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  • by Lisa Bynum

It's Time for a Fiesta


No one is exactly sure when Americans started celebrating Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla and not the Mexican Independence Day as so many commonly believe. One thing we do know for sure, it's a fun excuse to enjoy warmer weather and Mexican cuisine. Here are three Latina-inspired recipes to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo deliciously.

Steak Fajitas

Serves 6-8

Marinade:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Fajitas:

1 pound flat iron steak

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

6-8 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, or other garnishes, optional

Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Place flank steak in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over steak and seal. Allow to marinade; refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from marinade and discard remaining liquid.

Grill over medium hot coals for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, or sear in a hot skillet until steak reaches desired doneness. Allow steak to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice into thin strips across the grain.

Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and bell peppers in oil until vegetables are crisp and tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, water, and lime juice. Continue to cook until onions begin to caramelize and peppers begin to slightly char. Stir in sliced meat.

Spoon fajita mixture down the center of each tortilla. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Tortellini with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Serves 4

8 medium sized tomatillos, husks removed

6 whole cloves garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 bag (10 oz.) cheese tortellini pasta

4 cups raw, loosely packed spinach leaves

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt and pepper to taste

Crumbled queso fresco cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Quarter tomatillos. Place on a baking sheet with garlic cloves. Drizzle tomatillos and garlic with olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 35 minutes.

Combine roasted tomatillos, garlic, spinach, broth, oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. Process until sauce is smooth and well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, drizzle tomatoes with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes to warm, drained pasta. Pour tomatillo sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Garnish each plate with crumbled queso fresco cheese.

Frozen Mango Margaritas

Serves 2-4

4 cups frozen mango chunks

2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

3 ounces tequila

2 ounces orange liqueur

1/2 ounce simple syrup

3/4 cup orange juice

Cinnamon, for garnish, optional

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.

Pour frozen margaritas into a glass. Garnish with cinnamon if desired.

Recipes from the April/May 2017 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi


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