"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness."
  --Elsa Schiapirelli 

Mind Caviar, Vol. I Spring Issue, 2000

Santa Fe Fever
by Violet Skye

You've invited a hot date for dinner and you want to make something spicy... Southwestern, but not the typical Tex-Mex fare. No cheesy bean burritos for this HOTTIE! Feed them your Chili-Lime Game Hens with Ancho Sauce and watch the sparks fly. These juicy hens are seasoned with a tantalizing chili-lime marinade, made distinctive through the addition of fresh rosemary and oregano. And if your date turns out to be as spicy as the ancho chili sauce, then you're in for a big treat! 

For hassle-free preparation, (don't you have some leg waxing to do? a leisurely soak in the whirlpool, maybe? You deserve some free time!) make the ancho chili sauce the day before, and marinate the hens in the morning. Then, all you'll have to do the night of your dinner date is roast the ready hens and prepare a side dish, like a simple quick and crisp salad.

This dish goes great with Margaritas, so make sure you buy lots of fresh limes.

Chili-Lime Marinated Cornish Game Hens

Start this recipe the morning of your big dinner date, or even the night before to allow the hens sufficient time to marinate.

You'll Need 2 cornish game hens, defrosted


½ cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
6 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, whisking to blend. Place the hens in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish and pour marinade over the hens, making sure to get marinade inside the cavity of the hens. Cover and refrigerate for 6-10 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 400  F.

3. Place hens in the middle rack of the oven and roast until the thickest part of the thigh registers 170-175 F.  It should take about 45 minutes for average sized hens, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy a Margarita and your lover's fiery kisses.

4. Serve the hens with the ancho chili sauce (recipe below) and a salad. Other suggested accompaniments include spanish rice and black beans.

5. Let the heady mix of spice and lime and tequila transport you and your lover to a lush and balmy night in a tropical paradise. When your lover finally succumbs to its spell (you will know by the languid look of adoration), make your move!

Ancho Chili Sauce

This sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, covered.  But bring it to room temperature before serving.  It's creamy and spicy, sweet and seductive.

3 dried ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon ground cumin

1. Place chilies in a medium metal bowl. Pour enough boiling water over chilies to cover. Let stand until chilies are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the soaking liquid.

2. Puree the chilies, 3 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, and lime juice in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

3. Whisk in the mayonnaise, brown sugar, oregano, rosemary and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Recipe for Flan de Coco (Coconut Custard): Just Desserts!

Recipe for Perfect Margaritas: Bottoms Up!

Copyright © 2000 Violet Skye. All rights reserved.

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