Cinco de Mayo, anyone?

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Okay, everyone - Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching - plans? food? celebrations?

The website of Zarela Martinez, the unequivocal deva of traditional Mexican food, has some awesome ideas for celebrating the day.

I'm doing a party for 8, with HDs of tequila/cherry tomato shooters, mini-crab cakes with chipotle cream, stuffed quail eggs el diablo; appy is wild mushroom/pepper jack cheese ravioli with a fire-roasted onion couli; salad is a Texas cesar salad with smoked duck breast (thanks, Dean!); main is pecan-crusted pork tenderloins stuffed with chard/manchego cheese, with a poblano cream, and jicama slaw; mini-red/white/yellow/blue tortillas; and a Oaxacan chocolate torte for dessert.

This is absolutely my favorite food - I can't wait to start!!!!!!
Joined Feb 7, 2002
marmalady - do you think you could post some of those recipes? especially the tequila/cherry tomato shooters...that sounds awesome.

Joined Apr 19, 2001
CC - There is no way in my tiny little mind that I can imagine me ordering you around the kitchen!!! Thanks for the compliment, tho, it made my day!!

Okay, Dunk, here's the shooters - if you want any more let me know - some of the dishes have only been made in my head so far - I'm going to be doing some experimenting the next two weeks!

Tequila/Cherry Tomato Shooters

1 lb. small cherry tomatoes (about 35)
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tsp. powdered gelatin
1/3 cup V-8 juice
3T white tequila
1T minced white onion
1T minced cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. celery salt
Cilantro leaves for garnish.

Cut off tops of tomatoes, scoop out insides, and turn upside down on paper towels to drain out.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over V-8, and let stand 1 minute; heat until gelatin is dissolved, over low heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in jalapeno, tequila, onion, cilantro, salt and celery salt. Cool slightly.

Hold each tomato over the saucepan, and using a small spoon, spoon filling into the tomatoes; arrange them on your serving platter as you fill. Chill covered 4 hours or until filling is set, up to 1 day.
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Heck, I'd take any excuse for Mexican food.

If I can even find any good quality produce, I will be making mango drinks (smoothies or granitas, or something) and guacamole and salsa.... simple but delicious.

I might have to stop at Taco Bell on the way home from work, just to get past the extreme Mexican food craving you just started me on, thankyou very much!!!

Joined Mar 13, 2001
Oh Marm, you're making my heart stop!

Love Zarela, love Dean and especially his Texas Cesar Salad! And don't get me started on the blue tortilla... :lips:

and thanks for the Tequila/Cherry Tomato Shooters!!! :bounce:
Joined Apr 19, 2001
You're welcome, guys - and Shimmer, I too get Taco Bell cravings! I find if I slather everything with the hottest sauce they have, it's not too bad!!

I'll post some more of my 'Chili Queen recipes', if you'd like; I have tons; give me some feedback on what you're interested in and I'll see what I have in my chili files!!!
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Okay, muy chicos and chicas,


¼ cup butter
1 cup blue cornmeal
¼ cup boiling water

8 poblano chiles
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 lb.cream cheese
2T butter
½ cup cilantro
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 ½ cups grated Cheddar
½ cup chopped jalepeno

1 papaya
2 cloves garlic
½ red bell pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
2T cilantro
¼ cup rice vinegar

Preheat oven to 325; for crust, melt butter and in a bowl stir together with cornmeal and water. Press mixture into bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.

For filling, roast and peel poblanos and jalepenos and chop. In a food processor, blend sour cream and eggs. Add cream cheese and butter and blend til smooth; transfer to a bowl and stir in chiles, cheese, cilantro and salt. Pour filling over crust, and bake in middle of oven 45 minutes, or til center is just set; cool in pan on a rack.

For salsa, peel and seed papaya and chop; mince garlic; stir everything together and season to taste. Slice cake and spoon salsa over; serve with tortilla chips.


makes 16-24

1/3 cup butter soft3 oz.queso fresco or goat cheese3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup masa harina8oz. cooked chicken½ cup sour cream
½ cup diced avocado2T cilantro¾ tsp. lime zest
4tsp.chopped scallions2tsp. chipotle in adobo2tsp. lime juice
cilantro leaves/slivered orangepeel

For shells: Beat together butter and cheese in medium bowl til smooth; beat in flour and masa harina; add enough water (2-3T) to form a soft dough. Shape into 16-24 balls and press into 2 1/2 inch tart pans or 24 minimuffin pans. Bake at 375 for 14-16 minutes til golden.
For filling: stir together chicken, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, scallion, chipotle pepper, lime zest and juice, salt/pepper. Fill warm shells with chicken mixture. Garnish with orange zest and cilantro.


