!Organic Cinco de Mayo Celebration!
by Bianca Alexander
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we headed South of the Border to Rancho La Puerta, a destination spa routinely named by Travel & Leisure as one of the best resorts in Mexico. Located just an hour and 1/2 drive from San Diego at the base of majestic Mt. Kuchumaa, one of the most unique aspects of Rancho La Puerta is their organic gourmet cooking school, La Cocina que Canta.
To plan your Mexican fiesta, check out a few of our favorite recipes from Jesus Gonzales, creative chef and instructor at La Cocina que Canta, and 4 Copas Certified Organic Tequila. !Salud!
Corn Jalapeno Tortillas
2 cups maseca*
3 tablespoons spring garlic, minced (or 1 clover regular garlic, minced)
1 jalapeno, de-veined, seeds removed, minced
1 1/2-2 cups water
*(Maseca is a finely ground corn flour, found in Mexican markets. Note: Maseca can not be substituted with coarse corn flour or corn meal).
1. Combine the maseca garlic and jalapeno. Add the water 1/2 cup at a time and knead until the water is incorporated. You may not need all of the water. The dough is wet enough when it feels like playdough.
2. Form the dough into several golf-ball sized balls.
3. Press the dough balls one at a time in a tortilla press between two pieces of plastic wrap.
4. Preheat skillet over medium heat and cook the tortillas, without oil, about 30 seconds on the first side, then turn and cook another 30 seconds on the other side. Turn once more for an additional 30 seconds. The tortillas should look slightly dry around the edges, but should not be browned. Place in a cloth-lined basket and cover.
*5 small nopales, thorns cleaned, diced
1 cup red onion, small dice
1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup fresh corn
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh cheese (Mexican panela, or feta)
salt and fresh ground pepper
*Nopales are cactus leaves typically sold in Latin markets. The smaller ones are most tender, but if only larger ones are available, use about 3.
1. Dry-roast the corn in a small pan until it turns just slightly golden.
2. Combine the corn with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss.
3. Season to taste.
Low-Fat Aztec Guacamole
1 10-ounce package of organic frozen peas
1 medium avocado, pit removed, scooped out and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ ripe tomato, seeded and diced
½ small yellow onion, finely diced
½ small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
In a food processor bowl fitted with a sharp blade, combine the peas and avocado. Process until creamy. Add the lime juice and salt and pulse to blend.
Add the cilantro, tomato, onion and jalapeno and pulse about 3 times. Do not over-process the guacamole. It’s best to retain the texture of the tomatoes and onions as much as possible.
Variations: Instead of peas, feel free to use 10 ounces of broccoli flowers (boiled 7 minutes and drained under running cold water) or 10 ounces of edamame “beans” or asparagus spears (boiled 3-5 minutes then drained under cold running water).
Makes 2 cups of low-far, creamy guacamole. Serves approximately 8, 2.8 ounce servings.
Mexican Papaya Salad on Red Leaf Lettuce with Pepitas
and Roasted Cumin Orange Dressing
For the salad:
4 cups mixed baby greens
2 cups papaya slices
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut in wedges
3 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
Red onion rings, 3 separated rings per plate
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Roasted Cumin Orange Dressing:
2 teaspoons cumin seed, roasted and ground
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 medium shallot, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
1. In a blender cup or processor bowl combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Makes 1 ½ salad dressing.
2. To assemble the salad: Toss the baby greens with ½ cup of dressing. Arrange the papaya, oranges, pepitas and onion over the greens. Lightly drizzle 1 teaspoon of dressing over the fruit. Refrigerate any remaining dressing up to 3-4 days. Yields 6 salads.
4 Copas Margarita Azul
2 ounces organic 4 Copas Blanco Tequila
1.5 ounces organic 4 Copas Agave Nectar
1.5 ounces organic lime juice
.5 ounces Blue Curazao
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a margarita glass. Garnish with lime and serve.
To watch us cooking these recipes or for more tips on the soul of green, watch Conscious Living TV.