Last Saturday Bill and I hosted our first party at The Watermill. We had long been collecting ingredients to support our plot to turn the wonderful people of Ireland into Tex-Mex maniacs! Our plan involved operatives in Dublin and Austin, and a Mexican food supply company in London. Our weapons: Pork Tamales and homemade corn tortillas with three taco fillings– Pork and Potato, cold chicken salad with chipotle vinaigrette, and shrimp in garlic lime butter. We also offered the classic chips and dips: guacamole, Rotel(R) dip, and salsa. Alas, no jalapeño ranch. While Bill’s dishes leaned more toward authentic Mexican than true Tex-Mex, I made a quintessentially American vision of mexican flavors: the 7-layer dip.
Bill did an amazing job planning and executing his menu. He started Wednesday by constructing the tamales and freezing them. Thursday night he made the pork taco filling, and Friday he baked brownies with cinnamon and ancho chili powder. He also roasted the veggies for the salsa and put together the base of jalapeño, tomatoes, and garlic. He even made the garlic lime sauce for the shrimp. Saturday he spent an hour making 35 corn tortillas in addition to steaming the tamales, cooking the shrimp, and making the chicken salad. I experimented with an on-the-rocks margarita recipe.
So, what did people think? Watch the clip to find out. Also, I think you’ll find I’m one step away from hosting and/or editing a show on the Food Network.
Needless to say, we were ecstatically happy to be dining on Mexican food. This picture is of our leftovers on Sunday. Bill did dial down the spice levels a bit. He used half the chiles called for in the salsa and chicken salad. He was free with the cilantro however, or coriander as it is known here. Still wonderfully flavorful, and the tamales and tortillas both delicately embodied the yummy essence of corn.
Special thanks to Helen, Lisa, and Bill’s muse, Rick Bayless.