Let’s ignore Monday for a little bit and talk about the weekend. This weekend was packed with social events. On Saturday morning I taught a Saturday Sweat class before heading to the pool for a little last-bit-of-summer sunshine. After getting our bronze on, it was time to head home and get ready for our evening with friends. We had a graduation party to attend for one of our friends who just got his MBA from ECU. Go Pirates! It was such a fun night and we saw a lot of friends we haven’t seen much of this summer. Sunday we had another party to attend but this was for a little guy who just celebrated his 1st birthday. The party was at the pool so we went a little earlier in the day so we could catch even more sunshine. But Sunday evening was all about relaxing and cooking at home. Last night was Mexican night at our house!
We have an insane amount of watermelons growing in our garden so I decided it was time for watermelon margaritas. I made two different simple syrups – one was infused with homegrown jalapeños and the other with basil. I made a pitcher for margaritas and then just added about an once of simple syrup when pouring a drink. For the margaritas: 1 1/2 cups tequila, 1 cup lime juice and 3 cups watermelon juice. Be sure to taste and add more of any ingredient based on your liking. I leave out the orange liqueur because it’s just not my favorite. For the simple syrup, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. I then split the syrup into two mason jars and added a sliced jalapeño to one and a handful of basil to another. Let sit for about 15-30 minutes before making a cocktail.
And when there are margaritas, there has to be guacamole. This guacamole added in some homegrown sweet corn. While I’m not always a fan of “trashed up” guac, I loved this addition. The texture and sweetness it added was perfect. The guacamole was made with avocados (smash them with a potato masher), juice from a lime, some sweet onion, one diced jalapeño, handful of cilantro, grilled corn (I charred ours in a cast iron skillet), pepper and lots and lots of salt.
And for dinner, Chicken Tinga Tacos. Tinga is a Mexican dish made up of shredded chicken in a sauce of tomatoes and chipotle chiles. The chicken thighs are sprinkled heavily with spices: cumin, garlic salt, smoked paprika and pepper. The chicken is then seared in a Dutch oven with a little bit of olive oil. Once browned on both sides, remove chicken and add in the onions. Once the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, in goes the garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and chipotle peppers. Bring to a boil, add the chicken back into the pot, reduce the heat and cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.
The chicken is shredded and then added back into the sauce. I tried something new to shred the chicken last night and it worked perfectly. Simple place the chicken in your KitchenAide mixer with the paddle attachment and let it do the work for you. I promise it works – Big Guy witnessed the magic.
Now you’re ready to assemble the tacos. Warmed tortillas, some chicken, then pile on some homemade salsa (tomatoes, sweet onion, cilantro, jalapeño and salt) and then a little grilled corn guac.
And while pizza Sunday is still our favorite tradition, I won’t argue with a margarita and taco Sunday every once in a while.
Have a great week, friends!