Friday, May 1, 2015

Cinco de Mayo Suggestions

I generally post just one recipe at a time, but because this was such a simple menu to put together I am going to talk about everything we made.  Really, if you're hosting a dinner and don't want to be stressed at the last minute, this is the perfect menu for you.  This all tastes better if made the day before and then assembled just before serving.

We, Joe and Son's Olive Oils, had the pleasure of hosting a cooking/ demo at our store last evening.  Actually, there was little cooking involved...mainly just some slicing, dicing, chopping and then assembly. 

Normally, if you're invited to a meal and you know that no cooking is involved, you'd expect a salad and a sandwich.  This meal will show you that isn't always the case.

We started off with a Black Bean Appetizer.  Followed by a Mexican inspired "Bowl" dish.  This was a combination of layers of several foods prepared with complimentary flavors that were spicy, savory and sometimes a bit sweet.

Not only was this Quinoa Bowl tasty, we used recipes that could stand on their own.  The hummus could be used as part of a sandwich wrap.  The bean/corn salad, as well as the salsa, could be served with chips.  And because there is no mayo, they will hold up well if you serve them at an outdoor event during the warm weather.

                                                     Cinco De Mayo Menu
The first course was a Black Bean Hummus.
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Joe and Son's Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Sicilian Lemon Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Using a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients in the bowl of the appliance you're using and process until the beans are soft and almost pureed.  If the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of water to get the right consistency.  Add more water if needed.
Next came the Salad.
Chunky Fiesta Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Mixed greens
cucumber, diced
jicama, diced
tomato, diced,
red onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Queso Fresco, shredded...for garnish
1/3 cup  Joe and Son's Roasted Onion/Herb Olive Oil ( with cilantro)
1/3 cup Joe and Son's Persian lime Olive Oil
2/3 cup Joe and Son's Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
Combine the greens and vegetables in a large bowl.  Pour oils and vinegar into a jar and shake vigorously.  Pour over the salad and toss.  Garnish with the Queso Fresco.
* I cannot take credit for the salad dressing recipe.  This combo was suggested by Michael Messina.  We tasted it; we loved it and we're using it often.
The main course was a Quinoa Bowl.
The first layer would be Quinoa.
Cook the Quinoa according to directions on the package. The amount you prepare will be determined by the servings you want.  After it is cooked, set it aside and lightly drizzle Joe and Son's Persian Lime Olive on the Quinoa just to moisten it slightly.
Next layer would be a Corn and Black Bean Salad
 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Persian Lime Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the Persian Lime Olive Oil and Grapefruit Vinegar into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.  Pour over the corn salad and stir well.  Serve at room temperature.   This is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight.
Next layer would be Shredded Cabbage.
Folks, that is all there is to this layer.  Plain shredded cabbage.  Shred your own or buy prepackaged shredded cabbage.  This is mainly for the "crunch", not added taste.
Next layer would be Mojo Chicken.
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 cup Joe and Son's Oregano Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Persian Lime Olive Oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 heaping tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 heaping tablespoon Onion powder
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Place the chicken and seasonings in a covered roasting pan. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours until the chicken is falling apart.  Remove from the oven and shred.  Set aside.
* You can use pieces of a cooked rotisserie chicken with skin and bones removed and marinade them in the above seasonings.  The taste won't be quite the same... but if you're in a hurry, this works.
Next layer would be Mango/ Pineapple Salsa.
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son's Chipotle Olive Oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son's Coconut Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar if the fruit isn't sweet enough for your taste

2 cups mango, diced into small pieces
2 cups pineapple tidbits, diced into small pieces
OR1 package of frozen mango/ pineapple pieces found at Sam's club.  They are cut into perfect little diced pieces and will save you lots of time.  Just thaw, drain and use.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  This tastes best if made the day before.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serve at room temperature.
The last and top layer would be Pickled Onions.
There really is no need for a recipe for this.  All you do is slice a red onion into thin slices.  Place them in a bowl.  Pour enough Joe and Son's Peach Balsamic Vinegar to almost cover them.  Cover the bowl; refrigerate for several hours or overnight, stirring to make sure all the slices come into contact with the Peach Vinegar.  Serve at room temperature.
Dessert would be a Citrus Rum Cake.
yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
1/3 cup Joe and Son's citrus infused Olive Oil...either Mandarine, Blood Orange or Persian Lime
1/2 cup dark rum
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Coconut Balsamic Vinegar
1 large can crushed pineapple with its juice (about 1 1/2 cup)
Mix all of the ingredients.  Pour into a 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check if it's completely baked.  Cool the cake completely.
1 large container Cool Whip
1 small can crushed pineapple with its juice
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup Joe and Son's Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
flaked coconut for garnish
Spread this topping over the cooled cake and serve. I like to serve the cake chilled, just out of the fridge.
If you'd like some color added to the cake, you could slice some maraschino cherries(drained and rinsed) and sprinkle them on top of the coconut.  Or you could sprinkle colored sugar over the cake.....Or, both.

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