Ruby’s Corner – September Edition
I have an automobile. I did not weld the parts together for its frame, make the rubber molds for its tires, or sew the upholstery onto its seats, but it is mine. I have a gold chain necklace with a yellow quartz pendant dangling at the end of it. I did not go pan handling for the gold and I didn’t take a pickaxe to rocks in a quarry to find the stone, but it’s mine. My dear friends have two beautiful daughters from Ghana, West Africa. These beautiful children do not have the same DNA as my friends, but my friends have said before God, the courts and in their hearts that they are these lovely darlings’ parents.
Funny; the concept of ownership is more readily acceptable when it comes to some things, but then there’s this other side of the coin that I notice people choosing to flip to that’s got me buggin’. “It’s not MY problem” … “It’s not MY fault,” I’ve heard said – as if that has anything to do with ownership. Here’s the thing: Just because you didn’t create it, doesn’t mean it’s not yours. Just by being a part of the human race, we enter into a realm of consciousness from birth that beckons us to be connected to something other than just ourselves. Shunning that truth of connectedness is counter-intuitive to how we are made. Life is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ experience by nature. Even this article could not be on your screen at this very moment had someone (rather, a relatively large group of someones) not made it possible, from the Paper Saint editors to the web coders, to the folks who dreamed up the internet in the first place. Each person owned their part in making something happen, for the good of something bigger than themselves.
Let it also be noted that ownership should not be about dominance. It’s not about being overbearing to a person or a thing or about an issue. Ownership should never be an act of arrogance, but an act of compassion and generosity – not an abuse of power. With ownership comes responsibility to use this power wisely and be accountable for our actions therein. The most beloved leaders, teachers and parents are ones who do not abuse their power, but use it to create something good.
Think about what you own. Think about what you don’t. Are there some things that you don’t own that maybe … just maybe … you should?
I did not come from Latin American roots, but I make a mean turkey mushroom tostada! With this recipe, you may want to use a different type of meat than I do, or none at all (it’s your prerogative). The flavor profile will work with any protein or vegetable you choose to use. Just own it and you’ll be good…
Serves 5 (2 each)
- Safflower or grape seed oil for frying
- 11* small soft white corn tortillas (the ones that take up just about the circumference of an average hand)
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1/8 tsp red pepper/chili flakes
- 1-2 lbs ground turkey (or protein of choice)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 2+ tsp salt (depending on amount of protein. More for beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Less for shrimp or beans. Start with less; you can always add more)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for fun)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbs salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
- 1-2 bell peppers, sliced or diced
- 1 can (16 oz) black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- One can of corn, rinsed and drained
- A quarter of a head of red or white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of radishes, thinly sliced
- Condiments of choice (salsa, cheese, scallions, etc)
- Cilantro for garnish
*One extra tortilla will be your tester tortilla to assess if your oil is the right temp. It’ll probably end up looking ugly, just like the first pancake of the batch!
Preheat your oven to 250° and place a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or dry paper towels inside of it, making sure the paper does not touch the grates.
Pour the oil for frying into a large, heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Set the knob between medium and medium-high. Using tongs, gently place your tester tortilla into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy; about 1 minute each side. Transfer each fried tortilla onto the sheet tray in the warm oven as you go along. You may come to need less frying time per tortilla the more you do. Keep a close eye on them and remember that the tortillas will continue to naturally brown a little even once taken out of the oil, so don’t over-fry.
Transfer the used frying oil into a glass container through a sieve to eliminate impurities and reserve the strained oil. Pour 3 tablespoons of the strained oil back into the empty pot and turn onto medium-high. Place shallot, onion and red pepper flakes into the pot and sauté until onion is soft. Add the ground turkey (or protein of your choice), smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Brown the protein well. Set aside in a bowl in the warm oven.
In the same now empty pot, add butter and garlic, stirring frequently on medium heat until butter is bubbly and garlic is slightly softened. Set burner to medium-high heat, then add mushrooms to the pan and spread out and let sit untouched for at least 1 full minute so that a crust begins to form on the mushrooms. Stir gently and let sit for at least another full minute. Add the mixture to bowl of the protein in the oven (unless it is shrimp; then set aside so that the hot mushrooms do not additionally cook the shrimp). Add bell peppers to the empty pot and sauté. In small pot combine beans and corn and warm through.
Assemble tostadas by topping them with the ingredients any way you wish (just own it). I finish mine with a quick avocado crema and garnish with cilantro and life is perfect.
Avocado Crema Recipe-
- One avocado
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- A pinch of salt and pepper (more or less to taste)
Place all ingredients for the Crema in a blender and blend until it has the consistency of honey (easy to drizzle). If not easy to drizzle off of a spoon, add more almond milk by teaspoonfuls until desired consistency.
“Rusty Cage” by Johnny Cash
Enough is enough. There’s a fire in my bones that ignites me to live out loud and Love Out Loud. I want to be uninhibited and have the inner gumption to run, not walk, to a better tomorrow.