23 June 2009

A Mexican Fiesta in Honour of My BBFF

Today I am sharing a recipe for Grilled Chicken with Honey, Orange and Chipotle Glaze, Mexican Grilled Corn, Grilled Sweet Potatoes and to top off the fiesta Watermelon Margueritas...and for dessert Yucatan-Inspired Fresh Coconut Tart in honour of my BBFF. No it's not a Paris Hilton reality show..wink...wink... but BloggerAid- Best Friends Forever !!!!

As Bloggers we set ourselves apart by being caring people who share their experiences through their shared love of food and friendship. When BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine was born, we wanted it to be a way to create new relationships and to understand each others cultures and cuisines. At BA-CFF we are a group of individuals worldwide trying to bring the world a little closer together!! As Heather says, "Members are pairing up with another member from a different country and getting to know one another through emails, blogging and dialogue; this is just one step in fostering an understanding in culture and cuisine we're not necessarily familiar with. I am one who yearns to travel...to absorb...to immerse...to learn and to respect and participate in other cultures and inevitably other cuisines, so I jumped on the chance to meet a new BBFF!"

At BloggerAid- Best Friends Forever we offer you all an opportunity to get to know your fellow foodies and those who love to blog, photograph and share recipes worldwide. There are an entire group of foodies that are determined to make a difference in this world at BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine .

I would like to introduce you to my BBFF Heather of GirliChef . We decided to interview each other as a way to get to know each other better and to share our experiences with you as well. The interview can be found at BA-CFF. Heather researches local food and is a strong supporter of her local producers while studying the customs and traditions of other cultures as well...in short discovering life in general as a young mom. In her exploration she discovers how different cultures relate, use, and revere food. She would like to bring her camera, many notebooks and pens and taste her way around the world. (Only if I can join you Heather:D) Like the universal language of music she loves the way food brings people together.

Through our conversations we have been inspired to create a dish we think would speak to each others favourite cuisine. For those of you who know me you know this would have to have something to do with Greek or Middle Eastern cuisines, potatoes, lemon or chicken!!!! Check out what Heather at GirliChef has made here... In honour of Heather I decided to make an entire meal inspired by Heathers love of Mexican cuisine. It's my Mexican Fiesta!!!!! Ole!!!!!! Her husband is from Mexico and makes the most fantastic dishes as well. Today I am sharing a recipe for Grilled Chicken with Honey, Orange and Chipotle Glaze, Mexican Grilled Corn, Grilled Sweet Potatoes and to top off my Fiesta.... Watermelon Margueritas...let's not forget the dessert Yucatan-Inspired Fresh Coconut Tart from Heathers site!!!!!

The grilled chicken dish combines the sweetness of honey with the spiciness of chipotle peppers. Honey has always been an almost universally treasured food, visually appealing, delicious to taste, and nutritionally valuable. In Mexico, the Mayan people of the Yucatan have practiced beekeeping for thousands of years. The ancient Maya considered the stingless melliponine bee (Apidae melliponinae), native to the tropical forests of the Yucatan peninsula, to be a link to the spirit world, given to them by the bee god, Ah Muzen Cab.

On to the Fiesta!!!!!!!

**Grilled Chicken with Orange, Honey and Chipotle glaze (Pollo a la parrilla con salsa de naranja, miel y chipotle)

Honey and citrus fruits go well together, and here they are combined with chipotle chiles, garlic and spices for a flavorful take on grilled chicken. This dish may also be baked in the oven.

For the chicken and marinade:

2 ½ - 3 pounds chicken pieces
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup each chopped cilantro and chopped parsley
½ tablespoon powdered ginger
½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pineapple vinegar (or substitute apple vinegar)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
For the glaze:
2 cups orange juice
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded if desired

Place the chicken pieces in a non-reactive container, such as a Pyrex baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients to combine thoroughly. Pour marinade over chicken, cover and marinate overnight.

To make glaze: Boil orange juice and honey until reduced to 1 cup. Add the grated orange peel and chipotles and mix thoroughly. Taste and add a bit more of the adobo sauce if desired. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard excess marinade, and grill chicken on an outdoor or indoor grill, turning frequently, until cooked through. Brush chicken with glaze and cook for 2 minutes longer on each side. Serve any remaining glaze in a separate bowl.

