixture.
  12. Place a large frying pan (or griddle pan) over a medium heat, put your tortilla down first, add some cheese, rice and then beef cheeks. Top with another tortilla, cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. repeat as many times as you like.
  13. For the guac, add the avocado to a bowl, add the juice from 1/2 a lime and mash with a fork. Feel free to make it as chunky or as smooth as you like, just add a good pinch of salt.
  14. Enjoy with a nice cold beer and good company.
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