last last thursday was cinco de mayo and since we do not drink on school nights (very grown up of us i know) we saved our celebration for saturday night. i love meal planning and the more ethnic the better & the wackier the day - icing on the cake.
not many people celebrate cinco de mayo out here in la belle provence but then again i'm not many people. having a foodie mum & dad, loving mexican food and having mexican exchange student live with us throughout my teenage years, us celebrating this does not come as a surprise.
|notice the kids hamburgers - the mexican theme did not do it for them. tragic i know.|
i ended up choosing a simple but complex flavour meal, - still with me? - everything had many components but the taste was clean and refreshing.
to drink - watermelon mojitos. don't they just sound exotic? the husband thought so too but they ended up being more my thing than his.
for dinner we had chicken soft tacos. so good!!! there really hasn't been a soft taco that i haven't fallen for when introduced. i ended up marinating 4 chicken breast's (wish i had pounded it a little flatter - thoughts for next time and there will be a next time!) in heaps of freshly squeeze lime juice & minced garlic with chopped cilantro (i actually took scissors and just cut it over top). i had ended up squeezing about 5 limes and minced about 6 garlic cloves. don't forget to salt and pepper as well! most common mistake in cooking is forgetting those two superheroes - they are your greatest sidekicks in the kitchen. i just let that sit around on the counter while i prepared everything else and the grill got hot - you can prepare this earlier in the day and place in the fridge if you would like, i wouldn't let them go longer than 3 hours as lime juice has the power to cook food. throw them on the grill and cook till done. let them rest off the grill covered with foil for 10 minutes and then slice on the diagonal and serve them up! serve with warm flour or corn tortillas. now the fun part - toppings! this is where your imagination can run wild! i went with more lime juice for squeezing, salsa, hot sauce, lime cilantro sour cream, hot peppers, chopped cilantro, chopped seeded tomatoes and shredded romaine. pass the plates and let your guests build there own!
then the sides came out - game over! we had a watermelon feta salad and a salsa salad. yum and yum.
we ended up being able to sit out long enough to get the effect of the candle light and actually enjoy the evening outside. pretty good saturday if you ask me.
watermelon mojitos adapted from the barefoot contessa
when i first spied this recipe on her back to basic series my mouth was salavating. i change a few things to make this more enjoyable to our palate. it was a little too sweet and strong to me at first.
first you take 30 leaves of fresh mint (hook #1) add it to a mortar & pestle (very important) and crush it up to release the oils - take a moment and breath it in. add big chunks of cubed watermelon (no rind) to your glorious food processor and puree (add a little extra - i'll fill you in in a bit about that later). add your mint to your decorative pitcher. add 1 1/2 cups of white rum (hook #2). add 2 cups of your watermelon puree (keep the rest close by) and add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup simple syrup (taste first at 1/4 cup). now put in 6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice (hook #3). stir. pour 3/4 the way into a tall glass and fill the rest in with soda water. garnish with watermelon spears.
simple syrup: place one cup of water and one cup of white sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. remove from heat and let cool. voila!
drinks for your junior diners: take the reserved watermelon puree place half way in a glass with some ice cubes and then top off with soda water. add a squeeze of lime & don't forget the decorative straw!!! yum!
watermelon feta saladthis is so easy and so bright & refreshing.
cube up your watermelon - however much you want. squeeze fresh limes over top and toss. add your cubed feta. allow to sit for at least 30 mins for all the flavours to meld.
salsa salad stolen from my friend corrinedice up some red peppers, seeded tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, (i also added corn this time - cut off the cob), you can also add some black beans - cover the whole thing in fresh squeezed lime juice (there seems to be a theme here)
lime cilantro sour cream.so easy and a really cool way to jazz up sour cream. place as much as you want of the sour cream in a bowl and squeeze fresh lime juice all over and add cilantro. keep adding and tasting till it's how you want it. simple! and adds just the right touch. you can add some diced jalapeno to it as well.