by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff

Special Teams. All San Diego needs is special teams the conventional wisdom goes. They couldn’t possibly lose so many games on Special Teams this year. Right? In their first game they didn’t even have a kicker, and allowed a kickoff return TD despite the Sheriff’s new kicker isn’t allowed to kick rule. But they won, so problem solved.

At least their beer and food is good.

What to eat?

The San Diego Style Burrito is a simplified version of the well known roll of awesomeness. Carne Asada, salsa and guacamole wrapped in a tortilla. Add french fries and cheese and you have it’s cousin the California Burrito. Basically it’s the San Diego specialty Carne Asada Fries wrapped in a tortilla.

Carne Asada
Yes, you can buy premarinated carne asada, but it’s easy to make yourself.

2 lbs steak, either flank or skirt, may be labelled as “Fajita steak”
1 onion, sliced
1 lemon, quartered and squeezed
1 lime, quartered and squeezed
salt, teaspoon

Slice the steak in 1/4″ strips on the bias, turn the knife 45 degrees to the grain and cut the slices at about a 30 degree angle up and down. Do you have to be that precise? No, of course not. But doing so means you’re doing the work of cutting through what can be tough muscle fibers with your knife and not with your teeth later on when eating the burrito.

It is easiest to cut a steak in this manner when it is very cold, put it in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes before you slice.

Combine all ingredients, yes including the citrus not just the juice, and marinate for at least 30 minutes, 2 hours would be better. You don’t want to go much longer as the acids from the lemon and lime will cook the steak.

Salsa, some call it Pico de Gallo

2 tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 lime, juiced
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch oregano, dry
1 pinch chipotle powder
1 pinch cumin

Dice the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno. Add the citrus juice and spices and refrigerate. You can do this up to a day before.

Guacamole aka the mole from the avocado

2 avocados, large
1/4 cup salsa, you did make that salsa right?
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 lime, juiced

Halve the avocados and scoop out the green stuff. Combine with the other ingredients by mashing with a fork until smooth.

Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, when covered tightly with SaranWrap – pressed tightly into the guacamole to eliminate all air in the bowl.

You may notice you’ve used 1 full lemon but only 1/2 a lime in making the salsa and guacamole. You must save the extra 1/2 lime in case Pete King wanders by looking for a citrusy beer. Add it to a Natty Ice and then read Monday Morning Quarterback to hear about this great new microbrew the LimeyIce.

Carne Asada Burritos

Carne Asada
Large tortilla

Add for California style

French fries
Shredded cheese, Mexican or Taco Blend

Wrap the tortillas in foil and place over indirect heat on a medium grill (350 degrees). They’ll take 10 minutes or so to heat up and become pliable.

Cook the steak over direct heat, watch closely as the thin strips will cook quickly.

Now assemble the burritos using the toppings made above.

Will make 8 good sized burritos.

What to drink?

There are close to two dozen breweries in the San Diego area. It is a region that introduced and perfected hoppy beer styles.

In short San Diego is populated by brewers with a far better record than their loser football team.

This week we’ll focus on one of the oldest San Diego brewers: Ballast Point. They deliver the expected West Coast style IPAs from a San Diegan brewer but have a few non IPA offerings as well.

Ballast Point was founded by a pair of homebrewers who also found time to fish. Explaining why all of the beers are named after fish. Lets start with the IPAs.

Big Eye IPA, yes OK it is citrusy, why do I feel like I cant’s use the descriptor any longer.

Sculpin IPA, I prefer it to Big Eye, similar beers if you only look at the stats but quite different. However this also has some notes of the fruit produced by a tree that bears fruit in the citric genre.

OK, they’re both 7% ABV India Pale Ales. The Big Eye goes more towards grapefruit and piney resin. The Sculpin is also 7%, but more of a lemon and tropical fruit flavor.

Yes in San Diego a 7% IPA is only a regular not a double.

That doesn’t stop Ballast Point from making a Double IPA, as you’d see with Dorado Double IPA. Dorado is a rarity, it’s 10% ABV and extremely hoppy.

Slightly smaller than these is the Calico Amber Ale. At 5.5% ABV this is Ballast Point’s equivalent to the British Extra Special Bitter. Although Calico isn’t as big as some it’s still a West Coast style Amber being over 5% ABV with a strong American hop presence.

Sea Monster Imperial Stout is the scariest of the bunch. I think they put a sports radio host on the label but sources assure me it’s a gresh that lives below the sunlight zone. Fish! I meant fish. Strong, roasty Imperial Stout and on the hoppy side for the style, which is to say really really hoppy.

Ballast Point makes other beers including a Wheat and a Porter, but the ones listed above are the ones I’ve seen locally.