Monday, June 25, 2007

It was a dark and stormy night

José Dolores Garcia stood in the door of his saloon, looking out into the night. It was the last sight he would ever see. That night Garcia was struck by a bullet, fired from the gun of a hired killer, a man hired by town citizens who wanted the land the saloon stood on.

Garcia left behind his wife and the home he had built for her. Unable to continue living there, Refugia Yorba Garcia sold the home to Albert Pryor. Pryor himself was no stranger to loss. His father had died a few years earlier from strichnyne poisoning. Pryor lived in the house until his death. And then he remained. His ghost can still be seen sitting on the porch smoking a cigar. No tenants remained after that.

When Jon and I went the visit the famous Garcia/Pryor residence yesterday, it would have been more fitting if it HAD been a dark and stormy night. Instead it was noon on a Sunday. The sun was beating down (and I have the red shoulders to prove it).

Undeterred by the beautiful weather, Jon and I ventured into the home which has been turned into a museum. The house was built in the 1870s and still retains the original ceilings, floorings, frame, some furniture, and patches of wallpaper. I could just imagine living there. One of the great things about the historic district of San Juan Capistrano is that you really do feel like you've taken a step back in town. And Jon and I were the only people in the museum. As we looked out the kitchen window I could see just what the owners had seen as they washed their dishes. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the historic district before heading home to get dinner ready.

Apparently we either passed the test with Bill and Liz or they were anxious to not have to make dinner because they accepted a dinner invitation from us. I wanted to make something simple so I wouldn't be in the kitchen all day, or when they were over for dinner. Chicken with black bean salsa fit the bill perfectly. And know what's even better? Cara put up her second Platinum Chef Challenge after I had made this decision. AND this dish had three of the five ingredients. That, my friends is called karma.

Dinner was great, and I'm not just talking about the food. Bill and Liz are like people you've known forever - in fact, Jon and Bill keep finding they know more and more of the same people. And Liz brought us a special treat. The kind of treat that causes you to lose sleep thinking about. She brought us a cream pie for dessert (now I do have to point out something that endeared me to Liz immediately, she asked if she could bring dessert instead of just showing up with it so I didn't have to do that awkward "which dessert do I serve" shuffle). When Liz said she was bringing a cream pie I pictured something like Chelly's One.Big.Eclair, but what Liz brought was sooooooooooo much better. It was more like an actual pie, with a crust and everything. Cream and SNICKERS filling, topped with a chocolate fudge covering and homemade whipped cream. Jon was warned that it was a rich dessert, but as we all know, Jon doesn't heed advice. I gave him a gigantic slice and he just finished it. He was talking about seconds, but that never materialized.

One quick note about the black bean salsa....Jon really liked it. Which is a good thing. Cause we have a ton leftover. This week's going to look a lot like chicken with black bean salsa, steak with black bean salsa, black bean salsa pancakes, spaghetti and black bean salsa. I would recommend cutting the amount in half and you'd probably still be able to serve 4.

Chicken with Black Bean Salsa
2 cups black beans
1 cup corn
Juice of 1 lime
4 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
14 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Cooking spray
skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Dash of salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
Lime slice

1) To prepare salsa, combine first 9 ingredients, tossing well to combine.

2) Heat butter in a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with dash of salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with salsa and lime slice.

1 comment:

  1. You have the best non-studying adventures. Here's to a healthy road to the bar exam -- good job on still having some fun!