Our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

I am in love with Mexican food. We must eat it at least once every two weeks.  Nothing beats the flavors, the comfort, the cheese.  In fact, I’ve often said that I’ve failed my Caribbean roots because if you ask Giggles what her favorite food, she’ll say “tacos!” without hesitation.

So when Cinco de Mayo rolls around, I am all too happy to indulge in a Mexican feast.  The holiday coincides with Hubby’s birthday (he’s May 7th), so he ends up having Mexican-themed birthday celebrations. Olé!

Another reason that I love preparing (and eating) Mexican food is because it’s so easy to do! Here’s what we’ll be noshing on tomorrow:

Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Raspberry-Mint Agua Fresca

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 22 raspberries
  • 22 fresh mint leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • Ice cubes as needed
Directions:
Select 4 tumblers. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and let cool. 

In a blender, combine 18 of the raspberries, the mint leaves and the sugar syrup and process until a smooth puree forms. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. You should have about 2/3 cup. Add 1 1/3 cups water.

Fill the glasses with ice and divide the raspberry mixture among the glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs and the remaining raspberries speared on a cocktail pick. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

 

 

Recipe Courtesy of Southern Living

Grilled Cheesy Corn

Ingredients:

  • Ears of fresh corn
  • Salt
  • Melted butter
  • Chili powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lime wedges

Directions:

  • Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Pull back husks from ears of fresh corn; remove and discard silks. Tie husks together with kitchen string to form a handle. Soak in cold salted water to cover 10 minutes; drain. Grill corn, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove from grill. Brush corn with melted butter; sprinkle with salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, and grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

 


Recipe Courtesy of Food Network

 


Rachael’s Super Nachos
Ingredients

  • 2 bags corn tortilla chips in 2 colors or different flavors, such as blue corn, red corn, yellow corn, lime flavored, chili flavored or black bean chips — pick 2 favorites

Pico de Gallo Salsa:

  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, for medium to hot heat level
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup, 2 handfuls, cilantro leaves, finely chopped — substitute parsley if cilantro is not to your liking
  • Salt

Beef and Beans Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 ground cumin, half a palmful
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce, giving you medium to hot heat level
  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, drained

Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded, about 2 1/2 cups

Additional toppings to choose from, optional:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped black olives
  • Diced pimento
  • Sliced avocado, dressed with lemon juice
  • Hot pepper sauces

Directions

Arrange a mixture of 2 varieties of corn chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.

Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and saute 2 minutes, then add meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.

In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.

Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. UBER NACHOS! Serve immediately as is or, garnish with your choice of extra toppings from the toppings list.

And then, if I’m feeling ambitious, we’ll give these bunuelos a try.

Party on!

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