Monday, March 16, 2015

St.Patrick's Day Green Nachos, Smoothies and Margaritas...

Kids are home for March break, tomorrow is St.Patty's Day... how to give nod to this much beloved and celebrated day of the Irish and everything green! By making fun meat nachos with all the green toppings you can think of- avocado, cilantro, green onions, Kumato green tomatoes, jalapeño, lime juice served with a side of tomatillo salsa sauce. Of course we need some bevies to go with them too, so inspired by my Southwest American friend Amy Baker Wambold, I made her green smoothie using spinach, cucumber and avocado with coconut water/juice and if you want an adult drink to go along, try her refreshing margarita with cucumbers and jalapeño... how's that for a load of green?

Loaded Green Nachos
Makes 8 servings, or cut recipe in half to serve 4

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef

1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water 
2 Kumato green tomatoes, diced
1 whole jalapeño, finely diced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
1 ripe avocado, diced
Tortilla chips (used blue tortilla chips I had on hand, but you can look for guacamole or jalapeño flavoured chips that are green )
Cheese, shredded- Monterey Jack and/or cheddar (optional)- my kids preferred it without today 

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it's totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for two minutes. Add cornstarch mixture, stir to thicken.

To make the pico de gallo, combine the tomato, jalapeno (or serve separately), cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Stir it together and set it aside.

To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with beef mixture, avocados and pico de gallo. Sprinkle with green onions. If serving with cheese, layer your choice of shredded cheese on top of half of beef mixture over a layer of chips, then repeat again with chips, beef mixture and cheese. Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it's heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.) Top with avocado, pico de gallo and green onions.

To make the green smoothie, a la my friend Amy Baker Wambold from Arizona's tasty recipe for two, blend the following ingredients in a blender until smooth:

1 cup baby spinach
1/2 ripe avocado 
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
1/2 cup shredded (sweetened) coconut (optional)
1 stalk celery, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cucumber with skin 
2 cups coconut water or juice or add more to desired consistency

Happy St.Patty's Day!

It could have been more green with green tortilla chips served on a green plate :)

And for a green alcoholic drink, also try Amy Baker Wambold's refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Margaritas to serve four...

NOTE: You may switch out any orange liquor or tequila you prefer.
1 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup Patron Tequila Silver
1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup cucumber, diced
½ jalapeño, diced
optional: margarita salt for glass rim
Lime for garnish

Into a pitcher, add the Grand Marnier, tequila, and lime juice. Recipes are guidelines, so if you want to add more or less of anything that’s fine.

Serve by salting the rim of your glass if you wish. You can do this before you pour that pitcher by filling a shallow bowl with sea salt. Run a piece of lime all around the rim of your glass, then dip into the salt. Add a small amount of fresh diced cucumber and jalapeño to the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, and pour in the fresh margaritas.Add a circular slice or wedge of lime! 

Photo courtesy of Amy Baker Wambold

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