Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Meal – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unexpected victory over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. The victory for the Mexican’s was short lived; but for this day they could celebrate a victory and they did. This is celebrated mainly in the U.S. & Mexico; but other countries around the world like to partake in this day like Canada, the Caribbean and even other countries further away from Mexico. To celebrate this day in history I ventured into something Mexican.

Yield/Serving: 4 tacos, serves 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time-consuming

Ingredients
Tacos
Shrimp
• 12 shrimp
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Avocado
• 2 ripe but firm avocados
• 1 egg
• Splash of coconut milk
• ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp canola oil
Toppings
• 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
• Handful of spinach
• 6 grape tomatoes, slices lengthwise
• ¼ red bell pepper, diced
• ¼ green bell pepper, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Small piece on red onion, diced
• Small handful of cilantro, rough chop
• Corn kernels from one ear of corn
• 4 corn tortillas
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
• Generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
• ½ of an avocado
• 1 generous table spoon of coconut milk, the solid portion not the watery part
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Few drops of fresh lime juice
• Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp or more
Mango Bean Salad
• 1 large mango, peeled and diced
• 1 dill cucumber, sliced
• ½ red bell pepper, chopped
• ½ green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
• Handful cilantro, chopped
• ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cloves garlic
• Corn kernels fresh from ear of corn
• ½ freshly squeezed lime juice
• Kosher salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
• ½ of a cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
• Tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed
• 6 cubes of ice
• Cilantro, for garnish

Assembly
Tacos
Shrimp
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add olive oil and season shrimp with spices add garlic and cook.
2. Let drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Avocado
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add canola oil.
2. Peel two avocados and sliced into pieces. Set one half of an avocado and put into the food processor for the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Wisk egg and milk in a small bowl.
4. In a plate mixed together panko crumbs and spices.
5. Dip avocado into egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs.
6. Fry until each side is a golden brown.
Corn
1. Using a small saucepan, slice corn kernels off and boil until cooked. Then set aside ¼ of the kernels for the tacos and the remainder for the mango bean salad.
Toppings
1. Prepare all the topping and place in a plate and set aside.
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
1. Blend all the ingredients together adding extra virgin olive oil little by little until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
2. Set aside.
Mango Bean Salad
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and add agave nectar and apple cider vinegar and stir until well combined.
2. Set aside and let marry.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
1. Place cantaloupe, ginger, lime juice and ice cubes into a blender and blend.
2. Strain off some of the pulp if desired and garnish with cilantro.
Assembly
1. Add toppings onto corn tortillas and place avocado on two tacos and shrimp on the other two tacos.
2. Drizzle with the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Serve

Tips
• Add a splash of tequila if your feeling festive to the aqua fresca to make it a more adult beverage.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was beyond flavourful and I was super excited to make this from the moment I started and I kept building layers to this as I kept cooking. This took longer than I expected; but there are many different components going into the dish and it makes this a lovely complete meal from beginning to end. The creaminess and crunch of the avocado taco made me not miss the protein. Once again I found another dish where I can up my vegetarian recipes to two or three times a week and not miss the meat. The shrimp taco is a great option for those who still want seafood/meat, as the shrimp was packed with flavour and colour. With the addition of the avocado cilantro coconut sauce it once again added another layer of complexity and it was the usual American salsa. I must say that corn tortillas are the way to go, I highly recommend them to the whole wheat, ancient grain or regular floured tortillas I have tried. They are so much more authentic and if you can find them please give them a try. The bean salad was chocked full of all those Mexican ingredients with the vinegar and agave nectar dressing to add a little sweet and tart aspect. Washing this all down was a mild fruity beverage which didn’t overpower the meal, it was just a lovely compliment. Any vegetarian or pescatarian would be total chuffed to see this for dinner and they were. This is already being requested and I’ll gladly make it again soon and hopefully streamline this recipe down to a hour beginning to end as I like quick weeknight meals.

Avocado Buns ….. What in the world!

