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Fiesta de “Tres de Mayo”

May 4, 2014 by Joan Nova in Entertaining, Finishing Touches, Holidays, Mexican + Southwestern, Plating/Presentation, Recipe Development | 18 Comments

I invited two friends for dinner Saturday night and, based on what I had on-hand, planned to make Italian fried shrimp and spaghetti with no-cook tomato sauce. But, Saturday morning, I changed my mind and went in a totally different direction. The no-cook tomato sauce became salsa, the spaghetti was opted out for black rice … and, with a few other additions, we were headed south-of-the-border just in time to celebrate Tres de Mayo. What? You never heard of Tres de Mayo?

Happy Hour
Chorizo Quesadilla
Japones Cacahuate (my favorite nut treat at spa in Ixtapa, MX) and green olives (not shown)

cumin-spiced fried shrimp, black rice and black beans, sweet plantains

baked soft corn tortillas, fresh tomato salsa, fresh corn, yellow pepper and pineapple salsa (and avocado salad not shown)

Tequila simple syrup marinated watermelon, finished with a dash of paprika salt, ground chili and fresh cilantro.

Just like St. Patrick’s Day … on Cinco de Mayo, everyone is Mexican. Enjoy the day.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Aurora Gil says:

    Cool idea !! What are you going to do on cinco de Mayo?

  2. Loving it, especially the watermelon :-)
    Brenda Benoit recently posted..A Feast By The Miami River at Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill – A Photo EssayMy Profile

  3. bellini says:

    Today I had Lebanese at a local restaurant, but this meal sounds killer Joan. I need to try some tequila marinated watermelon.

  4. This meal is much more creative than the original one you planned. It looks and sounds fabuloso!
    sandra axelrod recently posted..When Pigs FlyMy Profile

  5. And missed another great meal!

  6. I love those fried shrimp and the corn salad. All of it really. Lucky guests. I don’t cook much with these flavors, but I need to.
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  7. Jonny says:

    Joan, lovely meal! Those fried shrimp look particularly killer. Is the black rice black from the black beans? (try saying that five times fast!) or is it actually a black strain of rice? We have some very dark red rice that goes a purplish-black when cooked (it takes about an hour to cook), that looks quite spectacular and jewel-like when there is some farmer’s cheese mixed in.

    • Joan Nova says:

      Thanks. The rice was black — it’s Chinese heirloom, sometimes called forbidden rice (I think). I like it a lot. It doesn’t take as long to cook as the one you mentioned and it’s a nice toothy texture.

  8. You’ve dazzled us again, Joan. I am so glad I went back to the archives to see what I had missed. I wouldn’t want to miss a single post of yours–I always come away from them feeling recharged.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Giverny, Water Lilies, and the Easiest Pie Recipe in the WorldMy Profile

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