Delicious Mexican Fiesta

Awhile back, I had an inspired idea from one of my favorite blogs to start a roving dinner party. The idea behind it was simply to pick a dinner theme, pick a house, and then the host would assign each couple a dish to make, depending on what was available to use in each different kitchen.

The first potluck-dinner party was at our house in Park Slope and we decided to do a Mexican theme in order to make use of our new molcajete (and have an excuse to drink beer and tequila). The hope is to try new dishes and build up our repertoire of recipes. I definitely found some new ones that I’m already planning on trying again!

See below for descriptions and recipes!

Mexican Fiesta Potluck Dinner Menu

Appetizers #1 Guacamole

½ red onion, dice1-2 tomatoes, chopped

bunch of cilantro

salt

juice of 1-2 limes

Mash them all together in a mojacete if you have one! Add ingredients to taste, depending on what you love… we of course added a ton of salt and cilantro!

Appetizer #2: Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Made by John and Sarah

(These were awesome and soo soo easy. Inspired from my bridal shower at my aunts house. Crowd pleaser!)

Recipe:

12 Large eggs

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp mayonaisse

2-3 tsp chopped canned chipotle chilies

24 fresh cilantro leaves

Place eggs in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Drain eggs; cover with ice and water and let stand until cold.

Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Spoon yolks into small bowl; arrange whites on platter. Finely grate yolks on small holes of box grater into medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, then 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chiles. Add more chopped chiles, if desired, for more heat. Season filling to taste with salt, if desired. Using pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch-diameter star tip, pipe filling into egg whites. Cover and chill eggs at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Press 1 cilantro leaf into filling in each egg and serve.

Appetizer #3: Mango Salsa

Made by Dani and Paul.

So delicious and refreshing. Salsa with fruit is really something special, I tell ya.

Recipe:

1 mango peeled and diced

2 avocados, peeled and chopped

1 tomato diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 garlic clove minced

1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Peel, chop, and dice! Combine all ingredients in a bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes to mingle flavors (or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to preserve flavor). Serve with tortilla chips.

Salad: Mexican Medley Salad


Made by Dani and Paul

We will definitely make this recipe again… it was incredible and could be a meal by itself!

2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice, fresh

2 tsp mustard

1 large garlic clove, pressed

¼ tsp pepper or cayenne

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground goriander

2 tsp vinegar

1 cup black beans

¼ cup green onion, minced

½ cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup corn kernels (frozen or canned)

3 cups cooked brown rice

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon or lime juice, mustard, garlic, cayenne, cumin and coriander. Drizzle in olive oil very slowly, whisking contantly to emulsify. Whisk in vinegar, or add salt to taste. Add remaining ingredients except pumpkin seeds and toss well. Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of pumpkin sees on top. Serves 4 to 6. Note: Umeboshi vinegar, made from Japanese sour plums, is available at natural food stores and Japanese markets.

Entree #1: STOVETOP: Quesadillas: Smoked gouda and caramalized onion

Made by John and Sarah

(Again, inspired from my bridal shower in MN. These are really amazing and unique. We obviously omitted the prosciutto– Super easy to make!)

Recipe:

2 TBSP (1/4 stick) butter

1 Onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

¼ tsp white wine vinegar

1 ½ cupes grated smoke gouda cheese

4 10-inch flout tortillas

2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter, melted

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, brown sugar and vinegar; sauté until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle cheese over half of each tortilla, dividing equally. Sprinkle sautéed onion over cheese. Season with pepper. Fold other half of each tortilla over cheese mixture. Brush tortilla with some of melted butter.

Brush heavy large skillet with some of melted butter. Place over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook quesadillas just until brown spots appear, brushing skillet with butter between batches, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer quesadillas to heavy large baking sheet.

Bake until tortillas are golden and cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Transfer quesadillas to work surface. Cut each into 6 triangles. Arrange on platter and serve hot.

Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Quesadilla.

