Summertime in Texas is hot, which might make us all a bit lazy. My only ambition is to look for a nice stretch of shade and live in that spot until December rolls around. However, this is not a complaint. If I did not love Texas weather, I would not be here!
Enjoying all the glories of summertime requires little ambition. A couple of burgers, a nice cocktail, and it is a party! And as for the kids, do not forget these are the summers they will remember forever. A little something special for them will go a long way, and for heaven’s sake let them get completely messy! That is why we have a garden hose.
One of my most vivid Texas food memories is pimento cheese sandwiches. We would pass those around as a snack at my grandparents’ house, or at birthday parties while we were waiting to open the gifts. There has never been a dreary association with pimento cheese; however, I did modernize the recipe for you by making it with pepper jack cheese.
Any burger is great with a dollop of pepper jack pimento cheese on top, which includes turkey, chicken veggie, or portobello burgers too. Or you can be extra lazy like us, and just enjoy pepper jack pimento cheese on crackers. Yeah, we have got a summertime mood always on our mind. Less work means a better summer day.
Paired with the burger are two south-of-the-border summertime favorites that we also enjoy. A spicy michelada cocktail is an icy combination of tomato juice and beer that refreshes and satisfies. Excellent with burgers (obviously!) and also is delicious at the beach with a shrimp cocktail or a platter of Gulf oysters.
For the kids, we have a fresh fruit mango ice pop with chamoy dip. Sweet and sour with a bit of heat, chamoy dip is incredibly popular along the border as a sauce on fresh fruit, a flavor enhancement in fresh smoothies, or as a rimmer on sweet frozen drinks. Do the kids really need to know these frozen icy summer treats are full of real fruit, with no added corn syrup or artificial flavors? Nope. They will be too busy enjoying their street-style ice pop in the comfort of their own back yard. You can be right there with them, enjoying the moment, but ready when it is time for the garden hose.
Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese Burgers | Yields 4 Burgers
- 4 burger patties
- 4 burger buns, toasted
- Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles for garnish
Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese Ingredients
- 4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Prepare the pimento cheese by combining the shredded cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, and lemon juice.
- Toss and stir to combine well.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready for use.
- Grill or pan-fry the burger patties and place on toasted buns.
- Top with the desired amount of pepper jack pimento cheese and garnishes.
Easy Spicy Micheladas | Yields 4 Servings
- Kosher salt for rimming the glass
- 2 limes, cut in half
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 4 single serving cans of tomato juice, chilled (5.5 oz each)
- 2 bottles of beer, chilled
- Extra lime wedges for garnish
- Pour 2 to 3 spoonfuls of kosher salt on a shallow plate and spread evenly on the plate.
- Rub a cut lime around the rim of a 12-ounce glass.
- Invert the glass onto the salt so that the salt adheres to the rim.
- Turn the glass over and squeeze the juice of half a lime into the glass.
- Add ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce to each glass.
- Pour a can of tomato juice and half of a beer into each glass.
- Serve immediately.
Mango Ice Pops with Chamoy Dip | Yields 10 Servings
Mango Ice Pop Ingredients
- 3 pounds fresh mangoes
- 1 cup sugar
Chamoy Dip Ingredients
- 12 ounces dried apricots
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
- Peel and seed the fresh mangoes and place in the container of a food processor.
- Add the sugar and pulse until you have a smooth puree.
- Pour into a 10-portion ice pop mold, add popsicle sticks and freeze.
- Meanwhile, to make the chamoy dip, place the apricots in a small saucepan, along with 1 cup of the water.
- Bring to a boil, cover, then lower to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and place the softened fruit in the container of a blender.
- Add the remaining cup of water and the remaining ingredients.
- Puree until smooth.
- For a smooth puree, add ½ cup more water if necessary.
- Serve the chamoy dip with the mango ice pops. Store in the refrigerator until ready for use.