Happy Cinco de Mayo

In Home and Entertaining, Sabrina Newell by Lola Magazine

I’m beyond excited for springtime this year.  I think that I probably feel that way every single year, but with the winter that we’ve had and of course all of the virus restrictions, I’m really hoping for some good-ole spring renewal. Once the weather warms up to a comfortable level, one of our favorite things to do is to enjoy evenings on our patio. We love to sit outside with our favorite music and the sound of the fountain in the background and enjoy a springtime dinner al fresco. There really is nothing better. It’s especially great if the cocktail we enjoy for the evening is a Pineapple Mango Mezcal Margarita and the dinner is a few of my favorite Tex-Mex specialties.

Along with a tasty margarita, I love to whip up some super tasty Tex-Mex food for a quick and easy dinner. A few of my favorite recipes to share are my Shrimp, Chorizo, & Sweet Potato Taquitos and my Tomatillo, Chile, & Garlic Guacamole. Both of these recipes are great for a light dinner under the evening sunset. The best part is that everything can be made ahead of time for quick and easy preparation.

This margarita really gives me all of the warm weather feelings. It’s made with one of my favorite spirits, Mezcal, that has been infused with dried mango. This allows the cocktail to have all of the mango flavor without too much juice, leaving it perfectly balanced. It’s also an added sweetener. I added pineapple juice and a little Ancho Reyes Verde liqueur for a hint of spice to stay with my Tex-Mex theme. This liqueur is perfect if you want just a touch of spice without a raw pepper burn.  (One of the best things is about being your own bartender in your home is that if you aren’t a fan of spice, then leave it out or add more if you want it spicier. Make sure to do the same with simple syrup if you want the cocktail a little bit sweeter.

No Tex-Mex dinner on the patio is complete without a bite of taco and some guacamole. These dishes can be made for either a great dinner or as appetizers if you are entertaining for a small crowd.

Pineapple Mango Mezcal Margarita

Serves 1

1 ounce pineapple juice

2 ounces mango infused Mezcal

½ ounce Ancho Reyes Verde liqueur

¾  ounce Grand Marnier

1 ounce lime juice

GARNISH: Pineapple slice and chili lime salt

Using a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the pineapple juice, mango infused Mezcal, Ancho Reyes Verde liqueur, Grand Marnier, and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a margarita glass rimmed with chili lime salt. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

mango infused Mezcal:

2 cups Mezcal

¼ cup dried mango slices

Place the Mezcal into a jar and add the mango slices. Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 days, until infused to your taste. Strain and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.

Shrimp, Chorizo, & Sweet Potato Taquitos

Serves 4

3 teaspoons olive oil + more for brushing on the taquitos

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 red onion, diced

1 poblano pepper, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ pound chorizo, cooked and crumbled

2/3 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of chipotle chilies in adobo paste

12 corn tortillas

¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

¼ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Serve with pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the sweet potato, stirring frequently, until it starts to soften. About 8-10 minutes. (Reduce the heat if the sweet potato starts to brown too fast.) Once the sweet potato softens, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and add the red onion and poblano pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat until the onion and pepper start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Be careful no to burn the garlic. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside.

Next, add the chorizo to a pan over medium heat and cook until done and crumbled. Set aside and drain on paper towels.

Lastly, add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to a pan and add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and add the chipotle chilies in adobo paste. Stir well to combine and cook over medium heat until the shrimp are cooked through and no longer transparent.

Add the shrimp, chorizo, and vegetables to a bowl and stir to combine

Heat the tortillas on the stove over low heat to warm and then lie flat on a baking sheet (Heating the tortillas will keep them from breaking). Add a small amount of the cheeses and the shrimp/chorizo mixture. Top with more cheese. Roll together and turn over, seam side down. Repeat with all of the tortillas.

Brush the tortillas lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the taquitos are crispy and the cheese is bubbling.

Serve with guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, and sour cream.

Tomatillo, Chile, & Garlic Guacamole

4 tomatillos, roasted and diced

½ poblano pepper, roasted and diced

½ jalapeño pepper, roasted and diced

6 cloves garlic, roasted

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (4 oz.) can chopped fire roasted green chilies

2 avocados

½ teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Pinch of sugar

Garnish: pico de gallo and lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Place the tomatillos, poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 10-15 minutes. (You will need to remove the garlic before the other vegetables.) Once the vegetables are roasted and browned, remove them from the oven and allow to cool until they are easy to touch. Peel the vegetable skins. Remove the seeds and chop the peppers. Chop the tomatillos. Smash the roasted garlic.

Place the roasted vegetables, fire roasted green chilies, avocados, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine, mashing the avocado. Garnish with pico de gallo and lime wedges. Refrigerate until ready to serve.