Spicy Romance with a Mexican Influence

This was one of those wow – the light came on moments. Someone on Facebook posted a recipe for Margaritas made with Pink Lemonade for Valentine’s Day. Then it dawned on me, I could build an entire romantic Valentine’s Day Supper, from an appetizer to a beautiful dessert around the idea of Pink Margaritas.

While I love Italian Foods, Hubby is a huge fan of the cuisine hailing from our southern neighbors. We both adore seafood and who doesn’t like a good steak? The most romantic thing I can think of to give the love of my life this Valentine’s Day is a dinner rich in the flavors of Mexico. With the exception of  my steaks soaking in flavor the day before, everything I’ve selected comes together easily. A little pacing, and before you know it,  lot of pleasure on the table. Yeah, that’s what I like.

Just how you serve the meal is entirely up to you. The appetizer and first pitcher of Margaritas is a nice way to get things started. You can take a break from eating, put the final touches on the main entrée and serve it up family-style. No doubt, family-style dining is the easiest. That said, if it were me, I’d have everything staged in the kitchen for easy assembly, execution and serving. I would plate everything for the main entrée and hold under big metal bowls or in a warm oven. Have the steak and rice on a plate with a small bowl also on the plate for the shrimp, then serve it all together. Serving the entrée already plated will give the evening more of that “restaurant” feel. And for goodness sake, eat somewhere other than in the kitchen. If you don’t have a dining room away from the kitchen, set up a small table (even the coffee table if you must) in the living room or (weather permitting) on the patio. Low candlelight and soft music for romance.

Spicy Mexican Romance
Toasty Appetizer –
Mexican Bruschetta


South of the Border Surf and Turf Entrée –
Chipotle Shrimp 
Pan-Seared Spicy Filet Mignon
Mexican Rice Pilaf

Sweets for the Sweeties –
Baked Apple Enchiladas with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

apple enchiladas

Beverage Throughout –
Pitchers of Pink Lemonade Señorita Margaritas

pink lemonade margaritas1

Let’s Get this Party Started . . .

Pink Lemonade Señoritas Margaritas
1 can Pink Lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 cans cold water
1 can Silver Tequila
1/2 can Triple Sec
Lime, for garnish
Margarita Salt, to rim glasses (optional)

In a large pitcher, empty can of thawed pink lemonade concentrate. Using the now empty lemonade can, add water, Tequila and Triple Sec.

Cut lime into wheels for garnishing the glasses. Keep the ends for moistening the rim of the glass before serving.

Using the end of a lime, moisten the rim of the glass. Dip glass rim in a small plate of Margarita salt to coat.

Place a few ice cubes into the glass, fill with Margarita. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

Toasty Appetizer:

Mexican Bruschetta
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 Lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil, divided
1 Sourdough Baguette, sliced

Drain tomatoes, place in a small bowl.

Stem peppers, seed and mince. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes.

Peel and chop garlic, add to tomatoes.

Chop cilantro, mix with the tomato mixture.

Squeeze lime juice over mixture. Stir to blend. Taste and season with salt. Cover and chill, allowing flavors to blend.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguette into 3/4-inch rounds. Brush with oil and toast lightly.

Top baguette slices with the tomato mixture. Arrange on a serving platter and enjoy.

South of the Border Surf and Turf Entrée

The Surf . . .

Chipotle Shrimp
1 1/2 lbs Medium-Large Shrimp (21 count), peeled, deveined
1 can Ro-Tel Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chili
2 Chipotle Chilies from a can with Adobo Sauce
1 Tablespoon Adobo Sauce from the canned chilies
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact for presentation if desired. Set aside until ready to cook.

Empty Roasted Tomatoes into a blender. Add chipotle chilies and adobo sauce. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Press garlic into the pan, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour tomato mixture into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Slowly add broth to thin the sauce to desired consistency.

Add shrimp to the pan, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink. If sauce begins to thicken too much, add more broth to thin.

To serve, place shrimp with sauce in a shallow bowl and garnish with cilantro.

The Turf . . .

Pan-Seared Spicy Filet Mignon
2 Limes, juiced
3 Garlic Cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons Honey
2 teaspoons Mexican Chili powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Mexican Oregano
Salt to taste
4 Filet Mignon (about 6 oz each)
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Slice lime, squeeze juice into a measuring cup with a spout.

Press garlic into the cup with the lime juice.

Add honey, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and salt. Whisk to blend.

Place filet in a small rimmed dish such as an 8-inch square casserole dish. Pour lime mixture over steaks, turning several times to coat.

Refrigerate and marinate overnight.

Remove steaks from refrigerator and let sit on counter for 30 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add fillets, and cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes.

The Flavorful Side . . .

Spicy Mexican Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, minced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 cups Long Grain White Rice
1 Can Ro-Tel Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 pinch Cumin Powder

Heat a sauce pan over medium heat with olive oil. While the oil heats, mince the onion and garlic. Sauté onions and garlic in the oil for a minute or two.

Add the rice to the pan, and cook until rice is translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock and cumin powder. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Transfer rice to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

And on to the Sweets for the Sweeties . . .

Apple Enchiladas with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
4 Flour Tortillas, 6-inch taco size
Cooking Spray
4 Scoops Vanilla Bean Ice cream
1/4 cup Caramel Sauce, warmed

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Peel, core and cut apples into wedges.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples and cook for about 6 minutes or until apples are soft.

Add brown sugar, continue to cook until sugar has melted.

Spray tortillas with cooking spray. Warm tortillas on a griddle until soft and easy to roll.

Place warm tortillas on a plate. Spoon 1/4 of the apple mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll, fold tortilla to wrap the apples inside. Place filled tortillas seam-side-down in the prepared baking dish.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray to help brown.

Bake in the heated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, warm caramel sauce in the microwave.

Plate each apple enchilada on dessert plates. Scoop ice cream on the plate, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve at once.

Feliz dia de San Valentin

valentine hearts

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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