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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SUPPER CLUB - FIESTA! 4/7/17 at Cate and Doug's

SIETE DE ABRIL (the 7th of April)

It's my husband's and my turn to host Supper Club this month.  We are in the midst of planning our daughter's June wedding and are up to are elbows in details for that.  But, we are looking forward to an evening escape to unwind, enjoy some great food and have fun with friends.

We decided to have an early Cinco de Mayo party!  We are tied up on May 5th, so April 7th it is 


We have a few surprises up our sleeve for after dinner (šŸ˜œ), but food wise, here's what we're serving and what my friends are bringing to enjoy (buffet style):





(Adapted from Southern Living)
1 4-5 lb lean boneless pork loin roast, with excess fat removed
1 cup salsa verde
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP seasoned salt
2 tsp pepper

Serve any of the following on the side:

2 dozen warm corn and/or flour tortillas
1 cup sour cream
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salsa and salsa verde

Place pork roast in 9 x 13 pan. Rub garlic into the roast. Sprinkle with the seasoned salt and pepper. Cover with salsa verde and onions.
Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for ~ 4 1/2 hours, or until fork tender.

Remove roast from oven. Cool until you can touch the meat comfortably. Remove from pan and place on cutting board. Skim fat off pan juices. Using two forks, shred the pork. Remove fat from meat. When all meat is shredded, return it to the pan and mix the pan juices thoroughly into the pork. 

***If not eating immediately, then let cool, and then place in a container with juices and refrigerate or freeze.

Return to oven (after thawing if you're freezing). Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes or until pork is crispy on top. Remove from oven. Turn pork. Return to oven and cook another 20 minutes, until pork is crispy on top and there is almost no liquid left in the pan.

(Adapted from the yummy life)

Its gets no easier than this recipe! I'm doubling it for my group of 12.

6 cups cooked shredded chicken (6 cooked and shredded chicken breasts or the meat from 1-2 entire rotisserie chickens)
1-2 cups salsa
2 TBSP or 1 pkg taco seasoning mix (or make your own - see below)

Shred chicken and add to 3 quart (or larger) pot.

Add the salsa, taco seasoning mix and water and stir with chicken and salsa until evenly distributed.

Cook over medium heat until hot throughout, about 10 minutes. The cornstarch in the taco seasoning mix thickens the sauce so it clings to and evenly coats the chicken.  Adjust the amount of salsa so that every piece of chicken is coated.

***Note: This chicken can easily be made in advance, cooled and frozen.  Then thaw, reheat and serve when ready!
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup salt (reduce to 1/8 cup for low-sodium version)
2 TBSP ground black pepper
3 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP smoked paprika
1 TBSP onion powder
2 TBSP garlic powder
2 TBSP dried leaf oregano (Mexican preferred)
2 TBSP ground cumin
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. Store in airtight container.

FOR TACO MEAT: Use 1/4 cup seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat. 1 lb of ground meat is enough for approximately 12 tacos.
TO SEASON GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN: Follow same directions as for beef, except heat 2 tsp olive oil in skillet before adding meat.

(Adapted from the yummy life)

This recipe is so so easy and results in a moist tender flank steak that's absolutely divine in tacos, burritos or Tortilla Bowls!

1-2 ~2 lb flank steaks
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Taco Seasoning Mix (SEE ABOVE) or can substitute 1 packet prepared taco seasoning mix
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups beef broth

Cut off as much fat as possible from surface of meat. In 5-6 quart Dutch oven or pan, add water and meat, cover and cook over medium/med-low heat for 30 minutes.

Uncover and cook until liquid boils away and meat is browned; turning it to brown on all sides. Lift out meat and set aside. Sprinkle taco seasoning in pan and cook 1 minute.

Add red wine vinegar and deglaze pan, scraping to loosen any browned bits. Stir in beef broth, whisk out the lumps.

Return meat to pan, bring to boil, cover and simmer over low heat until meat is very tender and easily pulled apart; approx. 2 to 3 hours.

Let meat cool enough to tear into shreds using 2 forks or pork shredder claws (see below - I got on Amazon - they're amazing!).

Remove fat from pan juices, if desired. Return meat to pan with juices and cook uncovered until liquid is gone, but meat is still moist.

Freezes and reheats well.

I bought tortilla molds from Amazon as well, and I used 8" tortillas.

I'll make these a day ahead and store in an airtight plastic container or bag.
The set came with 4 molds, so I'll just keep making them until I have enough for my dinner party.

Place the tortillas inside the molds and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Let tortilla bowls and molds cool on pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Then because they're all the same "shape" they stack easily!

(Adapted from All Recipes)

The light, healthy, fresh, crunchy and delicious side to go with this meal!

1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, drained and sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, corn, tomatoes, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and red wine vinegar. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt, and black pepper.

Cover, and chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

(Adapted from the yummy life)
This is a tasty delicious side for any Mexican dinner you're serving.  For this meal, you can eat it as a side or add it to your Tortilla Bowl with or without meat.

1 lb dry pinto beans
2 TBSP plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 quarts plus 1 quart water, divided
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup taco seasoning mix
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
4 cups (1 quart) low sodium vegetable broth (may substitute with chicken broth)

Pick through and discard irregular beans.

