Guest post by Yvette Marquez, from Muy Bueno Cookbook.
I remember the holidays when all my relatives would gather at my grandma’s or one of my tia’s houses. There would always be tables overflowing with food, cerveza chilling in the refrigerator, and Mexican music playing in the background. The women would be cooking, drinking, and giggling in the kitchen and the men reminiscing in the living room.
Nostalgic for the big family meals of my childhood, I decided to bring that same custom into my own home and continue that Mexican cooking tradition.
This weekend I hosted my first cooking fiesta called “Cook for our Men.” I had a house full of gorgeous friends and cousins gathered in my cocina, each one assigned a Muy Bueno recipe. Unlike a traditional cooking class, which can be a rigorous affair, this was a deliberately loose format — with simple yet flavorful appetizers and dishes that can accommodate cooks of all levels. It was all about delicious, trouble-free meals that can be prepared with friends. My fiesta menu consisted of pan fried tilapia with mango and avocado salsa, camarones brochette, chicken tinga tostadas, elote en vaso, and liqueur-infused fruit sangria. The menu had enough surprises to inspire experienced cooks, without intimidating novices.
Once all the dishes were prepared the men were invited to join the festivities. As sandiatinis were shaken and sangria poured, guests complimented one another’s dishes. It was a house full of laughter and dancing, and by the end of the night, everyone was friends and trading phone numbers. It was everything I had hoped for and more.
I can’t think of a better way to toast the Bicentennial of the Mexican Independence than to celebrate like the border girl that I am. Call it culture, call it tradition, or call it roots. I’m really not sure what it is. All I do know is that I want to continue the Mexican food and traditions in my home with my family.
Thank you to all the lovely ladies who cooked the Muy Bueno recipes to perfection and with dazzling presentation. Thank you to Jeanine, an amazing photographer who captured the beautiful occasion. And thank you to my lovely husband who was up all night washing loads of dishes — I love you babe!
Next festivity on the horizon…A tamale making party! Making tamales is not just about eating; it is about sharing old stories and creating new memories, and I look forward to sharing that memory with my children.
Corn in a Cup (Elote en Vaso)
Recipe makes 12 cups
This is Mexican street food at its finest. Anytime I visit El Paso or Mexico the craving of Elote en Vaso steps into high gear. Now anytime I crave this I whip it up at home, except I make it fancy by serving it in a pretty glass instead of the traditional Styrofoam cup. No matter how you serve it the taste is sweet, crunchy, fiery, and juicy.
10 ears of corn, shucked and cut from the cob
2 tablespoons butter, per serving
1/4 cup lime juice, per serving
1/4 cup crema mexicana, per serving
2 tablespoons crumbly, salty white cheese (ideally cotija but parmesan is acceptable), per serving
Valentina hot sauce
Lime wedges for garnish
Salt to taste
Husk the corn, remove the silks, and slice the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife.
Place the corn in a saucepan with enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil; let boil for two to three minutes, then drain. Turn off the heat, and return corn to saucepan.
Add 3/4 cup of corn in a glass, add butter, and stir to melt the butter. Mix in lime juice and crema.
Sprinkle with a good heavy coating of chili powder and salt if desired, though the cheese adds plenty of salt. Mix well.
Top with crumbled cheese.
If you like spicy then add a few drops of some hot sauce for that extra kick of heat.
Serve with a spoon and lime wedges.
Note: This is a very loose recipe. Feel free to adjust the proportions of lime juice, crema, cheese, and spices to taste!