8 servings

1 cup corn7 green onions4tsp. mustard
2tsp. coriander½ tsp. cayenne¼ cup butter
6 beaten eggs24 oz.crabmeat1 1/3 cups breadcrumbs
1/3 cup breadcrumb 1/3 cup cornmeal

Cook corn, green onion,mustard, coriander,and cayenne in butter about 5 minutes. Cool, add eggs, 1 1/3 cups bread crumbs,and crabmeat. Shape into patties; stir together 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and cornmeal,and coat patties.
Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat; saute patties 2-3 minutes each side, til golden brown; drain.

Chipotle mayo - 1 cup mayo and 2 canned chipotles & 1 clove garlic. Mix well and refrigerate.


serves 4

2T orange liqueur2T lime juice¼ cup tequila
¼ cup olive oil2 garlic cloves1 jalapeno
½ tsp. salt¼ cup cilantro
4 skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a ziplock; add chicken, seal; marinate 1 hour in fridge. Grill over medium high heat til chicken is done.

Enjoy! More Later!!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Can I share one or two I enjoy?

Rabbit cooked two ways with hill country peach and tequila sauce

*You can sub whole chickens for the rabbit ;)

Makes 2 servings

one 1 pound rabbit

For the marinade

1 medium onoin diced
8 sprigs crushed parsley
4 cloves garlic skinned and crushed
1 branch fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cups riesling

For the stock.

1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons oil

For the sauce.

2 tablespoons butter
1 chopped onion
4 very ripe peached, pitted and peeled
1 teaspoon seeded and chopped fresh jalenenoes
3 cups rabbit stock
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinager
1 cup riesling
3 onces of Tequila
salt to taste
1 teaspoon arrowroot.

To prepare your rabbit remove the hind and front legs from the carcass and keep aside to marinate. Remove the back loin from the carcass and trim out all excess fat, skin and silver skin. Wrap well and set aside. Keep all bones and trimmings for use in the sauce. Mix the marinade ingredients and place the rabbit legs in the marnade. Let marinate for 24 hours in the refridgerator. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Make a rabbit stock by browning the bones and trimmings in a 400f oven. Then add the vegetables from the marinade. Add the the tomato paste, mix well and continue to roast for 15 minutes more. Add the liqiud from the marinade plus the chickon stock. Let simmer 1 hour then strain the stock. Ina heated braising skillet, heat the oil, then brown the raddit legs. Remove the legs and the fat from the skillet.Melt the butter in the skillet. Over medium heat cook the onions, peaches and jalipenos, stirring ,2/3 minutes. Add the rabbit legs, stock, sugar, vinager, wine , tequila and salt, cover and braise in a pre heated 400f oven for about 45 minuts.Then romove the the front legs and cook the hind legs 15 minutes more. Remove all the meat from the sauce. pour the liquid into a blender and mix well. Bring to a boil in a small sauce pan and thicken with the arrowroot. Place the legs on a serving platter and pour the sauce over them. Take the loins and season with S&P and grill over a medium fire. Slice and garnish the legs with the loin pieces.

If this sounds a little complicated, just think about the steps you use when preparing something like coq au vin
Joined May 26, 2001
OOooh, thanks so much for the recipes, expecially "Baby Cilapitas." I'm always looking for more ways to use masa harina (and Rick Bayless tends to assume you've got fresh masa hanging around; his one failing). One question: do you first puree the chipotles? I usually puree the whole can when I open it, so I hope so.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
CC - OOh, that sounds good - anything with peaches in it has my vote!!!!

Suzanne, you can freeze the unused chipotles in adobo; I use a small sheet pan or cake pan with a piece of parchment; spoon 1 chipotle and some sauce in a little puddle, and then place it in the freezer til frozen; then put 'em all in a ziplock. Works great when you only need 1-2, and you don't end up with that mystery can at the back of the fridge!

For the recipe, I just chop 'em up.

