Latin Twist: Roasted Jalapeño and Mango Margarita


Spark is something we talk a lot about on Valentine’s Day. Well, though that’s over,  we realize, amigos, that we always want spark in our lives! And so, my friends, as an antidote to wintertime blues (and let’s face it: most of us are suffering from this malady!), I offer you the Roasted Jalapeño and Mango Margarita. This one will kick us, gently, into spring… ¡Buen Provecho! Enjoy! Mango Roasted Jalapeno Margarita   

Suburban Sweets: Crumb Cake


  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Crumb Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 15 inch x 10 inch jelly roll baking pan with butter. Then spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Measure all cake ingredients into a large bowl and stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread the batter evenly onto prepared jelly roll pan. Set aside.
  3. Measure all dry crumb ingredients (sugar – cinnamon) into a large bowl and stir. Pour in butter and vanilla and toss gently until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the large crumbs over the prepared cake batter.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


1 roasted jalapeño, seeded, deveined and diced (adjust the amount according to your own taste–and save some diced jalapeño for garnish!)
1/2 cup excellent quality mango purée
Juice of 1 lime, and a wedge for the glass and for garnish
1 teaspoon coarse salt (for the rim of the glass)
1 1/2 ounces of pepper infused tequila (I used Agave Loco) OR your favorite tequila
1/2 ounce triple sec or Cointreau 1 cup ice cubes
Combine half the roasted jalapeño and mango nectar in a blender and combine until well blended. Set aside. Rub the rim of a glass with a wedge of lime to moisten it. Pour the salt onto a plate and press the rim of th glass into it, turning it gently until the rim is evenly coated. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, triple sec Cointreau, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the mango jalapeño mango purée, and the ice. Shake well and strain (if you’d like it straight up!) or just pour into the prepared glass. Garnish with diced roasted jalapeño and the lime wedge and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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