The last time we had several of our neighbors over for dinner we wanted to serve something authentically American. Had we taken a survey of our guests in advance they probably would have expected hot dogs and hamburgers. A major European supermarket chain has an annual “Taste of America” promotion that would expand on those choices by including barbecued ribs and fried chicken. Even our 10-year-old friend across the street followed a recipe called “Les Vrai Cookies Américains” (Real American Cookies) that we enjoyed as chocolate chip cookies. While all of those could logically be included in a meal from across the Atlantic, we were looking for something different. A Thanksgiving spread wouldn’t work nor would a 4th of July picnic. Then we thought about one of our favorite types of foods that we had tasted only a couple of times since moving: Mexican. Now we’re talking genuine American!
Just prior to moving to France we had lived for years in Atlanta where the telephone directory lists over 500 Mexican restaurants in the city and some of the suburbs. In travels across the US it never seemed to matter how small a town we found ourselves in, when we got hungry we could always find handmade burritos, fresh guacamole, and frosty margaritas nearby. With nationwide access like that, how could we not share that with our invitees?
Although even in our small inner-city supermarket we can easily find Mexican-themed food products from a US manufacturer named after the 6th largest city in Texas, we wanted to make as much from scratch as possible. Thanks to the generosity of many of our blog readers who have visited Carcassonne and brought packages of spices with them, those shelves are full. In fact, we now know where to find locally almost everything that we need but still we can’t help looking at food supply websites, just in case. The Mexican food you see in the accompanying photo came from Sous Chef located in England.
When our California friends Sue and Michael were last in Carcassonne they treated us to a true homemade fiesta in their vacation apartment. With a tip of the sombrero to them, here’s the menu we served to our neighbors:
- Margaritas, guacamole, salsa, chips
- Carnitas burritos
- Chicken enchiladas
- Pico de gallo
- Refried beans
- Mexican rice
OK, the cheesecake might not have been on-theme, but it was by special request and Bill makes one that’s a prize-winning end to a delicious meal. And speaking of desserts, look what Sally and Larry just dropped off at our house. Although we can find coconut in the supermarkets here, it’s not exactly like this version and that’s the missing ingredient to another of Bill’s masterpieces: Baker’s German Chocolate cake. Looks like we’ll have another “by request” meal in the near future!