Summer is here. The hot weather demands for company in the backyard, soft music playing, cool drinks and a special meal. Last night, my best man and his wife invited me over to their lovely house for such a dinner.
The table was set under the beautiful large lemon tree, classical jazz was playing over and there was a huge pitch of margaritas waiting for us. Their maid of honour flew from Greece to see us so we planned this ahead. There were colourful lights hanging from the lemon tree and almost no sound coming from anywhere except from the pc playing those smooth tunes.
I suggested we made a dinner that was festive and people could help themselves. Nothing formal, but nice, summery, a good company to our margaritas and enough to fill us up. I offered to cook and they do the drinks. So I prepared a lovely Caribbean/Mexican chicken with lots of peppers, spices and chicken. The /Caribbean goes to the fact that the spices we used were a mixture of the two cuisines. I also made guacamole.
We had a lovely night, we laughed, we drank, we ate and we passed the night chatting away and having fun. You can find all the recipes below to prepare your own summery feast to treat you friends and loved ones.
1 lemon (juice only)
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium sized tomato cut in really small cubes
Salt, pepper, chilli flakes
Cut the avocado in half; remove the pit and using a teaspoon empty the flesh in a small bowl. Using a fork melt the avocado into a paste. Add all of the ingredients, season to your liking and mix thoroughly. Taste it. Adjust any seasoning and acidity using extra lemon juice, cover with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge until ready to serve.
250 grams of Greek yoghurt
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt, white pepper
In a small bowl mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, cover in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge until ready to serve.
2 large chicken breasts cut in small pieces
2 chicken drums deboned skin removed and cut in small pieces
2 chicken drumsticks deboned skin removed and cut in small pieces
3 tablespoons of olive oil plus 3 for sautéing
Half a teaspoon of paprika
Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
Half a teaspoon of oregano
4 garlic cloves finely minced
1 large of each yellow, red and orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 large onion finely chopped
1 handful of chopped coriander
In a mortar place half the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Smash them using the pestle to a paste. Add the cumin seeds, paprika, chilli flakes and oregano and pound it until it is thoroughly mixed. Add some rounds of freshly grounded pepper and mix it using a teaspoon. Add to this mixture 3 tablespoons of olive oil and create a paste. In a large bowl add the chicken pieces and the mixture you have just created. Using your hands mix the chicken with the seasoning until the chicken pieces are all well covered. Cover and let it sit aside for 30 minutes to marinate well.
In a large frying pan with a lid over medium to high heat add the rest of the olive oil. When it is hot, add the onions and peppers. Let them sauté for 2 minutes stirring often. Add the garlic and give it a stir. Add the chicken with the marinade. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Take off the heat, mix in the coriander and let the pan covered for the food to rest and the flavours to develop for 5 more minutes. In the meantime, chop some fresh lettuce and warm your tortillas. Set up the table with a plate of tortilla chips, the guacamole, the sour cream, the chicken and vegetables, the warm tortillas and the margarita pitcher.
Enjoy a lovely evening with your friends and loved ones, under the summer night sky with the company of the smooth jazz on the radio!
– You can substitute the coriander with parsley
-You may increase the heat by adding more chilli flakes in the marinade. This recipe is very mild as my friends don’t like spicy food.
-Lemons can be switched for limes if you have available.
-I used a mix of dark and white meat for the fajitas because darker meat that is deboned has more flavour than the chicken breast. Feel free to use only either if you prefer.
Until next time,
The digital cook