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What are your first thoughts when you hear “Cinco de Mayo”? My thoughts immediately race to tacos, guacamole and margaritas. That is how we celebrate, right? Actually, Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over the French; so let’s celebrate in their honor and in what better way than with delicious food!
With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, my family will definitely be celebrating all day long so I have to come equipped with all of the fuel. We always start our celebrations with a big pitcher of homemade margaritas. I like to make mine with lime simple syrup, orange liquor, tequila and fresh lime juice. For those who like it a little spicy like me, I always throw in a few sliced jalapeños and garnish the rim with chili lime salt.
Guacamole is up next on the menu, and this is a serious topic in my house. It has to be the perfect mixture of smooth and chunky, spicy and LOTS of fresh lime juice. I promise this will be the best guacamole your Cinco de Mayo celebrations have ever seen! Tacos are always a must, but I try to mix them up. Blackened salmon is one of my go-to dishes, so I thought, why not take my favorite fish, put it in a warm corn tortilla, and top it with a tangy pineapple salsa?
My family and I will definitely be enjoying this menu, and you should too! I suggest you invite over family and friends, make pitchers of margaritas, and have a fiesta yourself!
1 cup silver tequila
¼ cup Grand Marnier or triple sec
½ cup lime simple syrup (recipe below)
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Garnish: Lime wedges and chili lime salt for the rim
1) In a pitcher, combine tequila, Grand Marnier, lime simple syrup and fresh lime juice. Stir to combine.
2) Pour into glasses, and garnish with chili lime salt and lime wedges.
Lime Simple Syrup
1) Combine ½ cup fresh lime juice and ½ cup granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until sugar is dissolved.
2) Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely.
4 ripe Hass avocados
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper
1) Cut avocados in half lengthwise, and remove pits. Remove skin from avocado, and place into a bowl.
2) Add in red onion, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork, until half is smooth and creamy, but still has a chunky texture. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
3) Serve with tortilla chips.
Blackened Salmon Ingredients:
4 skin-on salmon filets, 6-8 oz. each
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil, for cooking
12 corn tortillas or tortillas of your choice
Accompaniments: sliced avocado, green onions, lime wedges
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients:
½ small pineapple, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 jalapeños, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1) Begin by making the spice rub. Combine cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
2) Liberally season all sides of the salmon filets with the dry rub and set aside.
3) Make the pineapple salsa by tossing together pineapple, bell pepper, jalapeños, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and kosher salt. Taste and adjust for seasoning. I like to leave in the seeds of the jalapeños for the extra heat, but feel free to leave them out.
4) To cook the salmon, heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.
5) Place salmon, flesh-side down, in the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes, and flip with a spatula. Turn the heat off, and allow the salmon to continue cooking in the residual heat for 4-5 minutes.
6) Warm tortillas on both sides on a griddle or skillet over medium heat, until pliable, about 1 minute total. Keep warmed tortillas in a thin kitchen towel.
7) Serve salmon and pineapple salsa with warmed tortillas and desired accompaniments.
*You will have extra dry rub to save and use on chicken or fish in the future.*