Drinks and Dinner - Mexican Style

With apologies to Rick Bayless and others who prepare authentic Mexican cuisine, I'm going to use tonight's dinner to kick off a new feature. Call it...

Drinks and Dinner?

This is a riff on an old recipe I once cut out of some magazine. When I pulled it out tonight, I realized, I liked the idea of the recipe more than the actual recipe. So, I made my own meal of it.

You may have offered a cocktail post or recipe or news in the Virtual Lounge. My Facebook page I put up as salve for my wounds when I couldn't make it to Tales of the Cocktail. Come by the lounge to see what folks have shared. Killer recipe from ChezUs for the classic Papa Doble, the drink of Hemingway lore. Lauren Clark's video from the Athaneum. Know what Red Rot is? Don't you just love a story with your drinks?

The Cocktail Hour

Years ago, I used to go to Martha's Vineyard with friends each summer. After a day at the beach, we'd return home, and begin showers, drinks and apps. Another couple of us would start dinner. I loved the sunset drinks on the deck, martinis and my olive tapenade. This beautiful photo and recipe on MattBites, Green Goddess a la Mateo. Green Goddess, goodness! Remember how delicious this old recipe is?

Of course, Matt, being Matt, makes it his way. Adding a little Mexican Crema. So, I prepped some crudité and brought out my Green Goddess ingredients. I didn't have Mexican Crema but I do have good homemade mayonnaise. I have tarragon, anchovy paste (because me, being me, had to do my own thing, too) parsley, scallions... mm.

Spiced Rubbed Mexican Chicken and Corn, Bean Casserole with Tabasco Watermelon Margaritas

For the Chicken: (four skin on chicken thighs)

Make a spice paste:

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • cayenne to taste
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce from canned chipotles
  • 2 tsp minced cilantro
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp each oil and lime juice
  • S&P

Make spice paste and rub all over chicken. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. Bring out of frig to warm to room temp an hour before serving. Place on oiled grill pan or roasting pan. Grill or bake at 375 until nearly done. Remove from oven, reduce oven temp. to 300. 

Prep veggies:

  • 2 C Fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 C each Red & green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 C Black beans soaked overnight and cooked to nearly done
  • 1/2 C  Red onion
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C water or chicken stock 
  • fresh or dried oregano
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper (packed in adobo) minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

In oven safe saute pan, saute pepper and onion in light oil, to soften, add beans, corn, garlic. S&P, oregano, cumin. Place chicken over vegetables, shred a little Monterey Jack over the casserole, place in oven to melt cheese. Squeeze lime over all and serve.


Tabasco Watermelon Margarita

For the first time in the brand’s storied 140-year history, the McIlhenny family has licensed Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce in the distilled spirits category. Tabasco brand Spicy Tequila is the result of the blending of premium tequila and the iconic pepper sauce. Founded in 1934, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. (www.heaven-hill.com) is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned marketer and producer of distilled spirits products. These two products, tequila and Tabasco are a natural complement. 

This evening I buzzed up watermelon, agave syrup, fresh lime juice and Tabasco Tequila. The spicy Tequila was tantalizing with the sweet watermelon.



I've also tried the Tabasco Tequila in my Sangrita Tomatoes, and in a barbecue sauce for pork tenderloin. It's the fun Tequila, the Friday night Tequila, the with food Tequila. Ribs, barbecue, Bloody Marys. Spice it up!