With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, wouldn’t it be fun to add some yummy appetizers to your family menu? Here are two of our favorite appetizers that go well with a Mexican fiesta.
4 ripe Avocados
Juice of 1 Lemon (~ 3 Tbs)
8 Dashes of Tabasco Sauce
1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
Salt and Pepper
1 Medium Tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 ripe Mango, chopped
1/2 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
1/3 cup Goat Cheese, crumbled
Cilantro Leaves for garnish
1. Make the guacamole by cutting the avocados in half and removing the pits. Slice the avocado flesh with a knife in a checkerboard pattern (being careful not to slice through the peel) and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. (This saves time in getting to chunky avocado hunks.) Add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well with a fork, mashing some of the avocado. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Taste to determine if more salt or pepper is needed.
2. Scoop guacamole into your serving bowl of choice. A shallow serving bowl works well so you have enough surface to add the “rainbow” garnish.
3. Sprinkle the mango, pine nuts and goat cheese in strips across the guacamole. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with tortilla chips.
NOTE: When in a hurry, I will buy pre-made guacamole (or the dry mix you add with avocados). When I do, I add a row of chopped tomatoes on top of the guacamole. It adds even more color and flavor!
Chipotle-Syrup Goat Cheese Appetizer
1 8 oz. Chevre / Goat Cheese Log
1/2 cup lightly toasted Peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1 – 2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce (depending on desired heat)
Cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Roll the log of goat cheese in chopped peanuts to evenly coat. Place the log on an oven proof dish or cookie sheet.
2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, add the chiles. Reduce heat to low, stirring frequently until syrup thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the chiles.
3. While the syrup is cooling, preheat oven to 350. Bake the goat cheese for 5-8 minutes to soften the cheese in the center. Watch carefully, as you don’t want the log to spread out.
4. Place softened cheese on serving platter. Spoon chipotle syrup over the cheese log. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with tortilla chips.
My inspiration for both of these recipes were from dining at Sol Cocina – a restaurant in Newport Beach. They have wonderful appetizers and small plates. Their margaritas are quite good, too. It’s a bit noisy, but they serve some interesting food.