A dear friend Shanti, with whom I share a deep love for eating (thereby cooking), celebrated her birthday on December 29, just in time to ring in the New Year with the same great, intimate company of kitchen co-conspirators. For Shanti’s day, Steve (her love) planned an elaborate, authentic Mexican feast based on Diana Kennedy’s recipes in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.

Under Steve’s direction, we all pitched in while Shanti took charge of the cake! (The following menu provides links to essential recipes, with notes for improvements.)

1

Mexican Fiesta Menu

Tamales stuffed with Hot Peppers and Cheese
topped with fresh radish slivers;
from Tortilleria Nixtamal – Queens, NY 
*
Zucchini-Mushroom Enchiladas, with melted Queso Fresco
served on freshly made tortillas from Tortilleria Nixtamal;
topped with black olives, fresh cilantroradishes, avocado, 
crumbled hard boiled eggs, and a lemon wedge;
 dressed with Red Chile Sauce
 
* Adjust sauce recipe: replace water with milk.
Add garlic, two red tomatoes, and two serano peppers (minced).
* Adjust bean recipe: Remove the bacon, 
and quicken cooking time with a pressure cooker.
Served with Salsa Verde and Salsa Fresca
 * Adjust salsa verde recipe: Roast half the tomatoes, and boil the other half.
Once blended, do not repeat cooking. Add extra garlic and cilantro.
*
freshly whipped cream and Lavendar Shortbread 
*
2
The Birthday Girl, Shanti Star, doing what she does best! (Notice this food blogger rocking the hip camera, ready to snap!)
Steve, consulting the bible.
Steve, consulting the bible.
Bobby demonstrates HOW TO PEEL GARLIC IN LESS THAN 10 SECONDS.
Bobby demonstrates HOW TO PEEL GARLIC IN LESS THAN 10 SECONDS.
Clockwise from left: Ancho chilies, the flavor in the Red Sauce; tomales; Jill fries the tortillas; a farm fresh yoke resting on cilantro.
Clockwise from left: Ancho chilies, the flavor in the Red Sauce; tomales; Jill fries the tortillas; a farm fresh yoke resting on cilantro.
Elspeth, queen of foodalicious faces; tortillas smeared with red sauce and queso fresco; Keith preparing the rice.
Elspeth, queen of foodalicious faces; tortillas smeared with red sauce and queso fresco; Keith preparing the rice.
Clockwise from top left: Shanti blogging her Sponge Cake; popping off almond peels (sometimes the sky rocket - bottom right); sponge cake glory with freshly whipped cream.
Clockwise from top left: Shanti blogging her Sponge Cake; popping off almond peels (sometimes the sky rocket – bottom right); sponge cake glory with freshly whipped cream.
Plated feast.
Plated feast.
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *