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This authentic, delicious and festive Mexican brunch has been designed to serve eight people. We've chosen recipes that make a hearty meal-perfect for those still-chilly early spring or late winter afternoons, when it may be too cool to be outside as much as you'd like, but it's perfect for hanging out, enjoying great food with a group of friends or family.
To start off with - if you're wondering about how to decorate your house to give it that special Mexican fiesta look, please check out the Holiday Appetizer Buffet. There are plenty of suggestions there to get you going!
As soon as your guests arrive, serve them a Baja-Style Bloody Mary's (or Maria's), either with or without alcohol, or spicy, cinnamon-laced Mexican Hot Chocolate. These drinks are guaranteed to put everyone in a great mood! When it's time to eat, wow them with Huevos Rancheros served with Frijoles Refritos, Papas Fritas con Chile Verde and a delicious Watermelon Fruit Salad.
Incomparable. Not difficult. Allow yourself two and a half hours to get everything ready before the guests arrive. The only thing you can't make ahead is the eggs, and they'll take you about 15 minutes. So grab one of your good friends, designate her or him as your assistant, and get that assembly line rolling!
BAJA-STYLE BLOODY MARY'S & MARIA'S
No Mexican brunch would be complete without Bloody Mary's (even made without the vodka-virgin style-these are awesome). The Tomato Clam juice gives these a special flair, as does the salt around the rim. If you want to try something different that will really get your guests into the mood to fiesta-try making Bloody Maria's-using tequila instead of vodka! Makes eight drinks.
8 ounces vodka (or tequila if you're making Bloody Maria's)
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.
Garnish with celery or carrot sticks. Distribute among guests.
TRADITIONAL MEXICAN CHOCOLATE (Non-Alcoholic)
True Mexican chocolate is sweet, hot and laced with cinnamon. It will please both kids and adults. It's perfect during cold weather or for a brunch where you don't want to serve alcoholic beverages. Makes 8 servings.
1 1/2 quarts milk
1 tbsp vanilla
One "pie" of Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
- OR -
8 ounces semisweet chocolate squares
8 cinnamon sticks
Combine milk, semisweet chocolate and cinnamon sticks (or Ibarra) in saucepan. Cook and stir just until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon and stir in vanilla. Beat with electric beater until frothy. Place cinnamon sticks into mugs and pour in hot chocolate. Serve immediately.
WATERMELON FRUIT SALAD
What a healthy way to spruce up your party table! This scooped-out watermelon, filled with fruit, is made even more festive by its zigzagged edges. It's not only beautiful, but a wonderful, tasty salad! Hint: If you prefer a leaner dressing, try adding an eight ounce container of non-fat fruit yogurt instead. Serves eight.
1 large watermelon, well chilled
1 honeydew melon and/or cantaloupe, scooped into balls
1 cup seedless grapes
1 cup peaches and/or mangoes, diced
1 cup strawberries, halved
1 apple, diced
1 cup sliced bananas, sprinkled with lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whipping cream (fat free or low fat is okay)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp finely chopped candied ginger
Trace a zigzag pattern horizontally around the top third of the watermelon. Cut through melon with sharp knife, removing top. Scoop out all the watermelon flesh except a shell one inch thick. Scoop removed watermelon into balls.
Combine all fruit and walnuts in the watermelon bowl. Chill until ready to serve. To make dressing, whip cream with powdered sugar and salt. Blend avocados, pineapple juice and candied ginger until thick and creamy. Fold into whipped cream mixture. Pour over salad and toss gently. Serve.
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN HUEVOS RANCHEROS
Huevos Rancheros, or eggs ranchero style are a traditional Mexican breakfast-one that everyone loves. They're terrific with frijoles, buttered tortillas, our tasty Watermelon Fuit Salad, and of course, a round of Bloody Mary's if you're so inclined. Serves eight.
8 tbsp butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste
16 corn tortillas
1 cup corn or canola oil
8 cups Salsa Ranchera (recipe following below)
2 cups Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
Fry eggs in butter in skillet while heating salsa in a sauce pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry tortillas flat in corn oil in small skillet. Drain on paper towels. Place one fried egg on each tortilla. Top with salsa and grated cheese. Place under broiler for one minute or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
MEXICAN EGGS LELAND STYLE
In a frying pan put olive oil, chili powder to taste, McCormick Mexican Seasoning mild flavor, curry powder and garlic salt.
Place eggs in pan and add La Victoria Salsa Suprema, 1 1/2 tsp per egg and scramble the eggs, fry and serve.
This salsa is not in the least bit spicy, but its flavors are distinctively Mexican. Spooned over your eggs and tortillas, it will complete your incredible, authentic brunch and leave your guests praising you as the best Mexican chef around!
4 whole green peppers, thinly sliced
8 large, ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 large, white onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp dried or fresh oregano, or to taste
6 bay leaves
6 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon (they use Knorr Suiza in Mexico)
4 tbsp olive oil
fresh ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
Place peppers, onions and tomatoes in large skillet with the oil and sauté until cooked. Add the seasonings and bouillon and cook about a half hour. Adjust seasonings and set aside until ready to serve. Then spoon over each serving of Huevos Rancheros.
TRADITIONAL FRIJOLES REFRITOS (REFRIED BEANS)
Refried beans, or frijoles (free-HOE-lays) refritos have been a mainstay in the Mexican diet forever. This recipe will make enough beans to feed sixteen to twenty people. I usually make a batch and freeze at least half in smaller amounts to use again and again as a side dish. Also, if you prefer your beans fat-free and in a brothy sauce, try making them Ranchero Style-as explained below. If you don't want to make anymore than you will use for this brunch for eight, then cut the recipe in half.
1 pound package dried pinto beans
4 cups water
1/4 cup bacon grease (optional)
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tbsp American chili powder
Put beans and water into Dutch oven. Soak at least six hours. Pour beans into colander and rinse thoroughly. Add two cups water back into the Dutch oven, along with bacon grease, garlic powder, bouillon and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmering for about four to six hours. Stir occasionally.
You'll know when the frijoles are done because they'll be very tender. If there seems to be too much liquid in the beans, leave the lid off for the last half hour. Stir or mash beans often when lid is off until approximately half of them are mashed and half are still whole.
To prepare Ranchero Style: Leave out the bacon grease. Cook only until beans are barely tender and the mixture has the consistency of bean soup -- about two to three hours. You can make part of your batch into refried beans and part into Ranchero style beans. It's up to you!
PAPAS FRITAS CON CHILE VERDE
These tender potatoes, fried with onions and strips of green chile will delight everyone! Eight servings.
1/2 cup corn or 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.
Please visit our top Mexican food recipes section at Top Mexican recipes
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!