In 5 quart pan, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts water. Add dry beans and soak for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

Drain beans, discard soaking liquid, rinse and drain beans.

In 5 quart pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil over medium-high heat; add the chopped onion and garlic cloves, and saute until soft, roughly 5 minutes.

Sprinkle on 1/2 cup taco seasoning mix; stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add tomato paste; stir to combine. Gradually stir in 4 cups vegetable broth.

Add 4 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and beans; stir.

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer. Simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Taste and add salt, if needed.  Can easily be made ahead and frozen, then thaw and reheat when needed.


1(15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1 1⁄4 cups rice
1 TBSP butter
2 tsp chili powder
3⁄4 tsp oregano
1⁄2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp cumin

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is done.

(The Silver Palate)

This recipe is my all time favorite for guacamole! It's just just enough kick to it but also has a bit of crunchiness with the onion and fresh jalapeƱo to give it texture. And with the addition of tomatoes it's visually more appealing than simply a bowl of mashed green blob.

4-5 ripe (soft) avocados
2 TBSP onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced
1-2 plum tomatoes, chopped finely
3 scallions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2-3 TBSP fresh lemon juice (or use Nellie and Joe's)
Tabasco, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mash avocados with a fork or potato masher in a bowl, so the consistency is still chunky (rather than baby food consistency). I'm using a gift I got recently from my son to do this chore - a molcajete:

Add all remaining ingredients and stir.

Allow a bit of time for the flavors to blend and serve with tortilla chips.

*Note: guacamole does darken when exposed to air for a time, so it ideally needs to be prepared right before serving. But IF you must prepare it a bit before that, cover with Saran wrap and press the wrap directly on top of the guac. It'll keep the air out and reduce the darkening.

(Adapted from the yummy life)

I made one salsa that's on the mild/medium side, and a second one that has more jalapeƱo as well as more cayenne pepper for those that like it HOT!

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, quartered
1-2 fresh jalapeƱo peppers, sliced (1 = medium salsa and 2 = hot!)
2 (4 oz) cans diced fire roasted green chiles
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP ground black pepper
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed pepper flakes (optional - depending on how much heat you want)

In food processor, add garlic, quartered onion and jalapeƱo and process until minced.

Add green chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, oregano, cumin, pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, lime juice, and cayenne pepper.

Pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Adjust seasonings as you like.  Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Grilled corn kernels cut from one corn cob
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
1 small avocado (ripe, but firm), chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
2 TBSP lime juice

Combine ingredients in medium bowl and toss until mixed. Refrigerate until served. Best if served within an hour.
 I added all together EXCEPT the avocado - wanted it to stay fresh and not get mushy, so I didn't add it until RIGHT before my guests arrived.

(Adapted from My Recipes)

2 cups pecan halves and pieces
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Wax paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 236° (soft ball stage). Remove sugar mixture from heat.

Let sugar mixture stand until candy thermometer reaches 150° (20 to 25 minutes). Stir in vanilla and pecans using a wooden spoon; stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes or just until mixture begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand until firm (10 to 15 minutes).


Makes 1
When my husband and I were in Cabo San Lucas about 9 years ago, I fell in love with Mango Margaritas!  They, of course, only use the freshest mangos, but you can easily get them frozen any time of year, and they're almost as good.  I tried numerous times to replicate that recipe and finally found one that's pretty darn close.  I got this recipe from (of all places!) a Pottery Barn catalogue from years ago.
1 1/4 oz Tequila
1 oz Triple Sec
1 1/2 oz lemon juice
2 oz Simple Syrup
3/4 cup pureed mango

Toss all of the ingredients in a blender with some ice and ENJOY!

1 12-oz can frozen limeade concentrate
12 ounces cold water
12 ounces silver tequila
6 ounces orange-flavored liqueur (such Grand Marnier)
1 12-oz bottle Mexican lager (such as Corona), chilled
Lime wedges
Salt, for rimming (optional)

Place limeade concentrate in the bottom of a large pitcher or drink dispenser; pour next 4 ingredients over the concentrate, stirring with a large spoon until frozen concentrate melts. Serve margaritas over ice with fresh lime wedges.

Mexican napkins, succulents, and color color color!

POST PARTY NOTES (we MIGHT have had a good time....)

 Post Dinner FUN - SPANISH BINGO!  Again Amazon came to the rescue, I bought the inexpensive Spanish Bingo game as well as the Sombrero headbands and fake mustaches from the ease of my laptop at home, and they arrived a few days later.
 Wendy was the first winner and won a mini bottle of Tequila! Ole!
 Pedro Gonzalez?
 SeƱora Hostess?
Mis Amigos:
The buffet line (I used a $5 plastic Mexican print tablecloth for color):
Our photo op for the night (this was purchased for $7 on Amazon, but it was too hilarious to pass up):





Our beautiful friends (sadly one couple was under the weather and couldn't make it, so it was a group of 10 instead of 12 this night):

AND...we just got some BIG news:
There are some soon to be new grandparents in the group! Congrats to Denise and Greg!

Next up - June Supper Club at Wendy and Scott's!

*All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.