As we close out the month, we have a few things to celebrate: the end of April showers and a reason to drink margaritas and eat great Mexican food – Cinco de Mayo! Despite the fact that Cinco de Mayo is not really observed in much of Mexico, most will agree that it’s difficult not to celebrate it here in the U.S. If you missed out on Parties That Cook’s Tres Agaves Fiesta Fantastico Cinco de Mayo cooking class yesterday, fear not! We thought we would share some wonderful Mexican-inspired recipes so all of our readers could whip up something delicious for the 5th. Whether you’re spending the night in with family or hosting a pre-party before a rowdy night at the bars, these tasty treats are sure to please.
Parties That Cook’s Chef Bibby Gignilliat recently returned from a sea kayaking and yoga trip in the Sea of Cortez where she enjoyed freshly caught fish in fish tacos and ceviche. Plan your own culinary getaway with these recipes for Little Fish Tacos and Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche Cups below.
Little Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salad and Chipotle-Lime Aioli Recipe
3/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 small red chili, seeded
Zest of 2 limes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds white fish like tilapia, sole or basa filets
Toothpicks for serving
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, sliced in half, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tablespoons cilantro chopped, plus some whole leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 whole egg, plus one egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 chipotle in adobo, minced plus 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
24 small 4-inch corn tortillas
Prepare the Fish: Put cilantro, paprika, cumin, chili, lime zest, olive oil and salt in a blender and process to a paste. Toss fish with the paste and let marinate for 20 minutes. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add fish in a single layer and cook 2 minutes. Turn over and cook for 1 minute, or until the fish is opaque and just cooked. Transfer a cutting board and cut into 24 strips. (It may break up and that is ok).
Cucumber Salad: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside
Make the Aioli: In a blender, put eggs, mustard, chipotle, garlic, lime juice, cinnamon and salt. Blend until pureed (about 15-20 seconds). In a liquid measuring cup, combine the olive and canola oils. Slowly drizzle oil into blender, drop by drop, until aioli thickens. Do not add oil too quickly and be sure that the emulsion has absorbed oil before adding more. (Alternatively, you can make the aioli by hand). Transfer to a small bowl. If mixture becomes too thick, add 2 to 3 tablespoons warm water, whisking constantly. Add the cilantro.
Assemble the Tacos: Using tongs, grill each tortilla over a gas burner for 15 seconds a side. Transfer to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Alternatively, wrap all tortillas in foil and warm in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes.
Place a piece of fish on each tortilla. Put a large dollop of aioli on the fish then top with a spoonful of cucumber salad. Garnish with some cilantro, roll into a cone and secure with a toothpick. Serve on a platter with lime wedges. Makes 24.
Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Cups with Roasted Bell Pepper and Lime
Won Ton Cups:
24 won ton wrappers
Olive oil spray
1 red bell pepper
¼ pound sea scallops, side muscle removed, 1/4-inch dice
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, 1/4-inch dice
½ cup lime juice
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
Make Won Ton Cups: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin tins with olive oil. Spray or brush both sides of each won ton wrapper with olive oil. Place wrappers in mini-muffin tins. Bake until golden, about 6 minutes. (They can burn easily so watch carefully.) Remove cups from pan and let cool on a cooling rack.
Roast Pepper: Roast pepper over a gas burner until blackened, turning with tongs as each side blisters. (Or place under broiler). Transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and discard skin, stem and seeds. Dice into ¼-inch cubes and set aside.
Peel Tomato: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, remove tomato core and make a shallow “X” through skin on the opposite end of the tomato. Dip the tomato into boiling water for 30 seconds then submerge in an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel the skin off, cut in half, scoop out seeds and dice into ¼-inch cubes.
Ceviche: About 1 hour before serving, mix diced shrimp and scallops with the lime juice and salt. Let sit while you work on chopping the remaining items. Add the tomatoes, peppers, red onion, garlic and jalapeno to the shellfish mixture. Let sit for 20 minutes or until shellfish becomes opaque. Right before ready to serve, strain liquid and add olive oil and chopped cilantro.
Serve: Scoop a tablespoon of the ceviche mixture into each cup and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately. Makes 24.
Recipes created by Parties That Cook® www.PartiesThatCook.com
Planning a party? Check out our other Mexican-inspired dishes:
- Crab Quesadillas with Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
- Chunky Avocado Guacamole With Chips Recipe
- Queso Fresco Crostini Recipe
- Pork Taquito Cups with Avocado and Sour Cream Recipe
- Shrimp Quesadillas with Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
Of course, no Cinco de Mayo party is complete without a margarita! Try Tres Agaves’ recipe for a simply delicious margarita:
- 2 ounces of 100% agave Tequila
- 1 ounce of Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar
- 1 ounce of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- Shake and pour over ice into your favorite glass.
Still can’t touch tequila after those college Sauza and Cuervo party days? Try a Michelada cocktail – it’s like a Mexican beer version of a Bloody Mary – spicy, salty and refreshing. Check out our previous posting The Michelada: A Savory Beverage to Savor for a recipe.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and have a festive Cinco de Mayo! Leave a comment and let us know if you try any of these recipes for your Cinco de Mayo festivities!