Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Fun Little Fiesta {Inspired by Rick Bayless}

Put on some festive music, pour yourself an ice cold beverage,  and dance around.  It's time for a little fiesta, courtesy of Rick Bayless, and his fabulous recipes. Here's what's on the menu.

 Fiesta Menu
Late Summer Salsa Mexicana
Simple Guacamole
Tortilla Chips
Pollo Monterrey
Garlicky White Rice
Watermelon Cooler
The only way to kick off a fiesta is with this  Late Summer Salsa Mexicana.  You may even have all the ingredients in your very own garden! Gather up some ripe tomatoes and dice them up with some white onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Toss it all together with some lime juice and a little salt and you have one fresh summer fresh salsa! Serve with chips as an appetizer or use it as a topping to brighten any meal.
Add a little more color to your fiesta with this Simple Guacamole.  Ripe avocado along with some white onion, lime juice, serrano peppers, and garlic come together to make one luscious and creamy dip or topping for your Mexican fiesta!
Since we're building layers of flavor, a little of Rick Bayless' Garlicky White Rice, can only help things out, right?  This simple and fluffy white rice has six cloves of garlic goodness and is definitely a welcome change from the typical Red Chile or Mexican rice served in most Mexican restaurants.  If garlic is your thing then I definitely urge you to give it a try.
 For the main course, I made my own version of a family favorite, Pollo Monterrey, or simply put...chicken topped with cheese sauce.  I seasoned thin chicken cutlets with Sazon and seared both sides in a hot skillet.  I topped the chicken breasts with shredded monterey jack cheese and covered the skillet for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Delicious, easy and simple. I served my version of Pollo Monterrey with warm flour tortillas, the salsa, simple guacamole, shredded lettuce, cilantro, and all the ingredients to build your own taco.  It was a fun, flavorful, family-friendly meal. 
To wash it all down I made Rick's Watermelon Cooler, a refreshing blend of fresh watermelon, lime juice, and sugar.  This was by far our favorite part of the meal. Perhaps it had something to do with the extreme heat and humidity outside?  Not to mention, I think the kiddos felt like they were drinking a grown up drink.  If you're in the mood for a special little sipper I would highly suggest making this while watermelon in season!

*click on the recipe titles for the link to each recipe

Theme: August Potluck with Rick Bayless!


  1. That meal looks wonderful to me. I am a huge fan of Mexican food.

  2. Wow, it all looks great! I have the rice before and it is awesome!

  3. What a delicious feast. I'm intrigued by the idea of garlic rice!

  4. Wow, Kim, your Mexican fiesta blows my mind. I would love every element of this amazing feast, especially the watermelon cooler - though without children to consider, there is a distinct possibility that I would feel duty bound to add a little vodka to it - purely in the interests of research of course :-)

  5. What a gorgeous plate - everything looks so delicious, I wouldn't know where to start!

  6. Oh Wow! What a fiesta! Everything looks delicious, and I am eyeing that garlic rice! Bookmarking that! I love the watermelon cooler, it was a hit with my family too. I should really make this again!
    Yummy potluck!

  7. Love Rick Bayless recipes, your meal looks delicious!!

  8. This sounds so delicous and like summer!

  9. Wow, Kim, you really partied down here – what a meal!!!

  10. Simple, fresh and wholesome! Great combinations for a summer meal. Please hop over to my blog too:

  11. I just came home from a Mexican place and they used a thin queso sauce over their arroz con pollo which I thought was odd but it is similar to the Monterey chicken here so I guess it is not so add after all. Great menu, Kim!

  12. AMAZING and it lends so well to summer eating!

  13. OK, you made me totally want to pull out my Rick Bayless cookbooks. Everything looks amazing. I was thinking I made the watermelon cooler before but I think I made his watermelon mojito instead. The cooler looks equally refreshing and of course better for the family! ;-)

  14. For some reason the Fall season inspires me to cook Mexican food, I am such a Rick Bayless fan. I've found a few new recipes here. That rice is a must make and the chicken topped with cheese sauce.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.