Festive Cinco de Mayo meal in 25 minutes

April 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mexican food is the fastest growing ethnic food in America, and with Cinco de Mayo coming up, it's time to get festive in the kitchen. Chef and party planning expert, Yvan Lemoine, shares a delicious and healthy authentic recipe that you can make in 25 minutes!

Cinco de Mayo recipes and ideas

Yvan's secret ingredients:

When we think Mexican, we think tacos...
Taco night is always a hit for the whole family. Everyone gets their tacos just the way they want and mom gets just what she wants - a night to connect with her kids. Spice up your Cinco De Mayo with Old El Paso favorites, like Stand n'Stuff Shells - they have a flat bottom so your tacos don't fall over. And you can put a twist on your old favorite tacos with some new, fun recipes. www.oldelpaso.com

Secret ingredients can really give a meal that "wow" factor...
Motts Clamato Tomato Cocktail is a delicious, refreshing beverage that can also be that secret ingredient for sensational meals. The bold spicy full body kick of Clamato gives that extra zest to any dish. You can add it into recipes to give it a little kick or use it in a fun, festive drink. www.clamato.com

Look for items that are authentic to Mexico...
HERDEZ Salsa is authentic, Mexican salsa. It has four basic ingredients, fresh tomatoes, Serrano peppers, onions and cilantro. HERDEZ Salsa is as close as you can get to making your own salsa without cutting up the ingredients yourself. It's also so versatile that it can be either a dipping sauce/condiment or you can use it in a recipe. www.herdeztraditions.com

Yvan's favorite recipes:

Chicken Ranch Tacos

Prep Time: 25 min
Start to Finish: 25 min
Makes: 5 servings (2 tacos each)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (4.7 oz) Old El Paso® Stand 'N Stuff? taco shells
  • 3 cups cut-up deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken)
  • 1 package (1.25 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Additional ranch dressing, if desired

1. Heat taco shells in oven as directed on box.

2. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, place chicken. Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix; toss gently to coat. Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Stir in 1/2 cup dressing.

3. Spoon warm chicken mixture into heated taco shells. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onions. Drizzle with additional dressing.

Clamato Ropa Vieja

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Medium
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast or flank steak
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, dried ground
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, course ground

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 large red onion, cut into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups Clamato Tomato Cocktail
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine oregano, cumin, salt and pepper; rub over meat.

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high, place roast to sear. Add peppers, onion, garlic and bay leaf; saute for about 5-8 minutes.

3. Add Clamato, wine, water, tomate paste and diced tomatoes. Bring to simmer, cover and cook over medium low heat for 2 hours or until roast is tender.

4. Remove meat from sauce and shred it, pieces should be long and thin. Return meat back to sauce; cook for 30 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice and fried ripe plantains.

Clamato Shrimp "Ceviche" Style

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs shrimp, cooked
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, for juice
  • 1/2 cup Clamato Tomato Cocktail

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine shrimp, red onion, jalapeño, cucumber and cilantro.

2. Add lime juice and Clamato; toss to mix well.

3. Chill in refrigerator 20-30 minutes.

4. Serve cold with tostadas (hard tortillas) or soda crackers.

Salsa Seasoned Beef Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 (1.35-ounce) package fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 cup HERDEZ® Salsa Casera
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups assorted bell pepper strips
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Mexican toppings such as shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, HERDEZ®
  • Salsa Casera, guacamole and sour cream

Cooking Directions

In large food storage bag, place beef, fajita seasoning and HERDEZ® Salsa Casera. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Remove beef from marinade (discard marinade) and add beef to the skillet. Cook the beef for 3-4 minutes. Add bell peppers and onion. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 additional minutes. Spoon meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with desired Mexican toppings and serve. Makes 8 fajitas.

Buffalo Burrito Grill

Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Mission® 10 inch Burrito Flour Tortillas warmed
  • 4 ounce Cream Cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely minced Celery
  • 3 (4 oz) boneless, skinless Chicken Breast halves
  • 3 tablespoons Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup Alfalfa Sprouts

Instructions

1. Combine Cream Cheese, Blue Cheese and celery in a small bowl; stir well to blend. Reserve.

2. Place Chicken in a shallow dish; add hot sauce, turning to coat. Cover, and refrigerate up to 10 minutes. Prepare gas or charcoal BBQ grill (medium-high heat). Grill Chicken until done, about 6 minutes per side. Cool slightly, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

3. Spread about 2 Tbsp. Blue Cheese mixture down center of each tortilla. Arrange chicken strips over cheese mixture, and top each with equal amount of Alfalfa Sprouts.

4. Roll up tortilla, and eat while warm.


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