Lime

10 years ago, if you’d told me that I’d move to the far west, cookie-cutter suburbs of Houston and judge most of the restaurants frequent-visit list by the quality of their playground and not necessarily the food, I might have laughed in your face.

Probably would have, actually. All those margaritas I made with Mrs Ts neon-green bottled mix would have no-doubt left me pretty giggly.

But here we are 10 years later. In the far west, cookie-cutter suburbs of Houston. And we judge most of the restaurants that we frequently visit by the presence of a playground, the quality of said playground, and lastly: the food.

One of those restaurants shoots to the top of that list simply because of the playground. Because why else would anyone pay more for average TexMex when you can get better, for less?

But we have a 4 year old with endless amounts of squeals and climb-up-the-slide energy. And they have free ice cream and a covered playground smack-dab in the middle of the cookie-cutter suburbs. They are, as you can imagine, raging successful.

And sometimes being able to talk over a bowl of chips and green sauce on a patio while The Little plays 20 feet away is totally worth it. So you pick your battles. And I made peace with it once I discovered their Fish Tacos with double Cucumber-Mango salsa. Because the fresh, crunchy, and sweet salsa has been the best thing I’ve tasted there.

At home, we ditch the oily coleslaw and heavy chipotle mayo that comes on the restaurant version in favor of keeping it light and simple: chile-lime grilled fish, thin slices of avocado, cucumber-mango salsa, and whatever crumbled cheese I have (queso fresco or goat cheese).

Fresh, bright, light, and flavorful. And if we had a rocking playground like that our backyard, we’d never have to go back.

Grilled Chile-Lime Fish Tacos with Cucumber-Mango Salsa

Flaky white fish seasoned with chile and lime is topped with a sweet, fresh scoop of cucumber and mango salsa and queso fresco.

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1 lb tilapia
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Chile powder (I used chipotle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • For serving:
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Tortillas
  • Crumbled cheese (queso fresco or goat cheese)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Squeeze a couple of lime wedges over the fish and then season both sides with salt, pepper, and dust with chile powder.
  3. When the grill is heated, lightly spray/brush the filets with olive oil and cook for ~4 minutes each side.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno with a pinch of salt and the juice from 1-2 lime wedges (to taste).
  5. Squeeze the remaining limes over the fish when it comes off the grill.
  6. Flake the fish into large bite-sized pieces and serve on tortillas topped with a generous scoop of salsa and crumbled cheese.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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Watermelon Salad with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Last week, a picture of a pumpkin cheesecake popped up in my Facebook feed and I was like no.

And then I went all Tracy-Morgan-from-Cop-Out.

NO. NONONONONONO.

HELL. NO.

It’s July. And I want no part of pumpkin creamy salted apple Thanksgiving caramel candy corn baked casserole pumpkin anything.

What I do want? Sweet, figure-friendly summer fruit. Doused in figure-unfriendly tequila.

And we all know that fruit and tequila go together perfectly.

Watermelon Salad with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

One of my favorite throw-together summer side salads is watermelon, red onion, feta, jalapeno, and a big handful of cilantro, sprinkled with just a little salt and a squeeze of lime. It has everything you could want in a summer side, except tequila.

Cut in larger chunks, it makes a fabulous salad. Cut in smaller dice, it’s makes a fabulous salsa for a no-cook chips-and-salsa dinner on the patio.

So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite recipes from Pastry Queen Parties is a similar blend of flavors taken to the next level with a tequila-lime vinaigrette. It has everything you could want in a summer side, including tequila.

The Pastry Queen serves her spiked watermelon salad in scooped out personal-sized watermelon bowls. So fancy. I opt for the no-fuss approach: a 12-year-old tupperware bowl that’s missing its lid.

Watermelon Salad with Tequila-Lime Vinaigrette

Watermelon and feta salad get a summery kick from a tequila and lime vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 5 generous cups 1.5-inch dice watermelon (about 1 small watermelon)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 oz crumbled feta
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional - but go for it)
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tequila
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Lightly toss the watermelon, onion, cilantro, feta, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, tequila, 1 Tbsp honey, salt and red wine vinegar together.
  3. Taste for sweetness and whisk in the extra honey, if desired.
  4. Pour over immediately before serving.
  5. If you anticipate having leftovers, only dress half the salad with half the dressing - the watermelon will water down the dressing the longer it sits. Dress additional salad as needed.

