Monthly Archives: March 2004

Menu for "Make Your Own Tacos" Party: A couple of…


Menu for “Make Your Own Tacos” Party: A couple of years ago, I was at a liquor store, and the Cuervo display had recipes for a Tequila Tasting and Taco Buffet Party. I asked if I could make copies of the recipes, but have not used them yet!

My sister’s 40th Birthday party is looming, and my mother and I are planning a get-together on my deck – margaritas and tacos! Here is the menu:

Margaritas and Virgin Margaritas

Tortillas and Queso Dip and Salsa

Taco Bar:

Soft corn tortillas and small flour tortillas

Pork filling (my mother is doing)

Chicken filling (Probably with mole poblano sauc)

Fish filling (Salpicon de Huachinango – red snapper hash)

black bean and corn salsa

pico de gallo


shredded lettuce

shredded cheese

sour cream


Tres Leches Cake

Salpicon de Huachinango – Red Snapper Hash – this looks like exactly the same recipe as in the Cuervo brochure!

Recipe from “Food from my Heart”, by Zarela Martinez

“This is one of our signature dish at my restaurant, Zarela, and one of the most requested recipes. So here it is! I must warn you that if you don’t use the right kind of cinnamon, canela also know as Ceylon sweet or soft-stick cinnamon not cassia, the harsh spice sold as cinnamon in the US, it will not taste the same as ours at the restaurant.”

Serves 6

1/2 cup unsalted butter

6 large garlic cloves, finely minced

6 scallions, white and some of green part (about 1 cup)

3 medium-size ripe, red tomatoes, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

3 fresh jalapeno chiles, tops removed but not seeded, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons true Ceylon cinnamon, ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets, skinned and small bones removed

Choose a heavy skillet (preferably non-stick) that will be large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Melt half the butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add half the minced garlic and cook 1 minute , stirring constantly. Add the scallions and cook 1 minute longer, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, spices and a little salt, stir well to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly concentrated, about 5 minutes.

Cut the fish fillets into halves or several large pieces, depending on their size. Place them in the pan in one layer. Adjusting the heat to maintain a low simmer, poach the fish, uncovered, just until the flesh begins to turn opaque, 1 minute. Carefully turn the fish fillets with a spatula and poach on the other side for about 1 minute more; the flesh should still be slightly undercooked. Allow them to cool in the sauce.

When the fish is cool enough to handle, pull the flesh into shreds with your fingers. Carefully remove any bones that may be left. If the sauce looks watery, drain off a little of the juice.

Heat the remaining butter in a second large skillet over medium heat until hot and bubbling. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the shredded fish and sauce; cook just until heated through.

Serve with freshly made corn tortillas or crisp-fried tortilla chips.

Picadillo Stew (We probably won’t do beef, but this would make another great option for a taco bar! Another plus is that it can be made in a crock pot ahead of time!)


Picadillo is a traditional South American beef or pork dish rich with spices, raisins, and green olives. While it may sound weird, the end result is suprisingly good. For those who just cannot get around the raisins and olives, either or both can be omitted for a terrific stew.

If you do omit the raisins and olives, consider adding some chopped bell, anaheim, or jalapeno peppers for some extra spice. This stew makes a lot – but it can be frozen with good results. It also gets better over time and can be made a day or two ahead of time and just reheated before serving. We serve this typically just with cornbread and a salad for a terrific meal.

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 large chopped onions

8 minced garlic cloves

4 pounds cubed boneless beef chuck or pork

5 cups beef broth or stock

16 ounces diced tomatoes

16 ounces tomato puree

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

2 cups kidney beans (or 1 15-ounce drained can)

Fresh cilantro (optional)

Sour cream (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef or pork and onions. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the beef mixture to the crockpot with the broth, tomatoes, tomato puree, brown sugar, and spices. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add the raisins, olives, and beans and cook for 30-60 minutes more. Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes

Chicken in Mole Poblano – I may have given this recipe before, but it’s pretty basic. I like to use chicken thighs, because they have more flavor! Cook and chop chicken thighs and saute with strips of bell pepper (red or yellow) and onion. When vegetables are soft, add prepared mole sauce to the mixture and allow flavors to blend. Now, Knorr has vaccuum sealed boxes of mole sauce, already mixed!

Recipes for Afternoon Tea: Menu: Savories: …


Recipes for Afternoon Tea:



pumpernickel rounds with cream cheese, gravlax, boiled egg and capers

petite quiches in lorraine and spinach

Marshall’s biscuits with rosemary ham and dijon mayonnaise

sandwich triangles: curry and pecan spread and chicken, artichoke, black olive and pesto spread (both cream cheese based)

black currant scones with double devonshire cream and lemon curd


round brownies with whipped cream and candied violet garnishes

lemon squares

mini cheese cakes with black currant topping

cream puffs


peach tea

English tea (hot)


orange juice

Some recipes:


2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, soft

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. lemon juice


Nabisco Nilla wafers

Cherry pie topping

Foil cupcake baking cups

Beat ingredients well. Put a Nabisco Nilla wafer in each foil cupcake baking cup. Makes 18-20 individual cheesecakes. Fill foil cupcake baking cup about 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 17 minutes. Top each individual cheesecake with a spoonful of cherry pie topping when cool.

Note: I halved this recipe. It doesn’t specify here, but I used my mini muffin pan and pastel paper mini cupcake baking cups. On the trial, I overcooked them, but I got it just right the second time. The cherry pie filling didn’t appeal to me – it looked too pale – so I used black currant jam.

Finger Sandwiches

I made two kinds of spreads for my finger sandwiches. I used Harry’s Not So Ordinary White Bread, but may use Pepperidge Farm next time – it’s thinner.

The first spread I did was one I got a lot of compliments on in the past. Take about a cup and a half of soft cream cheese and dump it into a food processor with a jar of chutney (I used this amazing onion chutney this time), and between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of pecans. Process and blend together.

The second spread I made, I decided to do at the last minute because I had the ingredients on hand. It was totally improvisational, but I will try to share! I put about a cup and a half of soft cream cheese into the food processor. I added about a cup of shredded roasted chicken, and about a cup of marinated artichoke pieces. Then, I added about 20 black olives. Searching for something else, I spied a tube of pesto I had bought a while ago and squirted it in. I processed the whole thing and Presto!

Both mixtures were spread on a piece of bread, with another slice placed on top. I was able to make about 5 sandwiches with each and still have leftovers. I cut the crusts off and cut them into four triangles with a serrated knife. I stacked them on plates under damp paper towels until it was time to serve them.

The other items:

My mom made the lemon squares and the scones, which were delicious. She also assembled the gravlax – cutting each slice of bread and fish into little circles!

The Marshall’s biscuits can be found at most grocery stores. I baked them, had my husband slice them, and used a squirt bottle of Dijonnaise and my favorite Rosmarino ham from Costco in between the halves.

The little quiches, the round brownies, and the cream puffs were from Costco. The lemon curd and double Devonshire cream came from Star Provisions. That was the best lemon curd I have ever had.