Tag Archives: Mexican

Chopped Mexican Salad

It’s Taco Tuesday!  Kinda.

This post does not contain mind-bogglingly wonderful photography, but I had to share, despite the iPhone pictures.  A couple weeks ago, Wheat was craving tacos.  Tacos just aren’t my thing unless I’m in the right mood.  But, I was in the mood for a salad, and I remembered this chopped mexican salad that Natalie over at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers share a while back.    We killed two birds with one stone: I had salad, and Wheat put his salad into taco shells. ;)

Chopped Mexican Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Chopped Mexican Salad
barely adapted from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers
serves four to six people

– 1 Head Romain, Chopped
– 2 tomatoes, diced
– 2 jalapeños, chopped finely
– a few green onions, sliced thinly
– 1 avocado, diced
– 2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from the cob
– 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
– Crumbled Cotija Cheese, if you can find it – I used shredded “Mexican blend” cheese from a bag
– 1 pound lean ground beef
– 1 packet taco seasoning
– salsa
– sour cream
– limes

Chop lettuce, place in a large serving bowl and top with the tomatoes, jalapeños, green onions, avocado, corn, pinto beans, and cheese.  Toss together and set aside.  Cook the ground beef, drain, and add taco seasoning + water (or cook according to taco seasoning packet directions).  Top the salad with ground beef and garnish with salsa and sour cream.  Squeeze limes over the top and serve with limes as garnish, for extra squeezin’.

Chopped Mexican Salad | Oysters & Pearls
I think this salad is improved with the zing of citrus, so if you don’t have limes, improvise with a salad dressing of lemon juice and olive oil or something along those lines.  Or just eat it with salsa as your dressing.  It’s great that way, too!
Chopped Mexican Salad | Oysters & Pearls
Just don’t forget the hot sauce! ;)
Until Next Time

St. Germain Margaritas


Friday is finally here again.  Thank Goodness.  Hopefully the 13th means nothing but good luck.

I am here today to drop a boozing revelation on y’all.

St. Germain Margarita Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

When in town for our friends Mandi and Jim’s wedding in October, we stopped at Taco Lu in Jacksonville Beach for lunch.  I asked our waitress for a recommendation (the margarita choices were seriously overwhelming) since I don’t like very sweet drinks.  She recommended the Skinny Saint margarita made with St. Germain.


It was ah-mazing.  Perfectly sweet, with a hint of something else (elderflower, obvi).  Anyway, I set a goal to recreate it at home.  After some experimentation, I think I got it right.

St. Germain Margarita | Oysters & Pearls

Please note that I am the FURTHEST thing from a professional bartender.  I am actually very, very far from an amateur bartender.  I generally stick to my homeboy Jesus’ favorites: water and wine.  But this is worth pretending I know what I’m doing.

St. Germain Margarita Recipe


– one part tequila
– two parts St. Germain
– juice of two limes

Place ingredients in a mason jar (because it has measurements on the side!), then fill the rest of the way up with ice.  Put on the jar lid tightly and shake it like a polaroid picture.  Remove lid.  Dress up the jar rim with salt if you’re fancy.  Drink up.

Juicing Limes for St. Germain Margaritas | Oysters & Pearls

I had my margs with a homemade quesadilla that got me hooked on the ‘dillas for over a week.  Side note/funny story: Wheat’s aunt and uncle thought I was preggo because I posted a picture of this quesadilla on Instagram and said I couldn’t stop eating them.  They announced to the family at Thanksgiving that we were “with ninos” based on this assumption.  I guess when we really do decide to have kids I’ll have to have a Mexican themed gender reveal party or something.  Totally normal.

