Its fiesta time in the Hamptons! I enjoyed a fabulous taco night with friends from St. Petersburg along with our little companions- baby Vivian and my guest Svetlana’s son Misha. For this authentic fiesta I prepared the classic Mexican dishes- guacamole, two variations of salsa, grilled steak with pineapples, fish and of course tacos! I set up a taco station with fire-roasted salsas to garnish guests' tacos and guacamole to nibble on. The perfect customized meal. Everything about this menu is appealing- from the plating to the zingy and exotic taste. Every bite you take will make you second-guess if you are at an authentic Mexican restaurant. While preparing the food you will take notice of the use of how many vegetables are present such as tomato, onions, tomatillos and jalapeños to name just a few. Often you find these ingredients overlapping in this collection of recipes. While my Mexican recipes do share a fair amount of ingredients, they have their unique flavors and still manage to compliment your tacos flawlessly. My favorite thing about this menu is how everything looks when it is plated- vibrant colors and different textures, it’s practically mesmerizing! Most of the vegetables in this menu are finely diced, thus creating the effect that all of these dishes belong with each other.
Even more scrumptious then my menu was table décor. Inspired by all the bright and vibrant Mexican dishes, I headed to TJ Maxx in search of some Mexican themed décor. I always love shopping at TJ Maxx for my dinner parties. I like to think of it as a treasure hunt, finding the perfect item to tie my theme together. I did not come out empty handed, I managed to find glass candleholders with brightly colored Calaveras on them.
And of course, I needed cacti for the occasion, my florist used bright colored sand and stones in the clear glass pots, thus adding yet another pop of color to the table. I was inspired by the vibrate colors I was working with in the kitchen for table decorations for our fiesta but more on that in a decor section of the blog.
So let's get this party started. Here is my little Vivi helping me out in the kitchen with assembling our dessert- coconut flan.
Oven-roasted salsa verde is a flavorful green combination of tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic cloves and Vidalia onion, roasted at high temperatures in the oven. I like to serve it with arctic char grilled on a cedar plank or grilled flank steak.
Grilled arctic char, the recipe is pretty simple. Soak the plank for few hours in cold water. Using tweezers, remove fish bones, pat the fillet dry. Drizzle fillet lightly with olive oil, season it with salt and chili powder, lay thin lemon slices on top and grill on a cedar plank for 12-15 minutes at 400F. The fish absorbs the pine flavor and is super moist and delicious. Serve it as is on a plank and encourage guests to make their own taco creations with it.
Spicy Guacamole is an earthy and healthy yet absolutely mouthwatering dip or condiment for your tacos- you would never think this fruit could make such a scrumptious dish (Yes! avocado is a fruit).
Fire-roasted plum salsa is a great condiment for my duck tacos. Again, I broiled plums, onion and jalapeño to lessen the acidity of these ingredients. This fruity salsa adds a juicy and tangy flavor to duck meat. And it has a nice kick of spiciness to it!
Cabbage, carrot coleslaw is a colorful, crunchy addition to our Mexican table. I like to mix purple and green cabbage, along with julienned carrots and finely diced jalapeño. There is a light dressing of brown sugar, olive oil and lime juice to soften this coleslaw. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving it!
This salad's vibrant colors will make your table picture perfect.
Spicy Shrimp, Sweet Potato Puree, Exotic Salsa served perfectly as a hors d’oeuvre passed around in scallop shells. The shrimp, seasoned with chili powder and salt was seared to charred perfection. Each shell was smeared with a dollop of sweet potato puree, garnished with three pieces of shrimp and mango-nectarine salsa. It is very simple to prepare yet the scallop shell presentation has a major ‘wow’ factor you’re looking for when entertaining friends at home.
Chinese-five spice duck taco is a colorful dish, full of unexpected flavor! Who wouldn't like to try something so absolutely unique as tacos with duck meat! If you have been a fan of my blog, you know how much I like to cook duck breast, so for this menu I figured why not to try it in the recipe for tacos as well. You only need one duck breast to feed 6-8 people, not bad, huh!? Sear the meat in the pan and finish cooking it in the oven. Slice meat thinly and serve in soft corn tortillas with cabbage coleslaw, fire-roasted plum salsa and Mexican cheese!
Broiled summer corn is a must at any summer party, never less at a Mexican Fiesta! With my spicy butter to offset the corns delicious sweetness your guests will be begging for more!
Chimichurri grilled flank steak with pineapple is one of my absolute favorite dishes to make during the summer. The flavors created from grilling the thin cut of flank steak truly exude that warm summer feeling.
Cheers to our Mexican Fiesta!
To finish off the night on a sweet note- Coconut Flan with toasted slivered almonds!