Ugh, you guys–I’m sorry. I think it’s pretty evident I need to work on my whole work/work/life balance thing (I mean obviously, considering I couldn’t make the time to post this whole last week). I’m going to make it up to you, starting with this delicious Mexican-inspired picnic I pulled together this past weekend–it’s a yummy one.Is it just me, or is Mexican food one of the things you crave most in the summer time? I don’t know what it is, but the instant the temps heat up I’m all about guacamole, salsa and tacos, 24/7. I went home this past weekend, where the kitchen is large and my Mom buys the groceries (win!), so I decided to put a summer spin on some of my go-to recipes Saturday night. I stuck to the basics: salsa (which I made homemade with peach for an added summer flavor), the best guacamole ever, fresh fish tacos and Coronas. I mean, tacos and cervezas? Sign me up. For the guacamole, you’ll need:
*This serves 5 people
- 4 avocados, pits removed
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- a handful of cilantro, chopped
- 2 small vine tomatoes, diced
- the juice of two limes
- salt and pepper, to taste
Start by scooping out all the avocados and putting them in a bowl. If you didn’t already know, avocados brown very quickly, so you’ll want to make this guacamole shortly before serving it so it doesn’t turn an unattractive brown (it will still taste good, just not look good!). Add the chopped onion to the bowl and mash the avocados well, either with a fork or a potato masher (my preferred method). Add the rest of the ingredients, then mix well with a spoon, tasting to see if you need to add more salt or pepper. Serve immediately alongside corn chips (and, of course, the tacos).
For the fresh peach salsa, you’ll need:
- 1/2 can diced tomatoes (still in their juice)
- 1 orange pepper, diced
- 2 peaches, skinned and chopped up
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (add more if you like more of a kick!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes (still in their juice) into a bowl. Add the pepper, peach, onion, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir to combine. For the best flavor, make this the morning before serving–it’s at it’s most delicious when the flavors have a chance to sit and combine a bit. Serve along side corn chips.
- Fresh fish (something sturdy, like tilapia or mahi mahi works well). You’ll want to get one filet per two people.
- the juice of 3 limes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
The tacos taste best when the fish has been grilled, so a few hours before dinner place your fish in a baking dish with olive oil, the lime juice, salt and pepper and allow it to marinate for at least two hours. Once you’re ready, rub your grill pan with canola oil (don’t use olive oil–it has too low of a smoke point, meaning it can catch fire easily and become toxic). Grill your fish over high heat until light and flakey, about 10 minutes per side. Plate on a large serving platter so guests can help themselves, and finish with a squeeze of lemon and a bit of fresh cilantro.
- One ear of corn per person
- Cojita cheese (or queso blanco, if you can’t find cojita)
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
Boil the corn as you usually would, coating it in butter after cooking. Top with crumbled cojita cheese, chili powder, salt, pepper and cilantro. Go to town.
Set everything out, along side tortillas for the fish tacos and beer for your belly. I also diced up some fresh pineapple for people to top the fish tacos with if they wanted–it was a great sweet addition! All together, this is such a quick, easy and delicious way to entertain–happy summer!