Sausage, Caramelized Onions, Cheddar & Chevre Quesadillas | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, for the bomb.com quesadilla, I browned some sausage in a skillet and drained it over paper towels, and caramelized some onions in yet another skillet.  Finally, I placed a tortilla in a large (dry) cast iron skillet, topped it with sausage, caramelized onions, shredded cheddar and some fresh goat chèvre, sprinkled it with some dried cilantro, then topped it with the other tortilla.  These were some of the best ‘dillas I’ve had in ages!  Cook until the cheese melts.

Making Guacamole | Oysters & Pearls

Guacamole was also necessary, obvi.  One avocado mashed with half a tomato, chopped, plus cilantro, salt & pepper, and some ground cayenne pepper (just a smidge!).

St. Germain Margaritas and Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Cheddar & Chevre Quesadillas | Oysters & Pearls

All totally legit reasons to make me crave Mexican night again, sans baby + margaritas.

Low Sugar St. Germain Margarita | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll drink to that.


Until Next Time

Chicken Tacos & Jalapeno Hot Sauce

There is a new Mexican restaurant in town (no, I’m not cheesily referring to our own home) that serves the BEST, most legit Mexican food in all the land. It’s called Taqueria Los Sanches, in case you’re ever in Bainbridge. I have never been very excited about “Mexican” food, but this place is so good. They hand make all of their salsa, hot sauces, even their tortillas, I’m pretty sure. Their chicken tacos haunt me in my sleep, they’re so good. Flour (soft) tortilla, chicken, fresh onion and cilantro, and sliced avocado, with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of their delicious homemade jalapeño hot sauce. I’ve definitely, unashamedly, instagrammed their tacos, as seen below.


As you probably have deduced, I LOVE HOT SAUCE. I love Crystal, I love the Rooster sauce, I love it all. Heck, I’ve even come to love Tabasco, and I’m dying to visit Avery Island. Thus, I have become obsessed with the “green hot sauce” at Taqueria Los Sanches. The sweet girl who works there was kind enough to tell me how they make it, and this is the story of how I attempted to recreate it.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Jalapeño Hot Sauce (adapted from Taqueria Los Sanches in Bainbridge, Georgia)


– as many jalapeños as you can get your hands on
– half a vidalia onion
– 2 tablespoons onion powder
– 2 tablespoons garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Boiling Jalapenos for Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Boil peppers whole (“tails removed”) for 15 minutes or so with the rest of the ingredients. Remove from heat and puree. I only had a food processor, which didn’t puree the seeds as well as theirs was, so I pressed the hot sauce through a fine mesh strainer with a ladle and a canning funnel. It made it much runnier than theirs, which will be perfect to transfer into old hot sauce bottles. It’s almost the exact same consistency as Crystal or Tabasco hot sauce. Also, since I strained the seeds out, it’s not nearly as hot as Taqueria Los Sanches’ version. Leave ’em in if you want! Side note: I really need an immersion blender. Or just any blender. Or both.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

I ended up with 3 and a quarter jars of hot sauce. Because I don’t have a ton of room in the fridge, like ever, I decided to go ahead and process these in a hot water bath simply to see if they would be shelf stable. The best practice , however, would be to keep them in the fridge, since this recipe does not contain vinegar.  Botulism is serious business!

Jalapeno Hot Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Since we had all this hot sauce around, naturally it was taco night at the Kirbo house. I tried to recreate my favorite tacos from Taqueria Los Sanches as best as I could, but we really just made it a taco bar of sorts.

Chicken Taco Toppings | Oysters & Pearls

Tomatoes, onions minced with cilantro, and fresh avocado slices. The limes didn’t make it into the picture above, but they are an essential part of these tacos.

Chicken Tacos | Oysters & Pearls

So much Mexican goodness!!

Chicken Tacos with Avocado | Oysters & Pearls

Might I recommend some legit Los Sanches tacos for your 4th of July celebrations? They are so colorful and festive and fresh! They’d also be tasty with shrimp or fish.

Whatever you’re doing to celebrate this great nation of ours, be safe and remember, freedom isn’t free. Thank a soldier or a veteran this weekend!