Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cinco De Mayo Party with Grilled Corn & Tacos!

Aaah, Mexican food. There is nothing more delicious on a hot day than some fresh and delicious salsa, guacamole, or fajitas. It's one of my favorite cuisines when it's done right, so this Cinco de Mayo (which was a while ago, yes I know), I decided to go for it!

Mind you, I did take a shortcut here and there (instead of crafting my own taco "meat" I used Yves'), but it was still delish.

So here was the menu:

Mexican Grilled Corn
Taco bar with:
Tequila-Marinated Portabellas
Sauteed Peppers & Onions
Yves' Taco Filling

To begin, I started with the Tequila-Marinated Portabellas:

3-4 large portabella mushroom caps, sliced
3/4 cup tequila
juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, pressed and chopped
freshly ground pepper

In a shallow dish, combine the tequila, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk them together with a fork until it's well combined. Unless you want to get a little tipsy, I'd recommend tasting this marinade just once or twice when you're adjusting the salt and pepper to taste. Add the portabella slices, and toss to coat. Spread them evenly throughout the pan, then let them stand and marinate for about an hour.

When your hour is up, it's time to grill these babies! Place each slice on either a preheated grill or grill pan, and cook until nice grill marks form. Depending on your grill, this could take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes per side. It's best to serve these immediately, while they're all hot and nummy. Yup, nummy.

Next! Peppers and Onions.

This is the easiest thing ever. EVER! I probably don't have to spell this out for you, but for thoroughness' sake, I will.

1 beautiful yellow bell pepper
1 lovely red bell pepper
1 gorgeous green bell pepper
1 pretty red onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil

Slice all the vegetables (except garlic) into thin strips; a uniform cut leads to maximum pretty potential! Mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a sautee pan or skillet. When the oil's hot, throw in all the vegetables and sautee until soft and delicious-looking. The onion should be getting transparent. SERVE!

See? That was laughably easy. Hilarious.

NEXT! Corn.

Ok, so I have a special relationship with corn. My grandpa used to grow it on his farm and every harvest season we would eat TONS of it. I'm an expert picker, shucker, and silker. Oh, and an expert eater. Now I'm working on becoming an expert corn cooker. We would traditionally just boil it and butter it to death, and eat it right off the cob. Yes, this was awesome. My favorite was when grandpa would cut his off the cob (tough to eat it with dentures, you know) and it would come off in big slices. I still get a kick out of that. That's moot, however, because we'll be preparing this on the cob, Mexican-style. AKA slathered with some awesome creamy mess (this usually involves cheese, sour cream, or mayo) and tons of herbs and spices. CRAZY delicious.

4-5 Ears of corn (or as many as you can eat, whatever you want!!)
Oil for brushing
3/4 cup Vegenaise
juice of 1 lime
extra lime slices for garnish
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste, depending on your spicy-tolerence)
salt (to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Shuck and silk (remove as many tiny silks as you can, I'm not sure if this is a real term or something I made up) the corn, and brush with oil to prep.

Combine the Vegenaise, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, and chili powder in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste. It should be slightly tangy and spicy, and most definitely creamy. YUM.

Place the corn on a preheated grill or grill pan, and cook until the kernels begin to brown. Keep turning them so they're evenly cooked. As soon as they're done, evacuate them onto a platter, and slather them with the Vegenaise mixture. Save any extra to use as "crema" for the tacos.

And that's it! The other things are pretty much self-explanatory, you'll need to prep the taco "meat" and the tortillas (I brown them over my gas burners first, they taste AWESOME), and prep any other fixins you like. Pile it all into your tortilla, have an ear of corn on the side, and HAVE A FIESTA!

Que Delicioso!

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