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.
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.
Scallop Ceviche Tomatoes
Advance prep: Day before party Last-minute prep: Fill tomatoes Difficulty: Easy Yield: 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
Night Before Party
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.
Day of 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 Special Equipment: 32 9-inch bamboo skewers Difficulty: Easy Yield: 32 Hors d'oeuvres
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
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.
Grill or broil shrimp for 1-1/2 minutes.
Brush with marinade and turn over.
Grill another 1-1/2 minutes until opaque.
Advance prep: Day before party; avocado cream 4 hours before Last-minute prep: Grill & assemble hors d'oeuvres Difficulty: Moderate Yield: 24 Hors d'oeuvres
24 large shrimp, peeled & deveined (day before party)
1/2 orange zest
Day before party
1/4 cup Key Lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp seeded and diced chipotle pepper
In a heavy saucepan stir together lime juice, tequila, and honey.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until mixture has reduced by half and is syrupy.
Add chipotles and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Taste for heat and strain out peppers if glaze is too hot.
Cook to the consistency of molasses, adding more honey or lime juice if necessary.
Allow to cool
4 hours before party
1 medium Haas avocado
1/4 creme fraiche or sour cream
Key lime juice
Puree avocados in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Scrape into a bowl and fold in creme fraiche or sour cream.
Add salt & key lime juice to taste.
Insert plastic wrap to cover avocado cream in an air tight container.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Day before party
2 cups masa harina ("masa mix") such as Maseca or Quaker
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil for cooking
Whisk together honey, eggs, milk, and melted butter.
Add 2 cups of masa and mix.
Use milk and mesa to create a dough consistency for forming small griddle cakes.
Roll dough in small balls and press to make quarter to half-dollar size cakes
Heat frying pan or griddle and add butter or vegetable oil, as needed.
Drop formed cakes on griddle and cook over medium heat, turning once, until cakes are lightly browned on each side.
Store at room temperature in an air tight container until ready to serve.
Prepare a charcoal grill or broiler and brush shrimp with tequila-glaze.
Grill shrimp until pink, about 2-3 minutes.
Dollop each griddle cake with Avocado Cream. Top with shrimp.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and orange zest.
Corn Cups with Green Chili1
Advance prep: 1-2 days before party Last-minute prep: Heat the chili & fill corn cups Special Equipment: Mini-muffin baking pan Difficulty: More difficult Yield: 32 Hors d'oeuvres
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 Tbsp olive oil
20 green olives, pitted
6 green Italian frying peppers, seeded & chopped
1 green tomato
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
Chop the chicken breast into small pieces.
Saute in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
Puree olives, Italian peppers, and tomato until smooth.
Add chicken, wine, garlic, cumin, salt, & pepper.
Cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Heat the butter in a pan and saute the jalapeno pepper, parsley, & cilantro over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
Cream the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon or electric mixer.
Combine the flour, cornmeal and a pinch of salt.
Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, to the butter mixture, stirring constantly. Knead lightly.
the dough into 1-inch balls and press them into mini-muffin baking
pans, using your thumbs to form the cups inside the mold. The dough
should be even and come to the top of the tin.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.
Heat the chili filling.
Fill each corn cup with chili.
Advance prep: Day of party Last-minute prep: Cook quesadillas about 4 minutes each Special equipment (optional): Ridged grill pan Difficulty: Moderate Yield: 24 Hors d'oeuvres