Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Party

I want to make some finger foods that people can walk around with and eat.
I am going to make guacamole, chillies relleno, and a dip for nacho chips.
For drinks I am going to have Corona, margaritas, and Malibu with pineapple juice.
What only food is easy to eat while mingling?
(I think that tacos are too sloppy; even the two things that I have picked might be a bit sloppy.)


15 mL marg
1 small onion
250 mL stewed tomatoes and liquid
125 mL chopped, drained green chillies
dash salt
250 g shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 drops hot pepper sauce
1 bag corn chips
In med skillet over med heat melt butter. Add onion, cook until tender. Add tomatoes, chillies, and salt.
Cook, stirring to break up tomatoes, about 10 min. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese and stir just until melted.
Stir in hot sauce. Serve warm, using corn ships as dippers.


8oz. whole canned green chillies
1 lb. grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 eggs
1c sour cream
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Remove seeds from chillies. Cut pieces flat. Put 1 layer in greased 8x8” pan. Sprinkle with ½ of the cheese.
Spread rest of chillies then the rest of the cheese. Beat eggs until frothy. Add sour cream, salt and pepper. Mix. Pour over chilli layers. Bake uncovered in 350F for 45 min, until set. Serve hot. Serves 6.

Poutine - Have you typed “crescent rolls” in SEARCH? There are many recipes using refrigerated crescent rolls that you may be interested in. Also - there are many finger foods in our 'SUPER BOWL" thread. Take a look using SEARCH - you will find many there.

Kitchen Witch

Eggplant Pockets Filled with Herbed Ricotta Cheese
Ingredients for 12 pockets:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large eggplants/aubergines, cut lengthwise into long slices, 6 slices per eggplant


1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F / 200C. Brush two baking sheets with oil and lay the eggplant slices on the sheets. Brush the eggplant with the remaining oil and bake for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, use a grill pan/griddle pan. Brush each side of the slices with oil and grill for about 2-3 minutes each side.

Meanwhile, make the filling by processing all of the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Remove eggplant from oven and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling onto each eggplant slice. Fold the sides over the filling and place the pockets, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the pockets and bake for 15 minutes.


Tomato, Goat Cheese and Basil Bites
Serves 6

2 large tomatoes, sliced
6 slices Italian bread cut into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons basil pesto
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 slices goat cheese

Preheat grill and lightly grill the bread slices. Butter each slice, spread a little pesto, arrange a slice of tomato and a slice of goats cheese, season with salt and black pepper, and grill for further 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle fresh basil on top and serve.

Note: you can add a little crushed garlic for extra flavor


Beer-Marinated Chicken Tacos
Serves 6

Ingredients for the Marinade:
1 cup dark Mexican beer
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Ingredients for the Guacamole:
2 ripe Haas avocados
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 flour or corn tortillas
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water and dry with paper towels. Place them in a large, plastic resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Shake gently and turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place the bag in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Cut the avocados lengthwise around the pits, twist the halves apart, and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and salt. Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving.

Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken breast until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut them into thin strips.

Wrap the tortillas in kitchen foil and heat for about 10 minutes in preheated oven.

Arrange the sliced chicken inside the tortillas. Top each taco with a spoonful of guacamole. Serve warm.


Goat Cheese Tartlets
The tartlets are very easy easy to prepare. The goat cheese has to be dry. Use solid, dry goat cheese or crumbles. Because an egg and cream are being used to make the mixture fluffier, the goat cheese can’t be too moist. If it is, the mixture will be soft and won’t hold its shape.

You could use a pastry bag with a large star tip to make the tartlets’ swirl but it is also okay to spoon the mixture into the shells.

Ingredients to make 24:

2 cups goat cheese
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
2 tbsp cooking cream

Fold in:
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

After making the filling using the above ingredients, fill 24 mini-tart pastry shells (you can purchase these in a supermarket) using either a pastry bag or just a spoon.

Bake the tartlets for 10-12 minutes in a preheated oven (400F/220C). Top with sprigs of chives, dices peppers, tiny rolls of prosciutto, or olive halves.

