cinco de mayo celebrations

Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Micheladas

Marcela ValladolidMexican Made Easy host Marcela Valladolid is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party all week long at the Food Network and you’re invited! Marcela was nice enough to send me a few of her recipes to share with the Wannabe TV Chef readers.

Be sure to trip over to the Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo HQ for more recipes and tips from the whole FN gang. I’ll be posting a more of Marcela’s recipes throughout the week so be sure to check back daily right HERE.

Marcela is also the author of Fresh Mexico (available at amazon).

Enjoy!!!

: Micheladas (Cold Beer with Salt and Fresh Lime Juice)

Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

  • Salt
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • Ice
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice*
  • 6 Mexican-style light beers, ice cold, (recommended: Cerveza Clara)
  1. Chill 6 beer mugs until very cold. Add some salt to a shallow dish. Moisten the rims with a lime wedge and coat with salt. Add ice and 2 tablespoons lime juice to each mug. Pour in the beer and drink before the ice melts.

*Cook’s Note: It’s important to use fresh lime juice, it makes all the difference in flavor!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Mexican

 

Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Smokin’ Shrimp Skewers

Marcela ValladolidMexican Made Easy host Marcela Valladolid is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party all week long at the Food Network and you’re invited!  Marcela was nice enough to send me a few of her recipes to share with the Wannabe TV Chef readers.

Be sure to trip over to the Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo HQ for more recipes and tips from the whole FN gang.   I’ll be posting a more of Marcela’s recipes throughout the week so be sure to check back daily right HERE.

Marcela is also the author of Fresh Mexico (available at amazon).

Enjoy!!!

: Smokin’ Shrimp Skewers

Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid

  • 15 fresh rosemary sprigs*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder**
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
  • 2 limes, sliced into wedges, for serving
  1. Remove the leaves from half of each rosemary sprig. Reserve the sprigs to use for skewers. Chop enough of the leaves to make 1 1/2 teaspoons. (Reserve the remaining leaves for another use.) Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, and chopped rosemary in a medium bowl. Season the marinade with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Let stand for 5 minutes. Skewer 2 shrimp onto each rosemary sprig.
  2. Heat a large, wide grill pan (or comal) over high heat. Add the skewers and cook for 1 minute per side, or just until the shrimp is cooked through and turns pink. Do not overcook. Transfer to a platter, garnish with the lime wedges and serve immediately.

*Cook’s Note: Make sure to buy rosemary sprigs with thick stems. Some rosemary twigs are very flimsy; you want the kind that are like a small twig, which will be strong enough to hold the shrimp.

**Cook’s Note: The chipotle chile is a smoked, dried jalapeno. They can be found dried, pickled or canned “in adobo” which is a sauce made with ground chiles, herbs, vinegar and spices. For this recipe, we will use the chipotle powder. Both types are sold in most supermarkets.

Preparation time:

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Mexican

 

Marcela Valladolid Hosts Cinco de Mayo Week

A lot of gringos assume that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican equivalent of America’s Fourth of July Celebration but it is not Mexico’s Independence Day.  In fact, it is not much of a holiday in Mexico.  It is simply a remembrance of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Mexican Independence Day is known as Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”) and is celebrated on September 16th.  Cinco de Mayo was chosen because it flows better than Décimosexto de Septiembre.  But Cinco de Mayo as we celebrate it here in the US is  born from the same place as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – the boardroom of some Manhattan marketing firm.  Where the goal with the other three is to sell cards and flowers here it has been an attempt to create another St. Patrick’s Day.   Like St. Paddy’s, Cinco de Mayo is designed to sell two things, alcohol and food.

Marcela ValladolidThat’s why the Food Network has Mexican Made Easy’s Marcela Valladolid hosting a week of Cinco de Mayo themed programming.  They’ll be running virtually every Mexican-themed Throwdown Bobby Flay has ever done and the same goes for Guy’s Triple D visits to Mexican restaurants.  Also part of the fiesta is the premiere of the newest season of Mexican Made Easy in which Marcela is joined by none other than Eva Longoria.

