Steps to prepare tomato sauce (prepare up to 1 day before):
Broil tomatoes and chiles in a foil-lined small shallow baking pan 2 to 3
inches from heat, turning frequently, until lightly charred on all
sides, 3 to 5 minutes for chiles, 12 to 15 minutes for tomatoes (flesh
should be soft).
Remove cores and stems of tomatoes and chiles.
Purée with onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste, in a blender until smooth.
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until just hot.
Stir 1/2 cup tomato sauce into oil (this reduces spattering), then,
when bubbling vigorously, add remaining sauce.
Fry, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and chill in an air tight container until ready to serve.
To serve stir in cilantro and salt to taste and spoon into memelas for heating.
Steps to prepare memelas (prepare up to 4 hours before):
Stir together masa harina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water in a large bowl
with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Knead in bowl with heel of
hand 1 to 2 minutes.
Divide dough into 24 pieces and roll each into a 1-inch ball.
Roll balls into 2-inch-long logs. Transfer logs as formed to a plastic-wrap–lined tray and cover with more plastic wrap.
Heat a well-seasoned large cast-iron griddle or skillet over moderately high heat until hot.
Use a tortilla press or rolling pin to flatten dough between squares of plastic.
Remove plastic and cook oval on hot griddle until a skin forms and some
small golden spots appear, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Make more
ovals, cooking 3 or 4 at a time.
Remove memelas from heat and, when cool enough to handle, form sides:
Beginning 1/2 inch from edge of each memela and working all around it,
push undercooked masa toward edge with your thumb and pinch up to form a
1/4-inch side. Then pinch up masa in center of memela in several
places. If dough still seems very raw, cook memelas upside down on hot
griddle 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Chill and store in an air tight container until ready to serve.
Sprinkle about 1-1/2 tablespoons cheese on each memela and top with 1 to 2
tablespoons tomato sauce.
Heat filled memelas, 4 at a time, on hot
griddle until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.
Seafood Mexican Fiesta Hors d'oeuvres
Scallop Ceviche Tomatoes
Advance prep: Day before the party.
Last-minute prep: Fill tomatoes. Easy
Makes 28 Hors d'oeuvres
1/2 pound scallops
Juice of 4 limes
2 jalapenos, seeded & diced finely
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste
28 firm, red cherry tomatoes
Steps to prepare:
The night before: Combine the lime juice, jalapenos, scallions, cilantro, salt, and cayenne in a large glass or ceramic bowl.
Cut the scallops into 1/2 or smaller pieces.
Toss scallops with the lime mixture.
Cover, refrigerate and marinate overnight. The lime juice will cook the scallops.
The day of the party: Wash and dry cherry tomatoes.
Cut off the round bottom of each tomato.
Remove the seeds and pulp with a small melon-ball scoop.
Drain, cut-side down, on paper towels.
To serve: Fill each tomato with the scallop ceviche and serve cold.
Advance prep: Prepare day of party.
Last-minute prep: Grill or broil 1-1/2 minutes each side. Easy
Makes 32 Hors d'oeuvres
32 9-inch bamboo skewers
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Steps to prepare:
Soak the skewers in cold water for 1 hour.
Combine the lime juice, salt, jalapeno, and garlic in a glass or ceramic bowl.
Whisk in the olive oil.
Add shrimp, cover and marinate for 20 minutes.
Place 1 shrimp on each skewer.
To serve: Grill or broil shrimp for 1-1/2 minutes.
Brush with marinade and turn over.
Grill another 1-1/2 minutes until opaque.
Tequila Glazed Shrimp
Advance prep: Day before party. Avocado cream 4 hours before.