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Has the mighty avocado just jumped the shark? I saw the weirdest thing the other day which is all the buzz and the latest fad. Avocados are now being used as a substitute for a bun; hmmm, now I love avocado and can have one every day but as a bun? This is a great gluten free option; but lets get real here it is not a burger bun. It looks visually striking and interesting but this can only be just a fad right? I did a few food experiments to see if this is a viable option.
Here are some of my test recipes.

Smoked Salmon on a Sesame seeds Avocado Bun

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Tomato slice
• Spinach
• Smoked salmon
• Red onion, sliced
• Sesame seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado
• Olives, top of the avocado bun
• Sweet pickles, top of the avocado bun

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
• Green bell pepper, sliced
• Bacon
• Fried, slightly runny
• Poppy seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Both these were delicious; but to me nothing beats eating an avocado with a little salt and lemon cut in half and using the shell as a bowl. Sometimes simplicity is the best and honestly you can’t eat this like a true burger with an avocado bun; unless you’re used to eating your burgers with a knife and fork regularly. I may secretly enjoy this at home deconstructed or when I just don’t want a bun; but to truly use the avocado like a bun is near impossible. It’s still delicious but very impractical as a bun and calling this a bun is an enormous stretch to say the least.

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Feeling in a Mexican mood, but not in the typical way I thought let me try to make a Mexican inspired soup. With Cinqo de mayo this week I thought a Mexican dish should be made.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Soup
• 5 chicken thighs
• 1 tbsp vegetable olive oil
• Cumin
• Chilli powder
• Cayenne pepper
• Red pepper flakes
• Paprika
• Garlic powder
• Sea salt
• 2 chorizo sausages
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 large green pepper, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 796 ml can of tomatoes, rough chopped
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 4 cups water
• 540 ml black beans
• 540 ml chic peas
• 340 ml corn
• Handful of cilantro, rough chop
• 1 tortillas , cut into strips and fried
Garnish
• Sour cream
• Diced avocado

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat fry chicken thighs and season with cumin, chilli powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt until cooked.
2. In another frying pan over medium-high heat frying chorizo sausages until cooked.
3. Using a large stock pot with a little vegetable oil sauté onion, green pepper and garlic for a minute or two and add in the tomatoes.
4. Add water black beans, chic peas, corn and cook over medium high heat for 60 minutes; stirring occasionally.
5. Shred the chicken and break the chorizo into pieces and add into the stock pot in the last 30 minutes.
6. At the last minute add cilantro.
7. Cut tortilla in small strips and fry until just crispy and put on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
8. Ladle soup into a bowl and add some diced avocado and tortilla pieces and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even though there were lots of spices I found this recipe lacked flavour and I couldn’t get it to be as seasoned as I’d like. Next time I will have to over season to get this to where I want it to be or perhaps I was feeling a little under the weather and the seasoning was fine.

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche  - Candy Coated Culinista

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a recipe I made on Good Friday as this is a fish eating day for me. I wanted to make a classy dish that could also make for brunch or lunch and I think this recipe fits the bill.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 1o min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Tilapia
• 2 tilapia fillets
• Season salt
• Black pepper
• Dried basil
• Curry powder, pinch
• Cayenne Pepper, pinch
• Smoke paprika, pinch
Ceviche
• 2 large avocados
• Parsley leaves, minced
• Yellow pepper, diced
• Red onion, diced
• Celery, diced
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season tilapia with season salt, black pepper, basil, curry powder, cayenne powder and smoke paprika.
3. Place on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and set aside.
5. In a medium sized bowl add the diced and minced parsley, yellow pepper, red onion, celery and squeeze lime overtop and mix.
6. Set aside.
7. When the fish is cooked, break apart one of the fish and add to the ceviche and mix.
8. Scoop mock ceviche mixture into the centre of the avocado.
9. Cut the second piece of tilapia down the spine and plate a portion for both plates.
10. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am a big fan of this recipe. I could probably be a true ceviche recipe; but the only food I have ventured into raw is sushi so far and ceviche and tartare’s just haven’t made it in my list yet. This recipe is light and very flavourful as the tilapia can hold up to the spices on the fish and the burst of citrus with the crunchy vegetables is a hit I my books.

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