Spice up your Cinco de Mayo with tequila shrimp tacos, Cuban garlic chicken and more

May is coming up and that means Cinco de Mayo and the start of spring!

If you're planning to have a get-together, spice up your evening with these Latin American-inspired dishes.

By the way — Do you know what Cinco de Mayo is all about?

Cinco de Mayo celebrates May 5, 1862, the date when Mexico's army beat the French at the Battle of the Puebla.

The holiday is sometimes confused with Mexico's Independence Day which is actually celebrated on Sept. 16.

Cuban Garlic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 -8 
lbs whole chickens (2 3-4 lb. chickens, cut into pieces)
  • 12 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2   cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 
 tablespoon salt
  • 1 
 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 
 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 
 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 
   teaspoon ground cumin

Directions

  1. Place the chicken in a container large enough to hold all the pieces. (Extra-large zip-loc bag)
  2. Combine the garlic, sour orange juice, salt, vinegar, pepper, oregano and cumin in a small bowl.
  3. Pour the marinade evenly over the chicken; cover chicken (or close bag and smush it around); refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 450°.
  5. Arrange chicken in one layer in a roasting pan; pour the marinade evenly over the top of the chicken.
  6. Roast the chicken in the lower third of the oven, stirring during the last 10 minutes to coat with the sauce, until it is cooked through and the sauce begins to caramelize, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Remove the chicken to a platter, spoon garlic sauce over the pieces.
  8. Place the chicken in a container large enough to hold all the pieces.

Coconut Citrus Salad
Serves 4 individual salads.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 bag Spring mix salad greens
  • 1 11 ounce can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • ½ cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted, cooled
  • 1/3 cup candied pecans
  • May add salmon or chicken as protein.
  • May change bacon to turkey bacon.

Directions

  1. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Plate greens separately on individual plates (or you may combine in a bowl and toss).
  3. Add Mandarin oranges, crumbled bacon, coconut flakes and pecans to salad.
  4. Drizzle dressing on salad.
  5. Garnish with a few pecans and coconut flakes.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 3 T fresh lime juice, split 1 and 2
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 cups canned corn
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Mix first six ingredients and set aside, to make dressing.
  2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute in oil for 30 seconds.
  3. Add corn and saute.  Turn heat to medium and saute until corn starts to char, roughly 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add lime juice and salt and saute for 1 minute.
  5. In a large bowl, place corn mixture and add all other items, except feta, and toss.
  6. Add dressing and toss.
  7. Add feta and toss.
  8. Can serve immediately, or can refrigerate and serve later.

Tequila Shrimp Tacos

Step One — Tequila Butter

Combine these ingredients in a mixer and mix until blended well, then set aside.

  • 4 sticks salted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup key lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh green onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Note:  This is a double batch, only use half with the shrimp.  Other half can go into freezer for later use.

Step Two — Tequila Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds 31-40 shrimp, peeled deveined and tails removed
  • 2 T blackened seasoning
  • 1 pound tequila butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat.
  2. Toss shrimp in a bowl with the blackened seasoning until well distributed.
  3. Add tequila butter to pan and allow to melt.
  4. Add shrimp to pan and saute for 2-3 minute until shrimp start to turn pink.
  5. Add cream to pan and continue to saute until sauce reduces by half, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Step Three — Jalapeno Remoulade

Combine the following ingredients.  May be served immediately, or refrigerate overnight.

  • 1/8 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped finely
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Step Four — Tequila Shrimp Tacos

Build your tacos with the following ingredients.

  • 12 6” or 8” flour tortillas (may also use corn tortillas, but double up on tortillas as they fall apart easier than flour tortillas)
  • 2 cups lettuce or cabbage (personal preference), shredded
  • Tequila Shrimp
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed cilantro, hand-chopped finely
  • Jalapeno remoulade (perfect if served in a squirt bottle, with tip widened)
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