Notes

Yields: ~8 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen Parties

Estimated time: 20 minutes

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Grilled Pineapple Margarita Grilled pineapple is currently my very, very favorite thing on the planet. ‘Cause Lord knows, the soccer-hockey-basketball trifecta of worthless sports sure as hell isn’t. HOW IS IT NOT FOOTBALL SEASON YET?!

{I would just like to note that since posting this, I have now watched more soccer than in my seven previous lifetimes combined. And, well, I am a fan. BUT MY ORIGINAL JUDGY DISDAIN FOR BASKETBALL AND HOCKEY REMAINS.}

So I obsessively pour over NFL OTA reports from bloggers who think they know more about football than I think I know about good margaritas. And I obsessively try to work grilled pineapple into anything and everything. Like margaritas.

A tart, fresh lime margarita really doesn’t need anything to make it better, but there’s nothing stopping you from blending it with a leftover slice of grilled, caramelized pineapple.

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Fruity, summery, and with just the slightly hint of char and smoke from the grill. You could do a lot worse in your search for a signature summer cocktail. But you can’t do much better.

Unless you’re a cilantro fiend like me. And then you’ll probably adore the next margarita even more.

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

A tart, fresh lime margarita blended with grilled, caramelized pineapple.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 oz silver tequila
  • 12 oz homemade margarita mix
  • 3 oz orange liqueur
  • 2 Tbsp juices from grilled pineapple*
  • 1 1-inch thick slice of grilled fresh pineapple, plus more for garnish*
  • Crushed ice
  • Salt for rim (optional)
  • * The pineapple should be grilled and chilled so plan ahead. If you aren't using a slice of leftover, already-chilled pineapple, give yourself an extra hour in prep time.

Instructions

  1. To grill a pineapple, remove the husk, slice into ~1-inch thick rings, and place on a preheated grill.
  2. Cook ~4-5 minutes each side until nicely caramelized.
  3. Transfer the pineapple (and all accumulated juices) to a bowl and place in the fridge until cold.
  4. Add the tequila, margarita mix, liqueur, the pineapple juice from the bowl, and a slice of grilled pineapple to a blender.
  5. Blend on high for ~1 minutes until smooth.
  6. (You can strain here if light pulp bothers you - I did not.)
  7. Pour over crushed ice and garnish with small chunks of grilled pineapple, if desired.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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Kaffir Lime & Coconut Margarita

It’s not everyday you open the box left on your doorstep and find a margarita inside. I mean, I didn’t exactly find a margarita inside of my Primo Picks Package (say that 5 times fast!), but I did find a bottle of Central Market Organic Kaffir Lime & Coconut Italian Soda.

It wasn’t perfect – I still had to add tequila after all. But it made the most refreshing, sparkling margarita. Perfect for that mid-afternoon I-just-sent-my-kid-to-grandma’s-for-a-3-day-weekend-and-now-I’m-going-to-sit-on-the-floor-and-watch-10-Things-I-Hate-About-You-in-complete-silence margarita. (RIP Patrick Verona.)

This margarita is a 3-day, no-pants-required weekend in a glass.

It’s a swim-up bar at a swanky all-inclusive, served over ice.

Kaffir Lime & Coconut Margarita

It’s a – guys. It’s a margarita. It takes 47 seconds to make and 3 seconds to realize that you should have just doubled the recipe to begin with.

Drink up. And happy 97 degrees!

Kaffir Lime & Coconut Margarita

A sparkling margarita made with Kaffir Lime & Coconut soda.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Central Market Organics Kaffir Lime & Coconut Soda
  • 3 oz fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 3 oz tequila (I prefer silver)
  • Salt for rimming glasses, optional

Instructions

  1. Line the rims of two glasses with salt and fill with crushed ice.
  2. Stir together the soda, lime juice, and tequila and pour over ice.
  3. Drink immediately.

Notes

Yields: 2 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and Queen-Elsa-dress-glitter -covered wood floors are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 4 locations within a 5 mile radius.

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