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Cooking with Larry: Get creative with Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Happy Cinco de Mayo! For this blog post, we'll get a little festive with some fun Cinco de Mayo Recipes! I really enjoy getting creative with my recipes. For this post, I didn't want to whip up traditional Mexican fare. My goal was to create something a little off the beaten path, but still use all Mexican flavors and ingredients. This is a risk, but I made the dish in my test kitchen last night and I really enjoyed it.

One of my favorite things to eat is chicken parmesan. If it were healthy for you, I would be the healthiest guy going. I used the chicken parmesan concept to come up with a Mexican inspired version of the dish. I fried some chicken in a cornmeal and chili powder coating. Instead of using tomato sauce I made a tomatillo sauce, and instead of mozzarella cheese I used monterey jack. Here are the steps:

For the tomatillo sauce, I used a slightly modified Rick Bayless recipe. If it is good enough for the master himself, I figured it would work well for me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 4oz can of green chillies
  • chopped garlic (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

Place the tomatillos in a saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil and let the tomatillos simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the tomatillos with a slotted spoon and place them in a blender or food processor. Now add the lime juice, onions, cilantro, chilies, garlic and sugar to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

 

Now we can start the chicken. Combine finely ground corn meal with chili powder and place the mixture in a bowl. Dip your chicken in some whipped eggs, then coat the chicken with the corn meal and chili powder mixture. Transfer the coated chicken to a frying pan and fry. I used olive oil, but peanut oil would work well also.

When all of your chicken is fried, transfer the cutlets to a baking pan. Pour your tomatillo sauce all over the chicken, making sure every piece of chicken is smothered in the tasty green sauce. Once that's done, cover the chicken with slices of monterey jack cheese. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Check the chicken around the 20 minute mark to ensure that the cheese is not burning.

I served this with rice, slices of avocado, and some slaw I made a few days ago. Be sure to garnish it with plenty of cilantro. Here is the final product. Disclaimer: I am not good at plating.

Since this is Cinco de Mayo, we should have a cocktail to accompany this dish, so I consulted House Party Email Marketing Manager, Liz Mee. Liz is a champion of margaritas. In my moment of need, she pulled through with this recipe:

Liz's 1,2,3 Margarita

  • 1 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau or Grand Marnier (good, better, best)
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 3 oz Sour Mix OR Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup (1 oz each)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Garnish with Lime wedge

Prep Cut a lime into 4-6 wedges and coat glass rims, then dip rims in salt. Mix all parts in a shaker - I strongly recommend using the fresh juices over the Sour Mix as it is a fresher alternative to the premixed stuff. And yes, salt IN the shaker, don't skimp - this is the secret ingredient. Shake vigorously. Pour in salt-rimmed glasses and enjoy! I suggest using the ice in the shaker as the salt breaks it down perfectly. When in season, I add pomegranate seeds to the shaker and strain to get the perfect pomegranate margarita.

Another favorite of mine is the light Watermelon Margarita (only 105 calories!). Check out the recipe.


I was really happy with the way the chicken turned out. I never made this before and concocted the recipe in my head, on the fly no less. I'll continue to build on it. I'm eager to hear from you - what would you change? What ingredients would you add or subtract? What side dish would you serve this with? Feel free to send some suggestions.

I have another problem. This dish has no name! Post some name suggestions below; I'd greatly appreciate it! Be sure to check out my chicken red curry recipe and my cap'n crunch chicken recipes as well.

About the Author: Larry is a friend of House Party. Larry currently resides in the East Bay region of California. He enjoys all things wine related, and spends a lot of his free time in Napa and Sonoma learning about wine. Larry is also a Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. He enjoys practicing, watching, analyzing and commentating on all things MMA. Larry also enjoys cooking, fine dining, entertaining and hanging out with Maximus, his Jack Russell Terrier.

 

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