Monday, May 05, 2008

Feliz Cinco de Mayo and Happy Anniversary!

Today is not only Cinco de Mayo - YAY, a chance to use all my handpainted Mexican pottery - it's also mine and Sheridan's SIX month anniversary! With that, I have quite a feast planned for tonight! You ready for the menu?

Carne Asada
Tequila and jalapeno shrimp
Saffron rice and homemade "refried" black beans (they're not really fried, so they're healthier)
Mer's homemade salsa
Mer's homemade guac
Organic flour tortillas

Here are a couple of the recipes for your gastronomic pleasure!

Mer's Salsa

1/2 onion

1/4 jalapeno, seeded and cleaned

1 clove garlic
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 lime

Put first 3 ingredients in a mini chopper or food processor and blend very well. Add tomatoes, blend again. Add juice from one small lime, or 1/2 large lime and blend again. Add large handful of cilantro and blend again. Voila! It's yummy, I promise - one of Sheridan's faves!


6 oz frozen limeade
6 oz cold, filtered or bottled water
4 oz good tequila
2 oz Cointreau

Shake in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice. Voila again!

"Refried" Black Beans

1 1/2 cups organic dry black beans
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 heaping T cilantro
2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon organic dried oregano

Soak beans for at least 6 hours in 4 ½ cups water. When complete, combine the beans with their water, the onion, and 2 of the garlic cloves in a bean pot, a heavy-bottomed casserole, or a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. The beans should be covered by 1 inch of water; add water if necessary. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Add the remaining garlic, the salt, and the cilantro, cover, and simmer for another hour, until the beans are soft and their liquid is thick and soupy. Remove from the heat and drain off about 1 cup of the liquid from the beans.

In a large bowl, roughly mash the beans with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and mash until incorporated. Add the chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the oregano and mash until incorporated. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until blended. (Depending on the dryness of the beans, you may need more olive oil.) Stir in the lemon juice, a small amount at a time, tasting until it has the flavor you like. Adjust the salt if needed.

Garlic and Tequila Shrimp

About 12-20 shrimp
Salt, pepper, paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced
cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime
2 ounces tequila

Dry shrimp and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. In a shallow sauté pan, heat olive oil and garlic together. When garlic starts to brown, add peppers and parsley. Stir to coat. Add shrimp and sear on one side. Turn shrimp and pour in tequila. Cook for 4 minutes until tequila reduces to dry. Remove and sprinkle with a little paprika and squeeze in a little lime.


Thanks for changing my life for the better - you've made my life happier every single day we've been together. I love you and will spend the rest of my life showing you how much I appreciate you! Thanks for a great 6 months...

Love, Mer

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