Bo and I hosted a party Saturday night to celebrate his 20 years in the US. His food choice: Mexican!
We started the evening with chips, salsa and guacamole, and a shrimp cocktail with a smoky sauce. After drinks, snacks and lots of visiting, we moved on to dinner.
While Bo grilled the flank steak, I heated up the side dishes. Corn tortillas, cilantro and jalapeños were set out to go with the steak while Drunken Beans from Moosewood, Spicy Slaw from Rick Bayless and a white rice rounded out the dinner. I have to admit, my plan to photograph the dinner before we ate it was forgotten with the flurry of activity, so you will have to use your imagination with read the recipes to virtually taste everything!
The beans are a favorite of mine, and did not disappoint this time either. The slaw was quite spicy, so the guests were split on the heat factor. (Me, I love spicy food). It was very good, however, when placed in a taco!
Rounding out the evening was, again, Died and Went to Heaven Cake, with glasses of bubbly champagne to toast Bo – altho I have to admit, I feel we were really toasting MY good fortune that he chose the United States as his home.
Drunken Beans (Adapted from Moosewood New Classics)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 ounces amber beer
2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed
1 cups cooked pinto beans (15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1 cups canned tomatoes with juice, chopped (14.5-ounce can) NOTE: I dont care for the 1:1 ratio of beans to tomatoes, as I like the beans to be the star, so I add all the juice from the can with half of the tomatoes.
2-3 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce NOTE: I chop one canned chipotle pepper and add a tiny bit of the sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Heat the oil in an 8- or 9- inch frying pan. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and saute on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Dust the onions with the cumin and continue to cook stirring continuously, for another minute or two.
Stir in the beer, brown sugar, pinto beans, tomatoes, adobo sauce, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and the alcohol to mellow. Stir occasionally.
Ladle into small bowls and serve.
Spicy Slaw (Adapted from Rick Bayless)
1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded, about 6 cups
1 cup shredded red cabbage
½ of a small white onion, chopped and rinsed
1 cup roasted corn (I roasted the kernels in a dry frying pan)
½ cup chopped cilantro
2/3-1 cup mayonnaise
1 T cider vinegar
2-4 T hot sauce NOTE: I used Hector's Chocolate Habenero sauce from Chorizo, a favorite restaurant of ours in Asheville NC. I only used 1T, as this sauce is potent!
Salt to taste
Mix all vegetables in a large bowl. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and hot sauce. Start by adding 1/3 of the dressing, sit for 15-30 minutes then taste, adding as much dressing as you want. I only ended up using ½ of the dressing recipe.
Smoky Grilled Tomato Cocktail Sauce (Adapted from Bobby Flay)
6 plum tomatoes or 4 beefsteak tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1 chipotle in adobo or 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
3 heaping tablespoons prepared horseradish
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
Chopped cilantro leaves
Grilled large shrimp
Heat grill to high.
Brush tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred and soft. Place tomatoes, honey, chipotle, horseradish, Worcestershire, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil in food processor and process until slightly smooth. Serve with shrimp.