The Mexican Fiesta

For our August 2008 gourmet group, we had a "Mexican Fiesta" at Laura Stevens'. We started off the night right with Margaritas (non-alcoholic of course) by Lynley! Our appetizer was a delicious "Tortilla Soup" by Jodi. Bridget made "Cool southwestern salad with corn and avocado" from Real Simple, LS brewed up some amazing "Pork Tacos", and "Spanish Rice" was provided by Lara. Of course Andrea made not one but two breads: "Corn Bread" and "Brown Sugar Rolls", and we finished off the night with "Cheesecake Flan" by Lynley. There was even something else special at the end of the night! A pinata - in the form of LS of course!

Tortilla Soup
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 7 inch corn tortillas or 3 small (cut into 1 inch squares)
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper without seeds
2 Tbs minced white onion
Heat oil and add all ingredients. Cook until tortillas are golden. Set aside.
Separately, in a soup pot:
24 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup white kernel corn
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cumin
1 Tbs salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tortilla mixture. Puree in a blender. Put back on head and add 1 more cup of white kernel corn.
Serve with Monterey Jack Cheese, cilantro, and chips. Can also add chicken or black beans.

Cool Southwestern Salad with Corn and Avocado
1 small heads romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 cup)
2 avocados, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 9-ounce bag tortilla chips
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, beans, corn, avocados, onion, and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Pork Tacos
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs Beef base (I don't think I always use this)
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
Pork Roast
juice of one fresh orange
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs cilantro
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup water
juice of one fresh lime
Throw it all in the crock pot and serve it up. Shred it just a bit before ready to serve. Serve with white corn tortillas. Optional garnish: white onions, cilantro, avocado, guac, whatever.
Corn Bread
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil or shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 9 inch round pan, or square pan 8x8, or 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Mix all ingredients. Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Pour into pan. Bake round or square pan 25 to 30 minutes, skillet about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. 12 pieces.

Brown Sugar Rolls
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups hot water
1 package active dry yeast
Dash of granulated or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
Brown Sugar glaze (1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar and 2-3 tsp water, mixed until of spreading consistency.)
Place brown sugar, lard and salt in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups hot water until brown sugar is dissolved. Dissolve yeast and granulated sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; stir into brown sugar mixture. Beat in whole wheat flour and enough all-purpose flour to make dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 2 hours. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.) Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil; grease. Punch down dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. shape into roll, 10 inches long; cut into 10 slices. Shape each slice into smooth ball. Place on foil0covered cookie sheets; flatten into circles, 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with egg. Spread Brown Sugar Glaze on centers of rolls. ?Make diagonal or crisscross cuts in tops of rolls with tip of sharp knife. Bake until rolls are brown and sound hollow when taped, 20-25 minutes. Immediately remove rolls; cool on wire racks.

Spanish Rice
1/2 lb bacon
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
2 cups bell pepper, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes, not seasoned
2 cups instant rice
1 cup shredded jack cheese
Fry up the bacon. Drain, crumble, and set aside. To the drippings, add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until tender. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Add rice, two cups of water, and bacon to a buttered 9x13 pan. Make sure the rice and liquid are equal parts. Add a few more bacon drippings to taste. allow a little space at the top for rice to expand - use two dishes if necessary. Scatter the cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.


Amy said...

Hello. . .don't put up the pictures if you are not putting up the recipes. It makes my mouth water to look at the food. . . and though I may never make any of it, I like to know I have the info.

A pinata? Classic LS!

Monica said...

Yeah so I agree with the above Amy. I'd like the recipe for the tortilla soup.