The evening began with some Margaritas (some effort required to open the cocktail shaker, thank goodness for knife steels) which were delicious. 1.75 parts Tequila, 1 part Cointreau and 0.75 part freshly squeezed lime juice. Shaken with ice, and as is ritual, a squeeze of lime around the rim of the glass and a salt trim to garnish. There is a great cocktail app called Cocktail Flow, which I will be using a lot more from now on. We also drank rather a lot of Sol beer...
Doritos with homemade salsa, gualamole, and hummus (not homemade).
Salsa recipe: this is a recipe my sister gave me years ago and I always use it - it never fails. A simple one, yes, but it works. You can make it as spicy - or not - as you wish.
4 spring onions
125 g ripe (cherry) tomatoes, chopped or diced
1 medium-hot fresh green chilli, chopped
2 tbsp tomato passata
2 garlic cloves, chopped
lemon juice, to taste
handful of chopped fresh coriander
Combine all the ingredients together.
Blitz for a smoother salsa if you wish.
Guacamole recipe: this recipe is taken from my fab'n'easy Bite-sized Mexican book. Again, always a winner.
2 large ripe avocados
3 tbsp lime juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
40 g spring onions, chopped
1-2 tbsp green chillies, chopped
rind of lime, to garnish
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits (save them for later to stop the guacamole going brown - it really works!). Scoop out the flesh into a bowl or mixer and add the lime juice.
Add the garlic, spring onions and chillies and season to taste.
Blitz if you like a smooth guacamole, but mashing is just fine. Replace the pit and cover and refrigerate for about an hour before use.
Garnish with lime rind and/or paprika
Shrimps al mojo de ajo with arbol chilli sauce.
This dish was recommended by A Mexican Cook in Éire, via Twitter, when I asked for a starter recommendation. My friend told me she doesn't usually eat prawns or any shellfish, but she ate these up with no qualms at all! The sauce is from Wahaca and is hot and smoky - two out of four of us couldn't actually eat it! (I was not one of those, obviously...)
I googled the recipe and collated the best bits to get my own version. Fresh raw prawns are best, as my non-prawn-eating friend will testify - she ate them all!
300-350 g raw King prawns
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, sliced
fresh coriander, chopped
Wahaca arbol chilli sauce
Heat the butter over a medium heat in a frying pan. Once melted, add the garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the prawns and season. Cover the pan and cook until the prawns turn pink. Stir gently and turn off the heat.
Serve the prawns, drizzled with the butter it was cooked in, and scattered with fresh coriander. Dot the chilli sauce around the edge of the plate.
Served with homemade salsa, guacamole and soured cream.
400 g chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp oregano
grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange
juice 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp sunflower oil
30 g fresh coriander, chopped
2 green peppers, sliced thinly
2 onions, sliced
8 flour tortillas
salt and pepper
fresh coriander, to garnish
In a bowl, combine the chicken strips, garlic, cumin, chilli, paprika, oregano, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, 1 tbsp oil and 3 tbsp coriander.
Mix well to coat the chicken and leave to marinade for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have time.
Fry the peppers and onions in the frying pan for 8-10 minutes, then set aside.
Stir fry the chicken in its marinade, until cooked 6-8 minutes. Mix the peppers back in, sprinkle with fresh coriander, then serve in a skillet or large bowl, with the heated tortillas, soured cream, guacamole and salsa.
My friend brought dessert. She claims to be not much of a cook/baker, but she's awesome at design! Look how beautifully she prepared it, to match, no, to out-do, the food styled trifle on the box!