Tex-Mex kitchen supper

Thursday night, we had a couple of friends (Brian Micklethwait and Patrick Crozier) round for supper. Brian has a thing about food which resembles in any way a school dinner – by which I mean he does not like that sort of food – so I picked a Tex-Mex menu, as I figured few schools serve that kind of thing. (That said, my high school did do a mean taco salad on Wednesdays.)

Pre-dinner nibbles consisted of chorizo slices laid out with roasted artichokes, roasted red peppers, black olives, and tiny hot banana peppers, alongside which I had some rye bread and French wholegrain mustard. Nobody touched any of this, so I sent Brian home with the chorizo and vegetables. Instead, they filled up on the tortilla crisps and salsa I had made.

I skipped the starter course and went straight to the main: spicy citrus chicken (made with a marinade of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices, ground coriander, garlic, coriander leaf, and ground cumin), Spanish rice (recipe courtesy of Elise Bauer’s excellent Simply Recipes), and black eyed beans. Dessert was a trifle-type thing, though I also ended up offering everyone ice cream as well. Then I foisted all of our leftover Easter chocolates on our guests, as well as cup after cup of the best coffee in the world.

Brian, thankfully, ate everything that was put on his plate.

My instinct when having people over for a meal is always to go completely over the top in terms of food. I am never knowingly undercatered. But the truth is that when people come round for something to eat, their expectations really are not that high. Most would be perfectly content with a high quality tapas-type selection purchased from a good delicatessen. If you wouldn’t be, then I pity the hostess who has to meet your expectations. (Personally, I would offer you the option of contacting the Dept of Dinner Parties ombudsman, who will hear your complaint and offer you a full refund if he considers it a worthy one.)

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