BEST DRESSED Mexican Style BBQ with Celeste

Thursday, July 19, 2012    

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A chef wont to experiment with her fare, caterer Celeste Gordon invited five of her nearest and dearest to an afternoon barbecue at her St Andrew home earlier this week. Using Best Dressed Chicken as the barbecue's staple, Gordon channelled a Mexican theme — tacos, guacamole, and black bean salad factored into the equation — and judging by the clean plates, we dare suggest that appetites were not only whet, but satisfied.

Thursday Food shares Gordon's recipes and scenes from her Best Dressed Chicken Mexican style afternoon.


Grilled Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds with Tostones


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt/pepper (to taste)

3 teaspoons garlic (minced)

2 stalks scallions (minced)

1 sprig thyme (minced)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup mango chutney (any brand)

1 firm mango (diced)

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 tbsp basil (chiffonade)

1 bag tostones

Vegetable oil (to fry tostones)


Clean chicken breasts of any excess fat and split each breast in half to equal thickness.

Season with the garlic, thyme, escallion salt, and pepper. Brush the chicken with olive oil, and on a preheated grill (or grill pan), cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooling, heat the oil in a pan and fry the tostones until crispy and golden brown.

Leave to drain on paper towel and salt the hot tostones to taste. Once the chicken is cooled to room temperature, finely dice the chicken and stir in the diced mango, mango chutney, almonds, basil and salt and pepper (to taste).

Serve immediately.

(Yields: Chicken Salad for 10 people)

Chicken Wings with Lime Cilantro Chimichurri


5 pounds chicken wings, cleaned with wing tips removed and the wing separated in two

6 cloves garlic (minced)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup basil (minced)

1/4 cup escallion (minced)

6 oz olive oil

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup cilantro

1/ cup scallion (chopped)

1/4 cup lime juice

8 cloves garlic


Put wings in a bowl and season with garlic, salt, pepper, basil, limejuice, scallion and two ounces of olive oil.

Let marinate for at least an hour.

Grill wings in batches turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes per batch.

In a food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, escallion, garlic and lime juice and blend until incorporated. Add olive oil in a slow steady stream, pureeing until almost smooth. Once done, serve chimichurri sauce on the side.

(Yields: Wings For 10 people)

Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos with Grilled Marinated Tomatoes, Spicy Corn Salsa and Guacamole


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

6 teaspoons garlic

Salt and pepper (to taste)

3 stalks escallion (minced)

1 sprig thyme (chopped)

2 ounces olive oil

4 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)

2 packs flour tortillas

8 ounces lettuce (chiffonade)

2 cans sweet corn (drained)

1 each scotch bonnet pepper (minced)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 each avocado pear (quartered, pitted, and peeled)

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (to taste)


Clean chicken breasts of any excess fat and split each breast in half to equal thickness.

Season with two teaspoons garlic, thyme, scallion, salt, and pepper. Brush the chicken with olive oil, and on a preheated grill (or grill pan), cook for five minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

In a bowl combine tomatoes, one teaspoon garlic, salt, pepper and one ounce olive oil and mix.

Place the tomatoes, halve side down and grill till tender. Place in a bowl and let cool.

In a separate bowl, combine corn, two tablespoons cilantro, scotch bonnet to taste, garlic, salt and pepper and mix. Set aside for service.

Place avocados, two tablespooons cilantro, one teaspoon garlic, salt, pepper, scotch bonnet pepper to taste, one stalk escallion and the lime juice in a bowl and mash together all ingredients with a fork until smooth. Adjust seasoning and then serve.

For assembly, cut chicken breast on the bias and place some of the lettuce and the chicken in each tortilla. Serve with the condiments.

(Yields: Tacos for 8 people)

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Basil Dressing


2 lb sweet potatoes (peeled and cut in to rings)

3 cloves garlic (peeled)

1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped basil


Cover potatoes with cold salted water in a large pot, then bring to a boil.

Simmer until fork tender. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, drizzle one ounce of olive oil over the potatoes.

When grill is hot, place potatoes on the grill, uncovered, turning, until grill marks appear.

(Yields: Potatoes for 6 people)

Black Bean Salad


2 cans black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)

2 stalks escallion (chopped)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 cloves garlic (minced)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon ground coriander


Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

(Salad can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

(Yields: Beans for 6 people)

Meringues with Cream, Grilled Pineapple and Berry Salad


5 egg whites

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pineapple (cut into 12 rings)

2 ounces honey

2 cups strawberries (quartered then halved)

1 cup blueberries (washed)


Heeat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease.

In a clean mixing bowl whip egg whites and salt until foamy (soft peaks).

Increase speed to medium high gradually adding in sugar and cornstarch, then after a few minutes add the vinegar.

Whip until glossy and stiff peaks form (egg whites will hold their peak positions, about four to five minutes).

Pipe (with a piping bag and tip) or spoon the meringue into a dozen rounds/baskets on the baking sheet.

Place in oven for two hours, or until crisp and dry.

Take the sliced pineapple rings and drizzle one ounce of honey over the pineapple and grill each slice. Let cool.

Combine the two types of berries and the remaining honey and mix and then refrigerate till ready to assemble the dessert

In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream, vanilla and icing sugar until firm.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When serving, fill meringues with cream and top with a grilled pineapple ring and then pile on the berries. Serve immediately.

(Yields: Meringues for 12 People)



2 ounces tequila

1 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Salt for garnish


Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water.

Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.

(Yield: Makes one drink)





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