“Fiesta dinner tonite!”, read the text message on my husband’s cell phone, as he was getting down at the train station and rushing towards his car to get home.

After a long day at work and a long commute  to and from the city, I like to put a smile on his face by making his favorite foods for dinner. With a Citrus Minty Mojito, Guacamole and Smoky Chorizo Quesadillas on the menu, I turned a regular weeknight into a fiesta night!

Citrus Minty Mojito

We are in “Mojito Mood” all the time. We’ve tried making mojito several times with the simple formula using white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice, but it has been substituted by simple syrup everywhere), lime, seltzer (carbonated or sparkling water) and ofcourse mint, but it never seemed to create the magic concoction that you can get outside at a bar or a restaurant.

For my fiesta dinner, I decided to make the mojito, but there was no seltzer in the house. No problemo! I mixed in some Sprite instead and it did the magic!! Did I crack the Bartenders’ secret code?! 😉

The lemon-lime flavor of the soda adds to sweetness of the mojito and makes it crisp and even more refreshing. The strong minty and citrusy flavors from the orange and the lime mask the pontent flavor of rum. This classic cocktail definitely sets in the “fiesta” mood for any night!

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For one glass of Mojito

10 mint leaves

1 orange slice (or a quarter)

2 lime slices (or quarters)

1 peg rum (I recommend using the 10Cane Rum. This sugar cane rum is light bodied and has a little flavor of its own apart from its general sweetness that makes it a great base for this cocktail. Any other white rum might give a different effect.)

4 tbsp simple syrup (Simple Syrup formula available here)

ice

Sprite, to top it off

Put the slices of orange and lime along with the simple syrup, rum and mint leaves in a small glass. Muddle the leaves and citrus slices by pressing them with a pestle or a wooden spoon until juicy and fragrant.

Fill a tall glass with about 1/3rd level of ice and pour the muddled mixture onto it. Top it with Sprite and serve.

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Guacamole

Guacomole was a perfect dip that came along with a little (tortilla) chip and went with every sip of the minty mojito. Its one of our favorite appetizers, that’s ready in minutes and is packed with a nutrient punch. I used to buy it readymade at Wholefoods all the time, until one day when I closely observed our server at Charritos in Hoboken, make it for us right on our table!

The sweet crunchy red onions, refreshing red tomatoes and the hot jalapeño combined in with the creamy decadent fruit, make it a perfect fiesta concoction.

guacomole and chips

Serves 2

2 medium  or 3 small ripe avocados (pop them in the refrigerator for 1-2  hours before preparation if serving right away)

1/2 a lime juiced or 1/2 -1 tbsp is using from a bottle

1/2 small or 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 small or 1/4 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
handful cilantro/coriander , finely chopped

3-4 dashes Tobasco/Hot sauce

salt

freshly ground black pepper
Halve and pit the avocados. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh (both yellow and green parts) into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados using either a fork or potato masher, leaving them still a bit chunky. Drizzle lime juice over the mashed avocados to avoid them from turning brown.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients well and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

guacomole with chips
Guacomole can be made ahead of time. Sprinkle a little lime juice and lay the clear plastic wrap tightly close to the surface of the guacomole and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
guacomole with plastic wrap
It can be stored this way for upto 1 day. Once the plastic wrap is taken off, all the quantity has to be consumed, else it will turn brown and lose flavor.

 

Check out another variation of my guacomole from Mango Madness

 


Smoky Chorizo Quesadillas

The crunchy, golden brown quesadillas were the last ones to join the chip, dip and the sip.
Flour tortillas are wrapped with chunks of smoky chorizo sausage sautéed with onions and garlic and loaded with lotsa cheese. They are then baked off on a hot grilling pan that makes the cheese melt and gives them beautiful brown grill marks. Smoky Chorizo Quesadillas are a perfect match for the Guacamole and the Mojito.

Serves 2

2 links of Spanish Chorizo sausages (smoked pork sausage spiced with cumin and garlic), cut up into chunks

1 small or 1/2 medium onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)

handful cilantro/coriander, finely chopped

1 tsp EVOO and some for brushing on the quesadillas

salt

black pepper

2 (8-inch) flour tortillas

shredded cheese, Sargento® Shredded Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, jalapeño and the sausage chunks and sauté for about 5 mins till the onions are soft and the sausage is cooked. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper and take it off the heat.

Lay out the flour tortillas on a flat surface. Top with the sausage filling and the cheese, spreading evenly over 1/2 the side of each tortilla. Then fold over the remaining 1/2 side of the tortilla and press to seal.

Heat a large grilling pan over high heat. Brush one side of the stuffed tortillas with oil and place that side onto the grilling pan. Then brush the other side with oil. Leave it untouched over medium heat for about 3-4 mins till the cheese melts and deep golden brown grill marks appear on the bottom side. Turn it over and similary cook the other side for 3-4 mins.

Let cool for a few minutes. Slice into 4 wedges and serve with the guacamole.

¡Buen apetito!


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9 thoughts on “fiesta dinner tonite!

  1. Hey reading this, I remember one of the mojitos we liked best. It was this bar in hoboken where we stopped to grab a quick drink. Found it on google .. http://www.luarestaurant.com/ .. number one hega!

    Oh yeah, that was the best mojito ever!
    ~Vasanti

  2. Vasanthi……This is so cool. I am loving ur blog 🙂 I am always looking for inspirations and so am checking ur blog almost daily….Love ur writing style as well. Say hi to Vijay and Nia fm us…..

    Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, please visit my blog. I certainly plan to keep on adding more stuff.
    ~Vasanti

  3. next time you do this…can you please fedex them to me?

    Sure, if you agree to pay the s&h charges 😉
    ~Vasanti

  4. Made the guacamole last night! turned out awesome…..it was football fiesta with guacamole and blue corn tortilla chips, and tacos. keep the ideas and the recipes coming! U’ve inspired me with ur blog!

    Hey thanks! I am glad the recipe turned out good and now its also endorsed with your “tried and tested” stamp!!
    ~Vasanti

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