Before I left, I had finished listening to another novel by James Hankins, The Inside Dark. It is the story of a serial killer with typical Hankins twists and turns.
When I first started listening to this novel I thought I had the twist all figured out. I was kind of disappointed and wondered if Hankins had become to predictable to me. Not to worry, there were more red herrings in this novel than that first that he threw our way.
As with all of Hankins' novels there is no clear delineation of good and bad. Oh, the serial killer is pure evil of course but the other characters are a blend of inside light and inside dark. There is always a lot of gray in Hankins' writing which makes it very believable even when unbelievable things are happening.
This book will haunt you though. You know how you can never see a flock of birds without thinking of the Hitchcock movie? Or a clown without thinking of the King novel? Should you read this book you will never be able to hear the tune "Take me out to the ballgame" without shuddering as you remember this book.
If you enjoy Hankins you will not be disappointed. If you have never read Hankins but enjoy King and Koontz, you will like Hankins as well.
Since it is Taco Tuesday, I wanted to share a TexMex recipe that I made in my Instant Pot. If you don't have an instant pot, this recipe can be made in a slow cooker.....just not instantly ☺
I adapted this recipe from the booklet that came with the Instant Pot. I used an English Cut Pot Roast. You can use any kind of pot roast, including a rump roast, cut into chunks or even stewing meat could be used.
I am constantly amazed at how deliciously tender meat becomes in such a short time using the pressure setting on the Instant Pot. Cuts that before now, I had only been able to make by planning ahead and using the crockpot or braising for hours in the oven can be put together in a little over an hour.
The meat easily shreds with a fork. Remove any fat or gristle and you have a gorgeous pile of meat that can be used immediately or saved for another day.
There was enough meat for 6 large burritos. I made enough for us to have dinner one night and saved the rest for lunch the following day.
Once the beef is cooked and shredded, it is merely a matter of stuffing and folding the tortillas, spooning some of the cooking sauce (or fresh enchilada sauce, if you prefer) over the burritos, sprinkling with cheese and placing them under the broiler for a few minutes.
While the Instant Pot was doing all the work, I made up some Spanish Rice and heated a can of refried beans while Frank made us up some of his Fantastic Margaritas.
Dinner was on the table in an hour and a half, less time than it would have taken us to drive to a restaurant, get seated and be served and at a fraction of the cost. Of course, if I'm winning big as you are reading this then the only thing that would inspire me to make these burritos at home rather than going out to eat would be how amazingly delicious they were!!
Chile Colorado Burritos
adapted from the Instant Pot recipe booklet
1 English Cut Pot Roast, Bones and fat removed, Cut into quarters
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T. canola oil1 c. enchilada sauce
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 c. water
6 large tortillas
2 c. shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Heat oil in Instant Pot on sauté setting. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering add the beef to the pot and sear on both sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the enchilada sauce, bouillon and water to the pot. Change the setting to pressure cooker and set the timer for 30 minutes. When time is up allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, followed by quick release until valve drops.
Remove the beef from the pressure cooker to a cutting board. Shred the beef with a fork, removing and discarding any gristle or fat.
Divide the meat between the tortillas, placing the meat in the center of each tortilla. Fold, as you would an envelope and place the burritos, seam side down, into a baking pan that has been lined with foil. Ladle some of the cooking liquid over the burritos and sprinkle the cheese over all.
Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and serve immediately. Print Recipe