Monthly Archives: May 2016


Griddled Panela & Corn Esquite Lettuce Tacos

Lettuce Tacos

1 scant cup Chipotle Mayonnaise (see recipe)
3/4 cup cooked black beans or canned black beans
1 1/2 cups roasted corn
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
12 baby bibb lettuce leaves
10 ounces panela cheese cut into 1/4 inch slices, we like Cacique Cheese
1 cup tortilla strips, julienned and fried crispy
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
1/4 cup pickled onion, for garnish (optional)

Chipotle Mayonnaise

Makes 4 cups

2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup chipotles in adobo, seeds removed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt, to taste       
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the chipotle mayo: Puree mayo, chipotles in adobo, lime and orange juices, honey, Dijon mustard in a blender until completely combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad: Combine Chipotle Mayo, black beans, corn, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a heavy bottomed skillet or griddle until very hot and quickly sear slices of panela cheese until golden on both sides.

Spoon black bean and corn mixture into bibb lettuce leaves, top with tortilla strips, pickled onion, and avocado. Place griddled cheese on top of each lettuce taco, and serve immediately.



Spicy Melon Salad

We like to serve this Spicy Melon Salad in the summer when a variety of melons are abundant. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew or other ripe melons work equally well. Bright melons paired with salty, cotija cheese and spicy pepitas make this dish a refreshing feast for the eyes and tastebuds. 

Spicy Melon Salad

Serves 6

1 tablespoon agave syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 or more serrano chiles to taste, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, rough chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
6 cups assorted melon cubes, in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup Cotija cheese*, cut in 1/2” cubes
1/4 cup roasted, Chile Lime Pepitas, for garnish (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix the agave syrup, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, serrano chiles, and chopped cilantro and stir until combined.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the assorted melon cubes, cotija cheese, and then dress gently with your hands or spoons.

Place the melon salad on plates and top with Chile Lime Pepitas. Add more cilantro and serrano chiles if desired.

Chile Lime Pepitas

Makes 2 cups

2 cups pepitas (raw hulled green pumpkin seeds)**
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ancho chiles or chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Shake the pan once or twice.

* Cacique cheeses are a great choice. We have been using their cheeses at Border Grill for over 25 years.

** Keep pepitas or raw pumpkin seeds in the freezer to make quick cocktail snacks for unexpected guests. They do not need defrosting for this recipe.



photo by The Episodic Eater

Sangrita is the proper accompaniment to straight shots of tequila. Serve it alongside tequila and match, sip for sip. Grenadine, a sweet, red, pomegranate-flavored syrup, adds color and sweetness to this potent chaser.

Makes 18 shots

2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tablespoons grenadine syrup*
1 generous teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process or whisk in a bowl until blended. Refrigerate. Serve cold in shot glasses with corresponding shots of tequila.

Tip: Slamming back shots of tequila is definitely not the way to go. Try slowly sipping tequila with Sangrita to really appreciate how delicious tequila can be.

*You can make your own Grenadine by heating 2 cups pomegranate juice (POM is a good choice) in a pot until it just starts to boil. Add 2 cups sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 3 drops of Fee Bros orange blossom water. Cool and store until needed.

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