Lee MathisINSANELEE DECADENTGrand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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June 21, 2012
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FOOD: Road trip means tasty road food

Yes, Summer is officially here! This year's Summer Solstice was Wednesday, the longest day of the year.To me, besides the farmers' markets, the fairs and festivals, and the heat, summer means road trips! 'Tis the time to hit the road, check out some new places or revisit some faves from the past.Living here in western Colorado, we do have an abundance of places that you can check out, of which a lot can be done either in a day trip or one overnighter. Rifle Falls, The Lakes & Lodges of The Grand Mesa, Moab and The Arches and The Canyonlands, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the back country of the Colorado National Monument, even just a drive to the top of the Bookcliffs, all of these can be done in a day and if you have not been to these places, what's holding you back?Got a few days? How about a roadie down to Lake Powell or Lake Havasu? Maybe head up north, check out Montana and Glacier National Park?Myself... besides hitting a few of these, I have a hankering to hit the "Pepper" trail. I'm going to head down through New Mexico and just check out the flavors of our hot little friends and, of course, I will stop in Hatch, among other places. For a few months, I have been clipping reviews of places that just go over the top with peppers, and come later this summer, I'm gassing up the truck and hitting the road!So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy some of the best weather, the best vistas and views, some of the best food that our country has to offer.-----------------------Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter. We're close to 1,400 friends on Facebook and when we hit 1,500, we'll do another giveaway contest!

This one is from our friends at Roadfood.com and a road trip they made through Colorado last August. You can also check out some really tasty recipes on their site! They also have a link tab called "Eating Tours." Our "Recipe of The Week" is also from their website - a great version of Carnitas.http://www.roadfood.com/Digest/315/nocoast-roadtrip-2011-colorado-rocky-mountain-high

Carnitas means "little meat," but in Santa Fe, N.M., it is an amazing wrap served by Roque Garcia from his lunch wagon on the Plaza. Carnitas taste best when the meat and peppers are cooked over an open fire, but a hot skillet works well, too.Note that the meat needs to be marinated a minimum of 12 hours before cooking.Preparation Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 10 minutesServings: 42 tablespoons oregano 4 cloves garlic, minced1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup salad oil 1/4 cup flat beer1-1/2 pounds top round or sirloin sliced in thin strips against the grain 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin 5 fresh green chile peppers, sliced in circles, with seeds (New Mexican peppers preferred; Anaheims are acceptable)4 broad flour tortillas, warmed SALSA2 cups diced fresh tomatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced6 jalapeЦo peppers, finely chopped1 small onion, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)Combine oregano, garlic, soy sauce, oil, and beer. Marinate the beef in this mixture a minimum of 12 hours, preferably 24. At some point while the meat is marinating, make the salsa by combining the diced tomatoes, garlic, jalapeЦo peppers, chopped onion, and cilantro. Chill until ready to use. On a screen over an open fire, or in a hot, greased skillet, cook the marinated meat with the sliced onion and chile peppers 5-10 minutes, tossing almost constantly, until meat is well-browned. Use a tongs to lift a heap of the meat mixture from the grate or skillet, allowing any excess juice to drip away, and place one quarter of the mixture into a warm flour tortilla. Top with salsa, fold the tortilla over and bunch up some aluminum foil around it. Serve immediately.

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 21, 2012 11:03AM Published Jun 21, 2012 11:01AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.