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Grilling is the hallmark of outdoor dining enjoyment. Just about anything can be grilled and what better way to spend the warm days of summer with friends for some fresh tacos and a few laughs. Far from complicated, tacos are easy and quick so you can enjoy the evening reminiscing, enlivening the night with hilarious stories your friends won’t soon forget.

In this post I have included a few recipes for salsas that make these tacos delicious. If you have never heard of chismol, [pronounced “chimol”] it is a Honduran salsa of tomato, onion and bell pepper. This condiment will produce a tasty liqueur that is very fresh and pleasing to the palate.

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Recipe

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thigh

½ -7 ounce can chipotles in adobo sauce, sauce only

1/4 cup safflower oil

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ Tablespoons fresh oregano, minced

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

  1. In a mortar, grind up garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, black pepper and sea salt.
  2. Combine with the remaining ingredients and coat chicken. Marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Heat grill on medium-high and grill chicken pieces 4-6 minutes per side or until juices run clear.
  4. Allow chicken to rest off the grill for 5 minutes before cutting up.

This recipe is great as is, however, if you wanted to increase the heat, just add some of the chipotles to your liking. I wanted the lick of the flame to add flavor and not be masked by too much seasonings, especially salt.

Fire Roasted Poblano Corn Salsa Recipe

2 large ears of corn

1 large poblano pepper

Juice of 1 lime [approximately ¼ cup]

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

3 Tablespoon red onion, finely diced

2 Tablespoons jalapeno, finely diced

½ teaspoon sea salt

  1. Grill corn until cooked and has lots of grill marks. Set aside.
  2. Place poblano on the grill and char the skin until blackened. Place in a paper bag for 5 minutes to loosen skin.
  3. Cut poblano pepper in half and remove pit, seeds and stem. Scrape skin with a knife to remove.
  4. Dice Pepper and cut corn off the cob.
  5. Combine with remaining ingredients.

Chismol Recipe

4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

Juice of 1 lime [approximately ¼ cup]

3 Tablespoons red bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Combine all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl and allow to macerate for 30 minutes.

*note: to seed tomatoes, cut off the tops and bottoms. Cut each tomato in half and with the knife cut out the seed cavity, discard and chop the tomatoes.

Taco Fixings

12 white corn tortillas

½ head of lettuce, finely shredded

Basmati rice & beans

Sour cream

For everything to come together at the right moment, prepare the fixings and salsas first, then grill the chicken and the tortillas just before serving and enjoy the good company. The perfect beverage is of course mojitos.

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Years ago after moving into this home it seemed that the large stone terrace garden and other open spaces on the grounds were perfect for summer entertaining, sharing cocktails with friends and neighbors. One such year was a mojito inspired party, serving many guests, the night was a hit. I guess the chatter and excitement of the party with the unusually warm weather was the perfect combination to enjoy such a frosty and minty drink. 

As the years went by, more and more parties were held, each with their own theme and plan. I was noticing a pattern, how the party flowed and what was necessary to keep the party going. Considering the details and flow of guests is crucial to the success of such an event. You will know how much to prepare, best times to hold outdoor soirées and so on. 

Long before the party, planning was underway to determine the current year’s theme and featured drink. Guests were always welcome to bring something, but it is not necessary. One of the greatest joys for your guests is to offer them your hospitality.

To this day, with gratitude, the annual summer parties are a memorable experience for the many guests who have attended and look forward to another great evening. 

For now, the days are growing longer and temperatures are rising. Here is my classic mojito recipe and a watermelon version that has served my guest well, not to mention is an excellent thirst quencher after a long day of weeding in the garden, the perfect moment for a mojito, to refresh and relax. 

 

Classic Mojito Recipe 

2 ounces Flor de Caña silver rum

2 ounces fresh lime juice, strained

4 mint leaves

2 teaspoon sugar

2 ounces club soda 

In a 10-ounce tumbler, muddle the mint leaves with the sugar until the sugar turns light green and only flecks of mint remain. This step releases the essence of the mint that will flavor and perfume the drink. Pour in the fresh lime juice, and rum. One of my top favorite rums to use for this drink is Flor de Caña silver rum.

Add in the ice, yes, lots of ice. Fill the glass all the way to the top and finish with club soda. 

I find that beverages such as these are best made to order. Freshness is a great thing to savor. 

 

Watermelon Mojito Recipe 

2 ounces Flor de Caña silver rum

2 ounces fresh watermelon juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice, strained

4 mint leaves

1 ½ teaspoon sugar 

1 ounce club soda 

In a 10-ounce tumbler, muddle the mint leaves with the sugar until the sugar turns light green and only flecks of mint remain.  Pour in the watermelon juice, fresh lime juice, and rum.  Fill the glass all the way to the top with ice and finish with club soda.

*note: To make fresh watermelon juice, remove the rind of the watermelon and place flesh in a food processor, process until smooth. Strain through a medium size sieve and again through a fine mesh sieve. The color will depend on the variety of the fruit, so I suggest the small individual ones. They have deep red color and are sweeter in character. I shy away from using a blender as it is too hard for this purpose, much of the pulp becomes too fine and muddies the flavor. 

If you are planning an evening to entertain friends, give these recipes a try. Or, use the classic mojito recipe as a starting point to create your own unique mojito. Don’t stress the heat, have a mojito!

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