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New Year's Day Mexican Brunch
Can you think of a more fun way to ring in the New Year than by inviting a group of friends over to watch the Rose Parade and then some bowl games and throw in an awesome Mexican-theme Brunch to boot?
This is strictly casual. You can do the colorful plastic table cloths, paper plates, napkins and cups like we did for the Holiday Appetizer Buffet to create a little Mexican ambience. Put out chips and your favorite salsa for people to munch on when they arrive. Then you can time your brunch between bowl games, or at halftime!
BLOODY MARYS - THE MEXICAN WAY
These are the best! In Mexico, bartenders use Tomato Clam juice in their Bloody Marys instead of plain tomato juice, along with Margarita salt and those tiny, tasty, succulent Mexican limes (called limones). This recipe makes eight drinks.
Helpful Hint: If you want a short cut here, make your mix up in the morning before your guests arrive. Store it in the refrigerator in a covered pitcher or glass jar. Rinse and cut the celery strips ahead of time too and put in a zip lock bag. Then, when you’re ready to serve drinks all you’ll have to do is rim the glasses with salt, add ice, vodka and pour in the mix, finishing up with a celery stick garnish.
8 ounces vodka
1/2 gallon Tomato Clam juice
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce per glass
pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste
3 sprinkles celery salt per glass
8 celery or carrot sticks for garnish
Rub the rims of eight highball glasses with lime and dip in Margarita salt. Fill glasses with ice and to each glass add: one ounce vodka, the juice of one lime, three dashes Worcestershire sauce, pepper, hot pepper sauce and three sprinkles of celery salt. Fill each glass to the brim with Tomato Clam juice.
JICAMA PICO DE GALLO
Pico de Gallo (pronounced GUY-yo) is half salsa and half salad. This recipe goes a little further, and makes it even more salad-like. What makes it so unique is the jicama (pronounced HEE-kuh-muh), a light and crunchy root vegetable that’s enjoyed throughout Mexico. Its flavors, combined with the red and green bell peppers, radishes, onion, cucumber and tomato will delight everyone’s palate! Served on a bed of lettuce, this Pico de Gallo is a yummy, healthy side dish for our New Year’s Brunch. Serves eight.
Helpful Hint: Chop the vegetables and put in a covered bowl a few hours before your guests arrive. Then, when it’s time to eat, all you have to do is add the dressing, toss and serve.
3 cups jicama, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and slivered
1 red bell pepper, seeded and slivered
10 radishes, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 large tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 large head lettuce, rinsed
Dressing (make your own or use bottled viniagrette):
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Combine jicama, peppers, radishes, onion, tomato and cucumber. Mix together oil, vinegar and oregano. Pour over vegetables and mix lightly. Add salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve on chilled, lettuce-lined plates.
PAPAS FRITAS CON CHILE VERDE
Another easy-to-prepare winner! These lightly fried potatoes are cooked to nearly a crisp and jazzed up with onions and green chile strips. Eight servings.
Helpful Hint: Cut up potatoes, onions and green chile before your guests arrive. Store in zip lock bags in the refrigerator. When it comes time to prepare the potatoes, it will only take you a few minutes!
1/2 cup canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 7 1/2 ounce cans whole green chiles, cut in strips
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 pounds red potatoes, cooked al dente and cubed
In skillet, heat oil to medium heat and fry onions until they are translucent. Add chile strips, potatoes and salt to the onions, and cook, stirring mixture occasionally, for about four minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Serve immediately.
QUESO FUNDIDO CON JAMÓN
In English we call this a puffy cheese bake. It is a rich and spectacular brunch entree Ann learned to make from a Mexican friend who lived in Tijuana and one she loves to serve her extended family on Christmas or New Year’s morning. No matter when you prepare it, it’s guaranteed to make you a proud chef whenever you serve it! Serves eight.
Helpful Hint: If you want to do as much as possible in advance, I recommend cutting up the ham and grating the cheese early in the day. About an hour to an hour and a half before you plan to serve brunch, it’s time to do the rest of your prep work on this incredible dish. Preheat the oven and put it together. Bake it. Serve it with salsa on the side for the Mexican food fanatics in the crowd!
8 slices sour dough bread, buttered
2 cups whipping cream
4 tbsp melted butter or margarine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
3 cups ham, cut into chunks with fat removed
Salsa fresca on the side
Butter a 9 x 14 dish. Line the bottom and sides of the baking dish with buttered bread. Beat eggs slightly and add all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into baking dish and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
OPTIONAL SECOND ENTREE
WE’RE OFFERING YOU THE OPTION OF PROVIDING TWO ENTREES FOR YOUR BRUNCH. IF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE GOOD EATERS, YOU MAY WANT TO PREPARE BOTH ENTREES OR A DOUBLE BATCH OF ONE OF THEM.
If you have light eaters on your guest list, then one of these delicious main courses will suffice!
BAJA AH-HA BREAKFAST TACOS
Breakfast tacos could almost be considered Mexico's counterpart to French Toast. The tortillas are dipped in egg batter, fried and stuffed with all types of breakfast treats. You can vary the ingredients depending on your mood. These Baja Ah-Ha Breakfast Tacos will definitely alter your perspective on the day and people will ask you for the recipe. For sure! Makes eight tacos. Double or triple the recipe depending on the appetites of your crowd and whether or not you make the Queso Fundido con Jamón.
Helpful Hint: Kids and adults alike will love helping you assemble and devour these, so gather up some volunteers (especially those folks who are not football fanatics!) and herd them into the kitchen to help out. You’ll have a blast!
8 tbsp butter or margarine
8 corn tortillas
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 cup crumbled bacon (or 1 cup chopped ham or 1 cup crumbled sausage)
1 1/2 cup cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, grated
2 avocados, chopped and sprinkled with lime juice
1 3 1/2 ounce can diced green chiles
1 1/2 large tomato, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa fresca
Melt half the butter in an omelette pan over medium heat. In a medium sized bowl combine slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Dip a corn tortilla in the egg batter and fry one side of the tortilla about 1/2 minute, or until golden brown.
Turn tortilla over and place bacon, ham or sausage, cheese, avocado, chiles, onions, tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream sauce inside the tortilla. Fold over and cook until cheese is melted. Repeat for all tortillas, adding the rest of the butter to pan as necessary. Serve with salsa on the side for those who wish it.
Finally, if you think your guests will be in the mood for dessert, order up some of our Flan or (insert something else here from the website???) to finish things off.
So, get busy with your guest list! Then make your shopping list! This is going to be your best New Year’s Day ever!
Recipe and tips provided by Ann Hazard.
Join author Ann Hazard, as she leads you through four generations of historic Baja culinary adventure. She shares not only her family's favorite travel tales, but also the delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes she has collected and created. By the time you've cooked a meal or two and finished reading the book, you're guaranteed a lasting dose of Baja Magic. The book may even turn your perspective slightly to the South, lighten your heart and forever transform your outlook on life!
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