To help get you into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo Marcela (author of Fresh Mexico available at amazon) has sent over a few recipes.  I’ll post a few throughout the week so be sure to check back daily right HERE.  Also check the Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo HQ for recipes and tips from the whole FN gang including Aaron’s Celebration Picks, Bobby’s Taco Bash and 50 different nacho recipes.  50!  Now for Marcela’s Mexico City-Style Tacos.

: Mexico City-Style Tacos

Recipe by Marcela Valladolid

  • 3 tomatoes, cored
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups fideo or angel hair pasta, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or mild feta cheese
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a heavy medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the fideo or pasta and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  3. Place the cooked tomatoes, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet and cook the fideo or pasta on low heat, without stirring, until tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Fill the tortillas with the fideo filling. Drizzle the tacos with crema and sprinkle with cheese.

Preparation time:

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 10 – 12

Culinary tradition: Mexican

 

Cinco de Mayo Recipes from Third Coast Cuisine

Cinco de Mayo is not a big deal in Mexico.  It is not the Mexican Independence Day but an attempt by the US restaurant and adult beverage industries to create a second St. Patrick’s Day.  So it isn’t the equivalent of our 4th of July, rather it is closer in stature to our Flag Day.  That doesn’t mean we can’t still throw a fiesta to commemorate the Battle of Puebla.  Here are a few recipes from the cookbook Third Coast Cuisine:

Margarita
1½ tequila
1/2 ounce triple sec
Juice of 1/2 large lime
Coarse salt

Mix all but salt with cracked ice in a blender until smooth. Pour salt onto a saucer. Rub the rim of the glass with lime peel. Dip glass in salt until well coated. Pour drink into glass and serve with a lime slice as garnish.

Salsa Rojo (red salsa)
3-4 small tomatoes, quartered or 1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 onion, quartered
2-3 jalapeños or Serranos, sans stems
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
sea salt

Place onions into a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and blend another 30 seconds. Add garlic and peppers and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste and cilantro and blend until well mixed. Chill one hour before serving.

Sangria
1 tsp. sugar
2 oz lime juice
4 oz carbonated water
4 oz red wine
1 ounce Grand Marnier

In a tall glass, dissolve 1 tsp sugar into 4 ounces of lime juice.  Add the carbonated water, wine, and Grand Marnier.  Stir and add ice.

Horchata
6 tablespoons rice
1 1/4 cups blanched almonds
1 inch cinnamon stick
Zest of one lime
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 cups water

In a blender pulverize the rice until smooth.  Combine rice with almonds, cinnamon, and lime zest and refrigerate 6 – 24 hours.  Place rice mixture into the blender and blend 3 – 5 minutes or until smooth and all gritty texture is removed.  Add 2 cups of water and pulse 3 times for five seconds each pulse.  Line a sieve with 2 or 3 layers of cheesecloth and pour a little of the mixture at a time through the sieve into a bowl.  Gather the corners of the cheesecloth, give it a twist, and squeeze out the remaining liquid into the bowl.  Pour liquid into a pitcher, add final two cups of water, and stir in sugar.  Serve over ice.

Arroz Con Pollo
1/2 cup rice
1 lb chicken breast strips (dice after cooking)
1/2 med onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 chili, (jalapeño for medium heat, Serrano for hotter, habanera for too hot) diced
1 15 oz can of corn (all juice removed except for 2 tablespoon)
1? cup chicken broth
5 to 10 strands of saffron (optional)
2 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grated Colby/Jack Cheese

Boil rice in chicken stock with saffron and 2 tablespoons cumin until done. Season chicken to taste and brown in a skillet. Remove chicken and sauté onions, tomato, and chili (add oil or butter if needed) until onions are clear. Add corn and reserved corn juice and season to taste and heat through. Add chicken, rice, and final ½ teaspoon of cumin then simmer 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Top with Colby/Jack Cheese. Use tortillas as the only eating utensils.

Traditional Flan
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
8 eggs
16 egg yolks
1½ cups sugar
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups half-and-half

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees.  Place the 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.  Bring milk and half-and-half to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Into each of the 16 flan cups spoon enough sugar/water mixture to cover the bottom of the cup. Then pour in the flan mixture. Place the cups into a baking pan with approximately one-inch of water. Bake for roughly 25 minutes.

battle of puebla

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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