Chef Cristian's Cinco de Mayo Recipes
Each year on May 5th, Mexicans everywhere celebrate the Battle of Puebla, where an unlikely defeat of the French army took place on May 5th in 1862. For Mexicans, it's a testament of their history, strength and perseverance. For the rest of us, it's a day to acknowledge our friends south-of-the-border by drinking Modelo beer, tequila, and partaking in delicious Mexican food - or more accurately, Tex-Mex food.
I decided to make two Mexican-themed recipes for my "Cinco de Mayo" cooking segment on the Good Day Tampa Bay show (Fox 13). Below are the recipes.
Taco Puffs Recipe
Although it sounds like a cool high school nickname, Taco Puffs are an easy appetizer that I put together for my cinco de mayo party. They are simply, ground taco meat, or chili rolled up with cheddar cheese inside a puff pastry sheet, cut into pucks and baked until puffy and golden brown. They are then topped with fresh salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, and fresh chopped cilantro.
- Cooked, seasoned taco beef OR leftover chili
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Fresh cilantro
- Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets (each box has 2 sheets. Each sheet yields about 9-12 puffs)
1. Thaw the puff pastry, but keep it cold. Roll it out flat and spread chili or taco meat along the middle (a 3-4 inch wide area). Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and roll up tight. Pinch seams.
2. Cut the roll into inch-thick pucks. Place pucks onto non-stick baking surface.
3. Pre-heat oven to 400. Bake taco puffs for 20-30 minutes just until the puffs puff up and get golden brown.
4. Put them on a serving platter or tray, and top with a spoonful of salsa, guacamole and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy with an ice-cold Corona, or accompany with my next recipe below.
Tequila Snow Cones "Raspados de Tequila"
The word "raspado" in Spanish means something scraped. It's very common in latin america to go out on the street and find a vendor with a cart selling "raspados". The vendor will have a block of ice from which he will scrape ice shavings which he will serve in a paper cup and top with flavored syrups, and usually, sweetened condensed milk.
I decided to use my snow cone maker that I got at Wal-Mart for $10 to make an icy, refreshing dessert for Cinco de Mayo.
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Fresh lime juice
- Fresh mint for garnish
- An ice scraper, an electric snow cone maker, or a hand-crank snow cone maker.
- Martini glasses or paper cones (fancy or casual!)
1. For each portion, shave 1 cup of ice.
2. Mix shaved ice with 1 spoonful of sugar, 1 spoonful of sweetened condensed milk, 1 to 2 spoonfuls of lime juice. Put in a martini glass.
3. Pour 1oz of tequila over the ice and garnish with a sprig of mint. Enjoy!