I once went to a dinner party where an American made a big pot of chili for her French guests. While we Americans found the amount of spice to be mild, our French friends’ eyes teared up and we had to open the windows.
So when I found myself hosting a dinner party for three French friends, Tex-Mex was not the obvious choice. But this was too good of an opportunity to be a culinary ambassador of sorts to not just go for it.
What better way to start a Tex-Mex meal than with mezcal cocktails. I had a delicious pre-party taste test to decide between Mezcal Collins and Mezcal Rickeys.
Even though both options were quite tasty, I decided at the last minute to make Mezcal Maids (mezcal, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber and mint). I served small portions of the cocktails in shot glasses garnished with mint sprigs.
We sipped our cocktails sitting around a table laden with homemade guacamole, pico de gallo and heavenly tortilla chips from Mil Amores Tortilleria. I decorated the table with bell pepper candle holders, bowls covered with colorful tissue paper fringe and a festive bouquet.
I made fajitas for the main course. Since moving to France, I have become slightly obsessed with the fajita seasoning you find in American grocery stores. As an expat, this stuff is powered gold. My mother has been known to send care packages with up to twenty seasoning packets.
For the dinner, I added the seasoning mix to a pan of chicken, red and yellow bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.
The pièces de résistance of the meal were the heavenly tortillas from Mil Amores. They were so fresh and the taste of corn was divine.
If my friends had not kindly offered to bring dessert, I would have been sorely tempted to attempt these fantastic cactus cupcakes.
The evening was a great success. My friends thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to Tex-Mex cuisine. There were no tears in the eyes of my French guests, which is to say, very few jalapeños were harmed in the making of this meal.