This is a traditional relish that's put on grilled fish tacos:


4-6 cups

½ medium cabbage shredded
½ cup water
salt to taste
Juice of 4 lemons (or 6-8 limes)
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Rinse cabbage and drain well. Stir in salt; add water and juice. Toss to mix well. Let marinate 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, refrigerated. Drain before serving and sprinkle w/cilantro.


makes 1 ½ cups

½ cup orange juice
1T orange zest
¼ cup lime juice
1tsp. lime zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup oil
1 tsp. oregano
2T chipotle powder
3-4garlic cloves
1T dice jalapeno
3-4T cilantro

Combine everything and whisk to blend. For chicken, marinate 6-8 hours; for fish, 2-4 hours.


1 cup onion chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
2T garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2T canola oil
2cups diced tomato
3 cups chicken broth
1T ground cumin
1tsp. ground cloves
1T chile powder
1T salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1cup jack cheese grated
1 diced avocado
1 stale corn tortilla
2 corn tortillas,julienned and deep fried
1 ½ pounds chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

Saute onion, celery,garlic,and jalapeno for 3 minutes in oil in a large pot. Add tortillas, tomatoes, stock, and spices, and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes; remove from heat and add cilantro. Blend in batches.
Put soup in a clean pot and keep warm til ready to serve. To serve, put chicken pieces in a bowl, ladle soup over chicken; top with avocado, cheese, and tortilla strips.

End of Lesson 2!!!!
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Thanks so much Marmalady for your wonderful recipes.

Tell me, we can't get Mexican cheese up here. What would be a good substitute? :p


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Suzanne, Every couple of months or so I hit one of the tortilla factories here in Chicago (most major cities nowadays have at least 1 or 2). They are always happy to sell fresh masa to the public. In fact most of these places do quite a bit of business selling directly to hispanics. Since there is no way I can ever use 10 pounds of dough at one time, I usually break it into 2 pound blocks and freeze it. It works fine for making tamales, sopes or other things. Best to use fresh though for making tortillas. I also keep masa harina around for many other purposes such as tamale casserole, or crusting chicken and fish.

As for chipotles, though I often use the canned, in adobo, I prefer the dried. I first toast them in the oven until they puff up then I rehydrate them, I find the flavor much more complex that way.

While I lived in Atlanta, I worked for Kevin Rathbun at NAVA as part of his opening team. Kevin is from Dallas and is one of Stephen Pyles proteges. I learned so much about Southwestern cuisine and chiles during my tenure there. I have often thought about opening a Southwestern place myself, but then I would miss my French cuisine, my German-American cuisine, my New England influenced cuisine.........................
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Ya'll have about a week if you need me to send me you products you can't find.
may want to try pulling 1/2 chix for soup. Sauteing cilantro with your onions add ++. sweat till dry add fresh lime juice. Nothing wrong with finding a piece of lime in the soup either. Sorry!! not trying to change your recipe. a little roasted corn?? Your right, stick to baking!!! adding a little fine ground masa, flavor-thickener,
Must have summer dring, rice milk,straw,cinn,van I'll post the name later, I don't want to misspell it.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Pannini, None of my recipes are written in stone, I change them around constantly.

"a little roasted corn?? Your right, stick to baking!!! adding a little fine ground masa, flavor-thickener, " I'm confused - maybe it's a little too early in the morning - but - do you mean ground masa in the soup? Done that - and dry roasting it first adds another flavor punch - but some folks can't get masa, so the stale tortilla works well, too; in fact, 'historically', my guess would be that the tortilla soup recipe was a 'leftovers' throw together, using whatever they had on hand. And 'a little roasted corn?? Your right stick to baking' - ????????? Where? What baking?

Kimmie, if you can't get Mexican cheeses, you could use crumbly farmers cheese or even a mild feta for the 'queso fresco', or goat cheese. Monterey jack can be used for any melting cheese, or a mild cheddar, or even gouda. "Manchego" is a Spanish hard cheese used for grating; you can sub Romano for that.

Pete - thanks for the fresh masa tips; Suzanne should be able to get fresh dough -I know there are tortilla factories in Jersey, just haven't investigated them. I use dried chipotles, too; it just depends on what I'm trying to accomplish; I use my drieds usually when I'm making a complex sauce with other dried chiles involved; if I'm just making up a dip, or quick sauce, I think the adobo sauce adds another flavor.
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