Serves 6

I had read that this is how corn on the cob is served by street vendors in Mexico. If you do not have access to cotija cheese then use grated Parmesan as a substitute.

**Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)**

4 ears corn, shucked
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
4 wedges lime (optional)

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Grill corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill. Roll the ears in melted butter, then spread evenly with mayonnaise. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over your corn.

**Barbecued Sweet Potato Wedges**

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1kg), scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning (or spice blend of your choice)

Cut each sweet potato into 8 long wedges and place in a roasting tin. Mix the oil and Cajun seasoning together, drizzle over the wedges and toss well to coat completely. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively cook on the edge of a barbecue for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally.

**Watermelon Margeuritas**

Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 small handful mint leaves(in my case I used lemon balm)

Place everything in a small pan over med-high heat. Bring to boil. Stir to make sure all sugar is dissolved. Turn off and remove from heat. Let cool. Strain out mint leaves and store in an airtight container in fridge

3 watermelon, seedless- (1/8th of a watermelon cut in chunks) to yield 1 cup of juice
Minty simple syrup( recipe above)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup (2 small limes)
Tequila (to taste)
1 cup Triple Sec
1/3 cup ice cubes( 1 cup for runny margaritas/ 3 or more cups for frozen margaritas)

First, place watermelon chunks into blender and very carefully pushing down with wooden spoon, pulse until watermelon becomes watery. Once enough water is in blender to flow freely, blend it all up into a liquid. If you have more than 1 cup of watermelon juice in the blender, remove the extra (save for another batch). Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Run a lime wedge around rim of glass and dip in either coarse salt or raw sugar. Cut a garnish if you like. Pour into prepared glasses and enjoy!
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  1. A delicious dish and drink! Perfect for the summer!



  2. I can just taste it!! Thank you for making me this delicious fiesta!! I'm sure that one day down the line we can share a real one!!

  3. Such a wonderful summer meal! I'll have to try the potatoes on the BBQ.

  4. I think you and Heather did a good job expressing each other's culinary point-of-view. I would have liked a seat at either table!

  5. Friends in real life or the virtual ones are just such a blessing!! This is such a thorough post,well done, Val!!!

  6. It looks like an amazing meal and definitely one I could sink my teeth into ... even though it's just 11:15 a.m. I love the watermelon margeurita.

  7. I gotta get me friends like you!!!
    This is a delicious feast and I'm sure your friend appreciated it, virtually any way :)

  8. This all looks muy delicioso, Val!

  9. i'm ALL FOR a mexican fiesta, any time of any day. i think that marinade is stellar, the corn would be a highlight, the taters certainly wouldn't have any trouble being devoured, and the beverage is the icing on the cake. awesome.

  10. What a great spread. I love that chicken recipe and I'm really thinking I should try it. You know me. I can never have too many chicken recipes since it's one of hte only things Sir Pickypants and I will both eat! :-D

    I LOVE watermelon margaritas. I made them once for a dinner party from a recipe that I think I got from Emeril. My family couldn't stop drinking them and we all got smashed!

  11. That is my kind of meal!!

  12. I wish I was your BFF because I love Mexican fiestas!

  13. Oh man, that chicken looks SOOO good.

  14. I'll have seconds of the Margarita thanks Val! This is a wonderful tribute to your bbff...the whole meal has a "nuevo latino" feel about it!

  15. This is a great fiesta, lot's of good food and beautiful drink. Nice to know about her. I'm discovering a new blogger.

  16. Ok so you had me at watermelon marguerita - I'm so transparent. The whole fiesta looks simply amazing. The entire post on BloggerAid...Changing the Face of Famine is exceptional and the interview makes me feel like both you and GirliChef have been my friends for a lifetime.

  17. Great pics! Everything looks delish!

  18. oh my! Val thats a meal to die for.

  19. Fantastic menu - mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. The drink makes the menu complete.

  20. This menu looks awesome and I love the chicken marinade! Great photos too!

  21. The marinade for the chicken sounds fantastic!

  22. for an extra authentic kick, add sal de chile to the corn. mix equal parts of salt and cayenne pepper together and apply liberally. it's yummy.


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