April 14, 2011

Pappasito's Patio!

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again! Texas is calling our names to head back home and celebrate the engagements of the boys! These are happy times and we simply cannot contain our excitement to see the sweet faces of children and grandchildren. We plan to spend a celebratory evening on the patio of one of our favorite dining spots in Big T!

A Maine House Mosaic

Pappasito's Cantina, a Tex-Mex favorite, has been voted Number One Mexican Restaurant repeatedly in publications across Texas. Pappasito's is famous for Texas-size portions of sizzling fajitas, margaritas and some of the best chips and salsa north of the Rio Grande! Strings of colored lights, decor from the Mexican revolution and Latin music quickly establish a vacation-like vibe as diners work their way to the bar or wait for a dinner table. The dining room bustles as families and groups come together for a celebratory meal. Servers hurry back and forth, bringing endless baskets of chips and stopping rather frequently to sing their version of the birthday song to yet another table.

6 (12-inch long) metal skewers
12 jumbo shrimp
6 slices bacon
12 green bell pepper wedges
12 red bell pepper wedges
12 red onion wedges
12 chicken breast slices
6 pineapple slices
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons red pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 pound butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups Italian dressing

Cut peppers in half from top to bottom and deseed. Cut twelve 2- x 2-inch red onion pieces and set aside. Slice twelve pieces uncooked beef for fajitas into 1-inch wide, 4-inch long strips. Slice twelve pieces of uncooked chicken breasts for fajitas into 1-inch wide, 4-inch long strips. Cut six 1 1/2- x 1 1/2-inch cubes of pineapple and set aside.

Rinse shrimp in a strainer. Remove 3/4 of the shell, leaving the last section and the tail intact. With a small sharp paring knife, cut the shrimp along the underneath vein. Be careful not to cut completely through the top of the shrimp (cutting shrimp from the bottom and not all the way through helps when stuffing). Both veins should now be exposed. Wash them out of the shrimp. Complete procedure for all shrimp and place on a plate in the refrigerator when finished. Cut bacon in half all at once and set aside. Combine black pepper, paprika, and red pepper. Stir until well-blended and set aside. Soften the butter at room temperature and whip with garlic and wine until well-combined. Set in refrigerator. Wrap one half piece of bacon around shrimp body (not tail). Set on plate and repeat until all shrimp are finished. With all prepared vegetables and shrimp in front of you, take one 12-inch skewer and with the sharp end, stab in the following order: one green bell pepper wedge, beef, red onion wedge, chicken, red bell pepper wedge, bacon-wrapped shrimp (through the main part of the body), red bell pepper wedge, chicken, red onion wedge, beef and green bell pepper wedge. Do not shove vegetables, meat and shrimp too close together or they will not cook evenly. Place the prepared skewers on a plate in the refrigerator while you prepare the grill to a medium low flame (gas grill low flame, lid open). Have a small cup of water ready to sprinkle over the fire if this happens). Soak the skewers in Italian dressing for 2 to 3 minutes. Place on the grill, sprinkle with seasonings and baste with butter mixture (about 1/2 cup total). Serve remainder of butter slightly melted with mixed grill.

Pappasito's Tortilla Soup
7 cups Chicken stock or broth
1 cup white onions, diced
1 cup Carrots, sliced
1 T. Minced fresh jalapenos
1 cup Zucchini, sliced
1 cup Yellow squash, sliced
1 T. Salt
1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
6 Baby corn cobs, precooked 
6 cups Crispy corn tortilla chips
6 oz Monterey Jack cheese

 Place the broth in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and simmer until carrots are tender. Add jalapenos, zucchini, and yellow squash to broth and simmer 10 minutes more. Add salt. Taste and make sure all veggies are tender. Add tomatoes just before serving. Garnish with corn, tortilla chips, and cheese.

Pappasito's Texas Cyclone
Kosher salt
1 1/4 ounces Jose Cuervo 1800 Tequila
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
Squeeze of fresh lime
Squeeze of fresh orange
4 ounces sweet-and-sour/lemon-lime mix

Frost a 10-ounce glass and salt the rim. Combine tequila, Grand Marnier, lime and orange juices and sweet-and-sour mix. Pour into prepared glass. Salud!

"felicitaciones por su compromiso"

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