Jalapeño Margarita

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This is certainly a unique capisicum cocktail. To make Hot and Sour Mix: 
to one quart of sour mix add 4 large jalapeños, stems and seeds removed,
diced and let steep for at least 24 hours. Note: This recipe requires
advance preparation.


1 1/4 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce Triple Sec
2 ounces hot and sour mix (see headnote)
1 1/2 ounces lime juice
Dash of Tabasco® Jalapeño Sauce
Lime slice and whole jalapeño for garnish


Place all ingredients, except lime slice and whole jalapeño, in a 
blender and blend to mix. Pour over ice In a glass and garnish with the
lime slice and whole jalapeño. If a frozen margarita is preferred, add
one cup ice to blender with other ingredients.

Southwest Jalapeño Pork Stir-Fry

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East meets the Southwest in this recipe, which illustrates the fact that the basic stir-fry technique can be applied to just about any cuisine.


For the Pork:

  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, thinly sliced and cut into strips

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, sliced in rings

  • 1 poblano chile, stem and seeds removed, cut into strips

  • 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges and separated

  • 1/2 7-ounce can baby corn

  • 1/2 cup nopalitos (available in Latin Markets)

  • Garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro

For the Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh preferred

  • 2 teaspoons tequila (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

  • 1/4 cup Southwestern salsa (your choice)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch





Combine all the ingredients for the marinating sauce in a large bowl and stir to mix. Toss the pork in the marinade and marinate for 30 minutes.

In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoning sauce along with 2 tablespoons water, stir to mix and set aside.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot and add the oil. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.

Drain the pork and add it to the wok. Stir-fry the pork for a couple of minutes until the pork is browned. Remove, drain and keep warm.

Add the jalapeño, poblano, and onions and stir-fry until they are just softened; everything should still be slightly crisp, and the chiles should be bright green. Stir in the corn and nopalitos and stir-fry. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan.

Add the seasoning sauce and cook until the sauce thickens. Return the pork and toss to coat. Heat until the sauce forms a glaze over the meat and vegetables.

To serve, mound the pork and vegetables on a serving platter and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with plain white rice.

Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jalapeño Vinaigrette

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Ever since I discovered the fish taco, a Cal-Mex specialty that originated around San Diego and Baja, it’s been one of my favorite summer dinners, especially for a crowd. The real thing is a soft tortilla wrapped around fried fish, but grilled fish is even better to my taste.


For the Fish:

  • 1 1/2 pounds swordfish steak,

  • 1 inch thick

  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola

For the Tacos:

  • Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce (see recipe below)

  • Iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded

  • Red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded

  • Red onions, thinly sliced

  • Scallions, thinly sliced

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Hot sauce

  • Mexican crema

  • 7-inch tortillas, flour and/or corn, grilled on high for 20 seconds
    on each side, just until warm and lightly charred

For the Tomatillo Sauce:

  • 8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed

  • 2 jalapeño chiles

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola, plus extra for brushing

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into

  • 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Place the fish in a large dish. Combine the lime zest and juice, chiles, and basil in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the fish, turn to coat, and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat your grill to high.

Grill the fish until lightly browned and firm on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the dish over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until just cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the fish from the grill and slice 1/2 inch think. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with tortillas and garnishes listed above.


For the Tomatillo Sauce:

Heat your grill to high.

Brush the tomatillos and chiles with oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatillos and chiles, turning, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the grill and coarsely chop the tomatillos. Stem, seed and chop the chiles.

Combine the tomatillos, chiles, lime juice, and honey in a blender

and blend until smooth. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the avocados, onion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa

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Tuna steaks, swordfish, shark or any firm fish could be substituted if desired. The pineapple salsa is an excellent contrast in flavor, texture and temperature.


For the Fish:

  • 4 (6- to 7-ounce) mahi-mahi steaks, about one-inch thick

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • Kosher salt

  • Cracked black pepper

For the Salsa:

  • 1 red onion, chopped

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 6 slices fresh pineapple, about 1/2-inch thick



For the Fish:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine olive oil, two tablespoons of the lemon juice, garlic and ginger. Using a resealable food bag, marinate the fish, refrigerated, for one to two hours. Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry. Drizzle remaining lemon juice on fish and season fish with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill for medium high direct cooking. Grill the fish for about 10 minutes per side.

For the Salsa:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, pineapple juice, lime juice and vinegar. Allow the salsa to marinate at room temperature. Preheat the grill for medium high direct cooking. Lightly coat the pineapple slices with the oil. Grill the pineapple slices for four minutes, flip and continue cooking other four minutes. Remove from grill, coarsely dice and add to the salsa. Refrigerate salsa at least two hours before serving.

Serve with grilled fish or alone as an appetizer.



Grilled Jalapeno Polenta with Roasted Salsa Verde

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We have written before about northern Mexican roasted salsas, and here’s a practical application of the concept. While we’re at it, we’ll add chiles to everything and even grill the polenta. Serve as an entree with a vegetable and a salad or as a side to grilled meat or chicken.


For the Grilled Jalapeño Polenta:

  • 3/4 cup coarse yellow cornmeal

  • 1 ½ cups milk

  • ½ cup grated cheddar or Asiago cheese

  • 2 jalapeno chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons grated onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt to taste

For the Roasted Salsa Verde:

  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks left on

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 4 jalapeño chiles

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh preferred

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Salt to taste


For the Grilled Jalapeño Polenta:

Bring the milk and 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the liquid, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat, and continue to stir until the mixture is thick and starts to pull away from the pan. Quickly add the cheese, chiles, onion, garlic, salt to taste, stir well, and remove from the heat.

Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled 10-inch cake or pie pan and cool. Place in refrigerator for 3 hours to firm.

For the Roasted Salsa Verde:

Place tomatillos, onion, and chiles in a basket on the grill and roast until the vegetables are slightly blackened, shaking the basket often. Remove from the basket and peel, but don’t worry about removing all the peels from the chiles. Do remove stems and seeds from the chiles. Place the vegetables, juice, and sugar into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro.

Clean the grill and brush it with oil. Slice the polenta into wedges, brush with the oil and grill over a medium fire until they begin to brown, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Place the wedges on a serving platter, top with the salsa and serve.