Your very own Cinco de Mayo Party

Photos: Emilie Iggiotti, styled by Robin Jones, MCJ Events.

A holiday marking the victory of the Mexican army over the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862? We’ll drink to that. (As if we needed an excuse to drink margaritas and eat guacamole.) Here’s how they do it at El Cortez.

The party starts Friday, May 5 at 11am with drink specials and djs on both floors as well as the patio. Here’s how you can do it at home.

The Cocktails

Zapatos Nuevos cocktail

Original Lime Margarita

1.5 oz Espolòn Tequila Reposado
0.5 oz Patrón Citrónge
1.0 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz agave syrup
coarse white salt
lime wedge
lime wheel
Glasses your choice (El Cortez uses an 8 oz challis)

Fill shallow dish or bowl with salt. Run the lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip the rim into the salt.

Add all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker and pack with ice. Shake hard for about 10 seconds. Strain the ingredients into the glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Makes 1 margarita.

Zapatos Nuevos (New Shoes)

3-4 1-inch cubed watermelon
1.5 oz Espolòn Tequila Reposado
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz agave syrup
few pinches coarse black pepper
large basil leaf

Muddle watermelon in a cocktail shaker. Add all liquid ingredients to the shaker and pack with ice. Shake hard for about 10 seconds.

Strain into glass, add fresh ice and garnish with a pinch of pepper and the basil leaf.

Makes 1 cocktail.

The Menu: Guacamole, Grilled Pescado Tacos followed by Churros

Guacamole

Guacamole with chips

14 ripe avocados
50 ml apple cider vinegar
6 cloves minced garlic
125 ml pico de gallo
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 bunch chopped cilantro
T each salt and pepper
tortilla chips

Slice avocados in half and scoop out flesh using a small spoon. If serving immediately, discard pits. Otherwise, leave pits in to retain freshness and colour until serving. In a bowl, break down avocado flesh with a fork until mostly smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season to taste and serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 4.

Grilled Pescado Taco with Tropical Salsa and Habanero Mayo

11 pineapple
½ c corn nibs
1 red pepper
1 bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 jalepeño (with seeds)
1 poblano (without seeds)
&‌#8531; c shredded coconut
½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
½ banana
2 t salt
juice and zest of 1 lime
30 ml agave syrup

Cut all fruit and vegetables into equally small pieces, roughly the same size as the corn nibs. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and cover.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

Makes 6 cups.

Habanero Mayonnaise

250 ml mayonnaise
25 ml agave syrup
1/3 bottle El Yucateca Habanero hot sauce
zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ t each salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

Make about 1 cup.

Fish Tacos

4 med filets mahi mahi (or any fish of your choice) or firm tofu
8 shrimp
¼ c cornstarch or flour
salt and pepper
canola oil
4 lg corn tortillas*

Cut fish into 1-inch thick strips and season each with pinch of salt and pepper. Heat pan to medium, add drizzle of oil and fry fish until flakey. Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch or flour and fry in oiled pan until brown and crispy.

To assemble tacos: Set 2 pieces of fish in the center of each tortilla. Top with a generous spoonful of tropical salsa. Place 1 shrimp on each piece of fish. Drizzle with aioli.

Serves 4.

* You could make your own like El Cortez does. Or, you could buy the Edmonton-made fresh Tortillas El Mercado, available at the Italian Centre Shops.

Churros

Churros

125 ml water
1 T brown sugar
40 ml butter
125 ml all purpose flour
1 egg
1.5 t each cinnamon and white sugar
canola oil
caramel or chocolate sauce

In a medium pot, add water, sugar and butter then bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low and add flour all at once. Mix with a wooden spoon. Once dough comes together into tight ball, remove from heat and use spoon to form a small pocket in the centre of the dough. Add egg into pocket and continue to stir with wooden spoon until egg is completely blended.

Place dough into a piping bag with tip of your choice.

Pipe dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in rows and pop into the freezer until completely firm, about 40 minutes.
Add 3 inches of oil to a deep pot and heat over med/high until it reaches 300ºF. Cut frozen dough into 4-inch long sticks and carefully add these to the pot, a few at a time. Use tongs to spin and flip churros until they are evenly cooked and golden brown.

Immediately sprinkle churros with sugar, then cinnamon.

Serve with your favourite caramel or chocolate sauce.

The music

Narcos Soundtrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uZUcjUUfCY

West Coast Classics Playlist
https://play.spotify.com/user/asomex/playlist/643RufTz7hl5cCRJmY8tb7

Mariachi de Mexico
https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/wst/artist/A37hgudny6zalu3gwwmgqfdq7tq

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