MCC 2015 Food Photo Marathon #1: A “Chopped” Inspired Birthday

[Due to circumstances entirely under our control, we here at Midlife Crisis Crossover are taking a much-needed getaway for reasons that should be easy for any longtime readers to guess. Trust me when I say we’ll have plenty of new stories to share upon our return. We ask for your prayers and kind hopes that the preceding statement doesn’t turn out to be grim foreshadowing to a brutal cautionary tale.

So! While we’re retreating, recharging, renewing, rejuvenating, and restocking our production stations, please enjoy the next several daily entries’ worth of Fun Moments in Food from our past fifteen months. As a proud “nicheless” blog, MCC skips around from topic to topic depending on where all the whims lead, so if this all-foodie salute isn’t your favorite thing ever, rest assured we’ll get back to geek stuff and/or normal stuff viewed through geek lenses rather shortly. Updates as they occur. Enjoy!]

Shrimp Ceviche!

Dateline: my birthday, May 2014. My mom wanted to take us out to dinner. I picked a Mexican place in Brownsburg called Tequila Sunrise for two reasons: one, I was in the mood for it. Two: their menu items contained words we’ve never heard beyond episodes of Chopped.

Pictured above is my wife’s meal, Shrimp Ceviche. The shrimp was served cold, cured in lime juice, then mixed with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, serrano peppers, and cilantro. Served with crackers and garnished with avocado. My wife was hesitant about eating a cold-meat dish because she’s sometimes nervous about food prep safety, but this was delightfully fresh and not at all lethal.

Mole con Pollo

My meal: Mole con Pollo. From the menu description: “a blend of deep-fried Mexican peppers, almonds, peanuts, raisins, cinnamon sticks, plantain, bread, sesame seeds and dark chocolate, then smothered over a slowly-fried chicken breast, served with rice, beans tortillas. Garnished with slices of onions and avocados.”

My wife and I aren’t now, nor will we ever be, professional gourmets. Mole in this context is a sauce pronounced “mo-LAY”, not the animal, which I don’t think is served in Indiana restaurants. Everything we know about mole we learned from Chef Aaron Sanchez, who takes to task any Chopped contestant who dares to make a chocolate-based entree in less than thirty minutes and label it a “mole”. He’s taught us that mole generally has a chocolate base, a spicy kick, and a long wait because it takes hours to prepare just right. My wife’s dish was prettier, but mine had all sorts of complex savory notes that frightened, confused, and emboldened me all at once.

My mom doesn’t watch Food Network, isn’t the adventurous sort, and probably ordered tacos. The trickiest part of this meal was taking the photos without revealing to her that I’ve owned a smartphone for quite some time now. The reasons I keep it to myself are kind of a long, possibly silly story. My wife has been in on the con and helpfully distracted her while I took these two pics literally a foot away from her face. We’re not exactly the A-Team, but we do love it when a plan comes together.

2 responses

    • Thanks! My list of winning recipes is shorter than I wish it were (there was an old MCC entry that contained the best of them — I’d have to go dig it up), so this Very Special Miniseries is largely in praise of other people’s creations.

      I like to think of “nicheless” blogging (i.e, writing about whatever I want, regardless of reader response, but hoping everything resonates within that certain spirit of Me anyway) as an underrated genre that’s always been there but just needed the right label to unify it. Rarasaur came up with it first, but it absolutely fits where I’m coming from. If nicheless blogging ever gets its own Wikipedia entry, she’s owed full credit.


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