Staying in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo yet again today, this post is all about “doing it yourself” with Mexican inspired dishes. You’re not going to find gobs of guac, chips & salsa or even salads made with taco meat, whatever that is…. I thoughtfully researched and put this post together with respect for doing it differently, doing it with taste (no pun intended) and staying classy.
The menu I have put together for Cinco de Mayo is a semi-healthy, fun multi-course dinner for two or twenty.
For Starters I chose, unique and interesting: Cinco de Mayo Jello Shots and Chili Lime Shrimp Cups. Both of these May 5th inspired items come courtesy of my trolling Pinterest; both require a little bit of work, but the end result is quite impressive.
The main dishes, come from my friend and recipe contributor [to South Florida Food and Wine], FOODalogue. Those of you familiar with FOODalogue’s style know that she is a free spirit in the kitchen, which means there are no measurements only ingredients, you as the “cook” are able to add, subtract and make due according to your style. To start the dinner off I chose FOODalogue’s White and Green Salad with Escarole, Pear, and Avocado; for the entree a Sea Bass, with Roasted Black Beans and Special Sauce and the accompanying side dish a Mexican Cauliflower + Corn Custard.
The titles of the recipes are embedded with a link to the sites from which these recipes have been adapted from.
All of the suggested cocktails easily fit into any style menu/gathering you happen to be planning; from a party punch for a group to individual spicy beers and the nostalgic Margarita. Arriba!
This will make approximately 24 lime “wedge” jello shots
- 6-8 limes
- 3 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package Knox unflavored gelatin (2 teaspoons)
- 3 ounces good quality tequila
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier or Cointreau (or Triple Sec if you must)
- sea salt and/or large crystal sugar, for garnish
Hollow out the lime peels and place them in a mini muffin pan, to keep them secure. Combine lime juice, an ounce of water and sugar to small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and allow it to soak in a minute or two. Warm over medium heat, stirring until sugar and gelatin dissolve. Stir in tequila and Grand Marnier and pour into lime halves. (I recommend using something with a spout like a measuring cup). Allow to refrigerate at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. Once jello has set up, cut into wedges. Visit the website, Brit & Co. this recipe has been adapted from.
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 limes
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare wonton shells. Lightly brush wontons with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange in 24 mini muffin/cupcake cups. Bake 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
- Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, 2 teaspoons of lime zest and chili powder. Bake 5-8 minutes until shrimp are opaque throughout.
To assemble, fill each wonton cup with a few leaves of arugula, a small dollop of sour cream, one shrimp then top with a spritz of lime juice.Visit the website, Inspired Taste this recipe has been adapted from.
- sea bass (or fish of your choice)
- 1 can Goya Black Bean Soup (drained)
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 Haas avocado
- 6 grape tomatoes halved
- 1 clove garlic
- handful fresh spinach
- extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon + 1 lime
- dry seasonings: salt, chili flakes, smoked paprika, oregano
- honey + hot sauce to taste
- To make sauce blend cilantro, avocado, olive oil, dry seasonings, garlic, lemon + lime juice, honey, hot sauce to a pesto consistency.
- Brush a little on top of fish and sear bottom in cast iron pan.
- Finish in oven with black beans, tomatoes and spinach.
- Serve with sauce spooned over fish.
El Jimador Cinco Punch
- 1 Bottle El Jimador Blanco
- 1 Bottle Prosecco
- 4 oz Aperol (if you can’t find Aperol Campari is a good substitute)
- 1.5 Liters Pink Grapefruit Juice
- 750ml Honey Syrup
Garnish: Raspberries, lime and pink grapefruit discs for garnish
Glass: Punch bowl + serving glasses
- The best sort of ice for punches is lump or block ice, one of the best ways of creating block ice is to fill a balloon with water, tie it off and place in a bowl in the freezer the night before. Block ice reduces the dilution and keeps a punch much colder longer.
- Locate the punch bowl where you intend to serve from then add ingredients as it will be heavy to move
- Place Ice carefully into the punch bowl
- Add all liquid ingredients and stir gently but thoroughly
- Garnish with raspberries, lime discs, pink grapefruit discs
The escarole, fennel and celery serve as a textural and fresh base for the pear and blue cheese (in this case gorgonzola) which we all know are a natural pairing. The avocado added a rich and nutty element that was cut by the spice of the scallion and the simple dressing of lemon juice and evoo. Visit FOODalogue.com
Bohemia Chipotle Michelada
· 2 fresh lime wedges, cut in half
· Chipotle rimming salt, see recipe below
· 1 tablespoon Frontera Chipotle Hot Sauce or 1 teaspoon pureed canned chipotles en adobo
· 6 ounces chilled Bohemia beer
Garnish: 1 slice cucumber, for garnish
1. Use a piece of the lime wedge to wet the rim of a tall glass with lime. Dip the rim of the glass into the chipotle rimming salt.
2. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lime pieces into the glass and then add the lime pieces. Stir in the chipotle hot sauce or pureed chipotles in adobo. Fill the glass with ice.
3. Pour in the Bohemia beer. Mix gently. Garnish glass rim with a cucumber slice. Serve.
Chipotle rimming salt: Thoroughly mix 2 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt and 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile powder in a small bowl. Pour out onto a small plate to use for rimming beer glasses.
- poblano pepper roasted in oven and cut in strips
- cauliflower florets blanched and chopped
- corn on the cob niblets raw; half pulsed to liquefy and get corn milk, half reserved
- pepitas (pumpkin seeds) toasted
- a little sour cream
- chile powder
- lime juice and zest
- pork rinds (or tortilla chips) crushed for ‘crust’
- parmesan (or Mexican hard cheese) grated
- Roast poblano on high heat till skin blisters.
- Pulse corn with a drop of olive oil and a quick squeeze of lime juice to make a sauce base, add grated cheese, a little sour cream, cinnamon, chile powder and lime zest.
- Blanch cauliflower, drain, chop and fold into mixture.
- Skin and slice poblano pepper into strips and toss with mix.
Topping. Blend chips or pork rinds with a handful of pepitas to create a crust. Spray or grease bottom of pan and then layer crust. Add cauliflower mixture and then add topping. Grate hard cheese on top. Cook in bain marie at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes till top browns and casserole sets.
Serve with a little avocado and tomato salsa which was a perfect accompaniment (tomato, avocado, micro greens, black olives, lime juice, salt+pepper, a drizzle of evoo) Visit the website, FOODalogue.com this recipe has been adapted from.
- 2oz Herradura Silver
- ¾ oz Lime Juice
- ¾ oz Agave Nectar
Garnish: Lime Disc and Salt rim
- Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with cubed Ice.
- Shake well and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a lime disc.
Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale