The Fireball Burrito/Lakefront Brewing El Wisco/Fireball Ministry “Remember the Story”
Chalk up another “theme” pairing for this evening. We can’t take full credit for the name of the burrito though. When we knew we were going to be cranking up the new Fireball Ministry LP we also knew we wanted to make a killer burrito and name it after the band. The Google revealed that The Fireball Burrito exists, well existED, in a small Wisconsin town years ago. It was actually a food challenge where the participant needed to finish the Fireball Burrito which was filled with chicken, habanero salsa, cheese and red enchilada sauce then topped with three habanero pepper rings. We kept our version the same by marrying marinated and grilled chicken with a fresh grilled habanero salsa tucked inside a large flour tortilla with a bunch of cheese and red enchilada sauce. We also kept the requisite trio of habanero rings on top. We know you’re asking the question in your head and no, no we did not eat the habanero rings. The only challenge we were up for was to create and eat a delicious dinner, not win ourselves a Stoner Rock BBQ shirt for eating the whole thing. We went a little more traditional with the beer pairing going with Lakefront Brewing’s Mexican lager, El Wisco. As mentioned earlier, the latest release from L.A.’s Fireball Ministry “Remember the Story” was turned up nice and loud.
The Fireball Burrito – We know most burritos are so full of ingredients that they become the size of an overinflated football and are almost impossible to wrap let alone eat. The beauty of this burrito lies in its simplicity (and insane heat). We start off by marinating about some chicken thighs in a can of green enchilada sauce and a couple of tablespoons of La Curandera. Let sit for about 4 hours at least or preferably overnight.
As the thighs are doing their thing in the fridge we can move to the habanero salsa. This too, if you can make it a day ahead, all the better. We place a grill pan over medium/hot coals on the grill then toss in 2 habaneros, a pint of grape tomatoes, 1/2 of a red onion and three peeled garlic cloves. Toss over high heat for about 5-7 minutes until charred in places all over.
Remove from heat and place directly into the blender with a small can of crushed tomatoes and a small handful of cilantro. Puree until combined but chunky, cover and place in fridge.
Let’s fast forward to cooking day when we start back at the grill to tackle the chicken. The thighs go down over medium heat turning every few minutes to avoid flare-ups and to char all sides evenly. Once the sides are charred, we move the chicken to the cool side, cover and let the interiors cook through.
Once the chicken is cooked through, we throw a rough chop on it before tossing it into a pot of simmering red enchilada sauce.
There you have it, let’s get to rolling. Using an obscenely large burrito joint-style tortilla we start with a mound of chihuahua cheese going down in a line about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of the tortilla. A couple huge scoops of chicken go right on top of the cheese.
Next up is a ladle of the salsa right over the chicken…
To roll, we flip from the bottom of the tortilla over the filling and press down into the filling so it spreads out. Fold in the sides then continue rolling from the bottom to the top.
The burritos take a quick spin on the griddle to char up the outside a bit but still keeping the tortilla pliable and chewy. Garnish with habanero if you dare…
So simple for a burrito; 4 ingredients is all this one needs to take your tastebuds to another level. It’s hot, there is no denying that, but it’s also immensely flavorful and delicious.
Lakefront Brewing El Wisco – It’s north of the border for the beer choice this evening. Milwaukee to be exact. El Wisco is Lakefront Brewing’s take on a Mexican Lager. The beer pours more amber than most Mexican lagers with less of a head as well. That richer color translates into the aroma area as a bounty of malt hits the nose first unlike the normally acidic/skunky yeast of your typical commercial Mexican lagers. As expected, the results in the taste lean more toward a brown ale mixed with a cream ale. It’s got a pretty solid body for a lager and a mouthfeel that has some heft to it. All that to say it wasn’t too heavy and did the job we hoped it would for this super spicy burritos.
Fireball Ministry “Remember the Story” – Let’s start with a bold statement. There are no bad Fireball Ministry songs. Period. Six albums deep and a slew of amazing covers that the band has done for compilation albums over the years but the heart of rock and roll continues to beat loud and proud on every single track. The formula is often imitated, seldom duplicated; a signature guitar tone, signature vocals, locked in groove, killer riffs and melodic hooks. Fireball Ministry has it all, every time, all the time. So on their new album “Remember The Story” the stakes are high but the band is all in. The opening track “End of the Truth” takes the “Hells Bells” riff and slows it down to work in this musically sludgy, vocally upbeat and melodic tune. It’s a slow churning head banger to be sure, but also a great sunny day road tune as well. “Everything You Wanted” starts off much the same way as a slow to mid-tempo rocker and this one’s got some great harmonizing on vocals too. The liberal cow bell use and huge, bombastic riff sets the time clock back a couple of decades on “Back on Earth”. The pace is faster but the chorus is just as catchy as anything the band has done. One of the best tracks on the album is “The Answer”. It’s a darker tune thanks to the down tuned riff, but slams insanely hard. “Dying to Win” is a huge song with drums that sound like they are being played by a pair of anvils as the backbone of the song. The best track on the album is the desert rock perfection of “Weaver’s Dawn” that weaves together Fu Manchu with early QOTSA flawlessly. The title track is a blues-soaked mid-tempo track with an undeniable swagger to it. “All For Naught” is yet another outstanding track that headbangs along nicely even with the jazz-influenced drumming going on, taking a page out of the CoC playbook. The album closes with “I Don’t Believe a Word” which is about as close as the band has come to releasing a ballad to date. It’s got that twangy outlaw rock sound mixed with the early 90’s alt-rock feel that builds into a sound that resembles the slower material from Ozzy’s early solo years. It’s complex, deep, dark and honestly beautiful song and a perfect swan song to an awesome album.