Made by John and Sarah

(We used queso cheese but I honestly think pepperjack would be a MUCH better choice in this recipe! The queso was very watery and made the quesadillas fall apart. We also made our own roasted red peppers by simply roasting them in the oven for an hour, turning them every 20 minutes.)

Recipe:

8 (6 to 8-inch) flour tortillas

½ cup chopped red onions

½ cup sliced mushrooms

½ cup sliced roasted red peppers

½ cup sliced artichokes

½ cup shredder queso (or pepperjack)

Coat a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Set pan over medium heat to preheat.

Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top 1 side of each tortilla with an equal amount of mushrooms, red peppers, and artichokes. Top vegetables with shredded cheese. Fold over tortillas, making a half moon. Place quesadillas in (or on) prepared pan and cook 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cheese melts.

Entree #2: OVEN-BAKED: Green Tofu Enchiladas

Tofu Enchiladas

Made by Dalton and Michelle

Another serious crowd-pleaser. The sauce was incredible spicy and totally worth every tear! Yum.

A note from Michelle (the chef!)

What We Did Differently: We didn’t find the sauce had enough body by itself so added the pine nuts for a more rounded full flavor.

Original recipe uses poached chicken and chicken stock.

The taco truck in Astoria garnishes everything with fresh cilantro and radishes so we threw that in.

Recipe:

1 lb baked tofu

2 cloves garlic

1 small vidalia onion

1tb salt

2 lbs. Tomatillos, husks removed and quartered

5-7 green hot chilies (serrano or jap)

¼ cup pine nuts

2 tbsp. Vegetable oil

5 corn tortillas

4 oz crumbled queso fresco (could also use feta or queso anejo)

½ cup chopped cilantro, stems removed

4 sliced radishes

½-1 cup vegetable stock

Place garlic cloves, tomatillos and chilies into pot with enough water to cover the tomatillos. Let this boil for 8-10 minutes, until the tomatillos are soft and cooked through.

Dice onion.

Drain the boiled tomatillo and garlic mixture in a colander.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in skillet. Add diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, just until the onions become glassy, on medium heat. Add the boiled tomatillos, chili, and garlic, and season with salt. Set aside once the mixture is well mixed and soft, about 5-7 minutes.

Slice baked tofu in thin slices.

Put the tomatillo mixture into blender and blend, adding a bit of vegetable stock at a time until it resembles gravy or sauce. Add pine nuts. Blend until smooth. Transfer back to saucepan and simmer 8-10 minutes.

Preheat to 375.

Warm tortillas in groups with cup of water in the microwave so they don’t tear.

Cover bottom of rectangular baking dish with tomatillo sauce.

Lay each tortilla flat one at a time and fill it with the baked tofu. Pour about 1 tbsp. of the tomatillo sauce over the tofu and fold tortilla close. Move the first completed enchilada to one side of the dish. Now assemble the next one, and the next one, making sure to distribute the tofu equally among the tortillas. Lay them side by side, so they remain closed.

Pour tomatillo sauce over the top of enchiladas and garnish with cilantro. Drizzle with hot sauce if you like.

Crumble cheese over top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 10-12 minutes, and then broil 3-4 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned. Garnish with fresh cilantro and radishes.

Dessert: Fresh Fruit Tart


Made by Melanie and Andrew

Incredible! We all loved this recipe and we can’t think of a better way to finish a spicy meal than with this delicious dessert.

Recipe:

Crust:

½ cup confectioners sugar

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced

Filling:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries

Glaze:

1 (6 oz) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

¼ cup granulated sugar

Whipped cream, for garnish (see below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.

For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.

Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Whipped Cream to Top:

1/2 pt. whipping cream

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Whip cream with mixer. Be careful not to overbeat or else will get too thick like butter. When it begins to thicken, add sugar and vanilla; stir. Refrigerate.

We finished the evening by having dessert on our rooftop. Amazing.

Rooftop

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