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Carlito’s Favorite Cinco de Mayo Recipes

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Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.

This May 5, our friends at Crab Island Cantina have a huge celebration planned, and Carlito (a/k/a Carlos Shaffran) was kind enough to share some choice recipes with us.


PICO DE GALLO

Serves eight.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Large Ripe Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 6 Green Onions, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Bunch of Cilantro, Finely Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Large Jalapeno, Seeded and Finely Diced

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix everything together and adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed.


GUACAMOLE

Serves eight.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Hass Avocados
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Large Ripe Tomato, Finely Diced
  • 1 Small Spanish Onion, Finely Diced

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cut avocados in half and remove seed. Using a small spoon, remove the innards of the avocado and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash avocado into very small chunks, almost creamy. Add all of the ingredients and mix together well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


BEEF FAJITAS

Serves eight.

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Pounds of Inner Skirt Steak (outside skirt if inner not available)
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • 1/3 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Adobo
  • 1 16-Ounce Bottle of Sprite
  • 2 Whole Medium Onions, Halved and Sliced
  • 1 Whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 1 Whole Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 2 Whole Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • Oil, for Frying
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Pico De Gallo (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

On a sheet tray, lay as much as you can of the skirt steak longways. Sprinkle pepper, adobo, soy sauce and lemon and then turn over and repeat the same steps. Once complete, transfer to a large casserole and lay flat. Repeat steps if all of the skirt steak is not used on the first run. Once complete, pour in very slowly the bottle of Sprite allowing it to cover all areas of the casserole. Cover and store in refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours.

 

When ready, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they’re cooked but still slightly firm and have nice black-brown pieces. Remove, put on a plate and set aside.

 

Grill skirt steak medium rare for five minutes on each side. Once desired temperature is reached, remove from grill and cut skirt steak into three pieces, then take each piece and cut against the grain in three-inch slices. Save all of the juices coming from the steak while you cut. When done cutting, toss the meat with remaining juices and set aside.

 

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil, add onions, peppers and skirt steak and heat for two minutes or until hot. At the same time, heat tortillas on the grill or in a microwave and keep warm.

 

The rest is easy—transfer fajitas in large bowl, start dishing out the tortillas and start rolling!


MARGARITAS

Serves eight.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 2-Ounce Shots of Camarena Reposado Tequila
  • 8 Tablespoons of Triple Sec Orange Liqueur
  • 8 Ounces Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • 16 Teaspoons of Sugar
  • 8 Lime Wedges
  • 1/2 Cup of Kosher Salt, for Rim of Glass
  • 16 Cups of Ice

 

DIRECTIONS:

Rim glass with salt and set aside. In shaker, combine one tablespoon of sugar and one ounce of lime juice and shake for five to 10 seconds. Add two ounces of Tequila, one tablespoon triple sec and shake for additional 25 seconds. Add ice to glass and pour margarita into glass. Add more ice and place lime on the rim.

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