This year, I made our family’s favorite fish tacos for our Cinco de Mayo feast. I also made Horchata for the first time (which the children really liked, even though I was afraid they’d think it was too different), and a chocoflan for dessert. Of course, there were also margaritas for those of us old enough to drink!
This is probably our family’s favorite Mexican recipe…it is almost guaranteed to make an appearance for birthdays (especially Ryan’s and Ladybug’s), Cinco de Mayo, and other holidays/celebrations (like Father’s Day) throughout the year! We like it so much that I always double the recipe, and sometimes, I have to make a triple batch! The fish is great on its own, if tacos aren’t your thing, and the cabbage mixed with the sauce also makes a nice salad on its own…I love a versatile recipe!
For the tacos:
- 1 cup flour, plus extra for lightly dusting the fish
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup beer
- 1 lb. cod or tilapia fillets, cut into small chunks
- oil for frying
- shredded purple cabbage
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 minced jalepeno
- 2 tsp. minced capers
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregeno
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dried dillweed
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
To make beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture (don’t worry about a few lumps).
To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.
Heat oil in deep pan or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve in tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and white sauce.
Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! I love an excuse to make a Mexican meal, authentic or Americanized, and my family loves an excuse to enjoy eating it! Here are some of my favorite Mexican recipes (mostly Americanized, I suppose) that I’ve shared over the years…main dishes, a side, and desserts. Some of them even use leftovers!
- Fish Tacos
- Salmon Tacos with Avocado Smash
- Pork Carnitas
- Replica Qdoba Mexican Gumbo
- Avocado Salad
- Sopapilla Cheesecake
- Margarita Layer Cake
What are your favorite Mexican recipes?
I decided to try something new for our family Cinco de Mayo celebration today…a nacho bar. It was very popular! We had lots of topping choices: nacho cheese, ground beef, refried beans, shredded cheese, salsa, avocados, olives, and sour cream. I also got the children some Mexican Coke as a special treat, and we had a chocoflan for dessert.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s celebration…a tea party fit for a princess!
I made fish tacos for dinner last weekend, and I wanted to make a delicious Mexican dessert to go with it. I had a vague recollection of watching Marcela Valladolid make a chocoflan back when we had cable TV, so I looked the recipe up while I was in the grocery store (what did I ever do before I had a smartphone?). It didn’t look too complicated, so I tried it out. I’ve never made a flan before, so I wasn’t sure everyone would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised, and the whole family loved it. They’ve demanded that I add it to my “permanent collection.” Ideally, you should make this a day ahead, although we did try it the first day while it was still warm.
1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus extra to grease the pan
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce and put Bundt pan in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)
For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.
For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spread evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.
Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake about 1 hour (mine took a little longer), until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, jiggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and additional cajeta (if desired), chill 24 hours and serve!
This is my favorite tostada recipe. There are so many options out there, from different meats, like chicken and shrimp, to a wide variety of toppings, and it seems like we’ve tried them all! I like to keep things simple, so my dream tostada is topped with pork carnitas, jack cheese, and sliced avocado. Sometimes, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll drizzle Mexican creama on top, too. Lettuce, tomatoes, and olives also make good toppings if you’re feeling adventurous!
I tried this recipe out for Mother’s Day, and it was delicious! I’m not claiming it’s authentic or anything, but it’s easy to make, and so good! It was also be good topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries (neither of which I had on Mother’s Day…maybe next time).
- 3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 8 oz. cans crescent roll dough
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape the each piece into a 9×13 inch rectangle. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture over dough, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough.
Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake.
Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Last week, I tried a new recipe for my birthday cake. I was a little worried about it, because I tweaked the original recipe to the point where it was unrecognizable, and I’m not sure that birthdays are the right occasion for such baking experimentation. I shouldn’t have worried, though…this turned out to be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! I’m planning on trying a strawberry-margarita version soon, by substituting a strawberry cake mix for the orange…this recipe has lots of potential for future tweaking!
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package orange cake mix
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup tequila
Lime Pastry Cream Filling
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lime zest (from 2 large lime)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
Tequila-Lime Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup tequila
- Zest and juice from one lime
- 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour (mixture will be thick). Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla and lime juice until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the tequila lime whipped cream: Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add tequila, lime juice and zest, and powdered sugar (to taste) and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
To assemble: Spread a generous layer of lime pastry cream between cake layers. Frost top and sides of cake with tequila-lime whipped cream. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor. If you happen to have pastry cream and whipped cream left over (I had doubled the pastry cream recipe, which was unnecessary, but delicious!) you can fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream for a wonderful tequila lime mousse.
Stay tuned for the other margarita dessert I made last week…I may have reached the pinnacle of my baking career!
This is my new favorite summer side dish.It pairs best with a nice (spicy!) Mexican meal, but I’ve served alongside other dishes, as well. You can substitute two papayas for two of the avocados, which is both delicious and beautiful, not to mention healthy, (and unexpected!), and I’m guessing mangoes or guavas may work, as well. You could also serve it over your favorite salad greens, and call it lunch!
- 4-6 avocados, peeled, halved, and pitted
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Slice the avocados lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
In a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon the dressing over the avocado. Serve immediately.
After making Southwestern Turkey Soup in January, but substituting leftover Pork Carnitas for the turkey in the recipe, I realized that I had the basis for replicating the “Mexican Gumbo” that Qdoba serves. I have to say, I think I’ve come up with a pretty good approximation! Bunny seems to agree with that assessment, as it has quickly become one of her favorites, as well. It even works with leftovers from the original turkey soup variation, if you’re not in the mood for pork!
- Leftover Southwestern Soup, (with the majority of the broth drained off)
- Cooked Rice, (flavored with lime juice, to taste)
- Chopped Cilantro
- Shredded Jack Cheese
- Tortilla Strips
- Sour Cream
Place cooked rice in the bottom of a bowl. Top with leftover soup, using only enough broth to keep the rice moist. Garnish with toppings as desired…my favorites are cilantro and shredded jack cheese.