Two Great Cookbooks and One Fabulous Austin-Style, Tex-Mex Feast….

As I have said before I love cookbooks.  So when I had a small group of friends over last Thursday I wanted to try something a little different. I was craving Mexican food, I know that’s a real shocker, but I wanted something lighter than the typical rich and heavy Tex-Mex meal. Then I remembered that I had a wonderful recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, cookbook “Family Style” for Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken. What is more perfect on warm summer day than Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken?

For the side dishes I turned to another one of my favorite cookbooks, The Homesick Texan, by Lisa Fain. Since Tequila Lime Chicken makes me think of a party, and where better to party in Texas than Austin? So I decided to go with an Austin, Texas style “Green Chile Rice” and “Austin-Style Black Beans”.


Another great thing about this meal was I did most of my prep work the day before I had people over. I marinated the chicken the day before, made the roasted green chile paste for the rice the day before, and cooked my black-beans the day before. That makes for an easy dinner party and a relaxed host. Serve this meal with my Fresh Skinny Margaritas, my Spicy Pineapple Margaritas or my refreshing Pineapple Vodkarita.


Here are the recipes, along with my alterations, that I used for this Austin Style Tex-Mex Feast. I hope y’all enjoy them as much as I do and be sure to check out Lisa Fain’s Cookbook The Homesick Texan as well as all of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks.


Thanks Y’all!


For the most part I followed the recipes exactly, on the Tequila lime chicken I used the zest from the limes as well as the juice and I added a 1 Tablespoon of Cumin to the marinade. I used boneless skinless chicken breast and to make it a little more fun I added a little slice of pepper-jack cheese to the top of the chicken and melted it on the grill.

Tequila Lime Chicken

By Ina Garten: Family Style


½ Cup Tequila

1 Cup Fresh Lime Juice (5-6 Limes)

½ Cup Fresh Orange Juice

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic, Minced

1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced

2 Teaspoon Kosher salt

1 Handful chopped Fresh Cilantro

6 Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

6 slices of Pepper-Jack Cheese (optional)



Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large zip top bag. Add the chicken breast. Refrigerate overnight.

Pre-Heat the grill and brush the grill grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill for about 5 minutes until nicely browned. Then turn the chicken and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or just until cook through. Melt the pepper jack cheese on top of the chicken. Remove from the grill to a plate and cover tightly with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes.


For the Green Chile Rice I added ½ a chopped purple onion to the rice and replaced the lard with butter. For some reason I just can’t bring myself to purchase lard…


Green Chili Rice

By Lisa Fain, from The Homesick Texan Cookbook


2 Poblano Chiles

1 Jalapeno Chile, stem and seeds removed, chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic

½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

¼ Cup Cilantro

1 Lime, the juice and the zest

1 Tablespoon of Butter

½ Purple Onion, diced

1 Cup uncooked Rice

1¼ Cups Chicken Stock

Salt to Taste



Roast the poblano chiles on a hot grill or under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the poblano chiles in plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. Take the chiles out of the container and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds. Place the chiles in a food processor with the jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, cumin, lime juice and zest, and a tablespoon of water. Puree until a thick paste forms.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom pot on medium low heat. Sauté the purple onion for 5 minutes until tender then add the rice and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the poblano puree and while stirring cook for one minute more. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then cover the pot. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 more minutes. Stir the rice to incorporate any puree that’s accumulated on top and salt to taste.


The Austin Style Black Beans called for a chopped carrot, and I left that out and I added 2 strips of Bacon. Also I added a few extra spices like chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and Mexican oregano.


Austin-Style Black Beans

Adapted from the recipe by Lisa Fain, The Homesick Texan


1 Pound dried Black Beans

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Yellow Onion, Diced

4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

2 Canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, Chopped

2 Strips of Bacon

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

½ Teaspoon Mexican Oregano

½ Teaspoon Onion Powder

½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ cup Cilantro, chopped

1 Tablespoon Tomato paste

The juice of 1 Lime

Salt, to Taste


Rinse and sort through the beans, removing any stones and shriveled beans.

Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and the cook for 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.

Return the empty pot to the stove. Heat the pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the diced onion, and the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in the tomato paste and the spices and cook for another 30 seconds.

Return the beans to the pot and cover with 2 inches of hot water. Add in the chipotle chiles, and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered, with the lid slightly ajar, for 1 hour.

After 1 hour add the remaining cilantro, and taste the beans for seasoning. Add salt as desired.  Cook the beans for 30 more minutes or until tender.

Top the beans with the fresh lime juice just before serving.


I hope you have enjoyed these recipes and you give them a try next time you are craving a different kind of Tex-Mex.


Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

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