Crab Meat Bacon Rolls
Makes 18 rolls

1/4 cup tomato juice
1 egg well beaten
1 can (1 cup) crab meat drained and flaked
1/2 cup dry fine bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
9 slices bacon cut in half

Mix tomato juice and egg. Add crab meat, crumbs, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings; mix thoroughly. Roll into 18 fingers, about 2 inches long. Wrap each roll with 1/2 slice bacon; fasten with toothpick. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning often to brown evenly


Chicken Croquettes

1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoon flour
1 1/4 cup mixed milk and chicken stock
2 cup ground cooked chicken
Salt, Freshly ground pepper
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour.
Gradually stir in the liquid and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir in the minced chicken and season well. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, on a low heat, until the mixture is firm enough to hold together in a mass. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then, with floured hands, form the mixture into little sausage shapes. Brush these with beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs. Shallow fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve hot or cold


Cheese Puffs

2 cups grated sharp cheese
1/4 lb butter
48 pimiento green olives
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the cheese and butter in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add the flour and mix well. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2 inch squares and wrap a square around each olive, sealing the seams.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 190C.


Tequila Fuego

What a spicy way to enjoy your favorite tequila. Make this unforgettable shooter for yourself, or a round for your friends.


* 1 1/2 oz premium tequila
* 1/2 teaspoon tabasco or other hot sauce
* juice of one lime wedge
* 1 jalapeno ring
* kosher salt
* 1 lime wedge

Use lime wedge to moisten 1/2 the brim of the shooter glass. Dip the moistened brim in salt. In a small glass, mix the lime juice, tequila and tobasco. Place the jalapeno ring in the bottom of the shooter glass and top with tequila mixture.

Optional- Follow the shot with a lime wedge.


Mexican Appetizer Platter

This platter is an easy and festive way to showcase a variety of great Mexican samplers. It’s perfect for cocktail parties or to serve to your guests while you finish preparing dinner. You can use the suggested items or substitute other items you have on hand.


* 1/2 of a large tomato
* 4 oz panela (queso fresco)
* 1/2 avocado
* 1 small quesadilla (tortilla, meats, cheeses or other fillings)
* 1/2 cup refried beans
* 1/2 cup black beans
* 1/4 cup scoop guacamole
* 3 flautas or taquitos (3 tortillas, 1/2 cup meat or cheese filling)
* 1/4 cup crema
* 1/4 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo
* crumbled cotija (for topping)

Prepare a quesadilla by using one small tortilla, filled with your choice of meats and cheeses and folded in half. Heat until cheese is melted and slice into thirds.

Place flauta/taquito filling down the center of each corn or flour tortilla.

The filling is usually a meat cooked with seasonings but cheese or chiles can be used as well, be creative. Roll up and secure each one with toothpicks. Fry in hot oil until tortilla is browned. Drain on paper towels and cut each one in half.

Slice the cheese lengthwise into 3 pieces and cut the avocado into 3 slices.

To prepare the platter, warm the beans and place them in the center of the plate. Add the scoop of guacamole to one side of the beans and the salsa on the other. Begin by placing the the tomato slices evenly spaced. To do this, think of a clock and place them at 12, 4 and 8 o’clock. Then place a cheese slice to the right of each tomato. Then place the quesadilla slices and two pieces of flauta or taquito to the right of the cheese. You should have just enough room to place the pieces of avocado to complete the ring of appetizers.

Pour some crema over each flauta or taquito and sprinkle the cotija over the beans. Serve while hot.


Quick Chile Flautas

These crispy tortillas are stuffed with green chiles, cheese and corn for a wonderful array of texture and flavor.


* 16 small flour tortillas
* 1/2 cup canned green chiles (or roasted, peeled and seeded green chiles coarsely chopped)
* 1 cup jack cheese
* 1 cup sweet corn, frozen and thawed or canned
* 1/2 cup green chile sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar

Mix chiles, cheese, chile sauce, corn and sugar in a medium bowl. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling down center of a tortilla and roll it up tightly. Secure with a toothpick and place seam side down on a plate.

Roll up all of the flautas and fry 3 or 4 at a time in 350 degree hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.


Savory Sopes Topping Ideas

These are recipes for topping sopes. The recipe for the dough to make the sopes is here


* 2 lbs carnitas
* 4 onions sliced and sauteed
* 2 cloves of garlic cooked with onions
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Top each sope with a light layer of sauteed onions. Heap on some carnitas and top with a sprinkle of cilantro.

Shredded Beef

* 1 1/2 pounds beef
* 1 cup red chile sauce
* 2 onions, coarsely chopped
* 1 cup tomato sauce
* 6 cups water
* cotija cheese

Simmer beef in the water for about 4 hours. Remove from water and let cool. Shred with 2 forks or pull apart with fingers. Mix in remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Top sopes with beef mixture and a teaspoon of crumbled cotija cheese.


* 1 whole onion, peeled and chopped
* 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
* 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
* 2 yellow zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
* 2 green zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
* 1 teaspoon finely diced, seeded jalapeno
* 2 teaspoons cumin
* 2 tablespoons oregano
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 8 cups vegetable broth
* 1 tablespoon oil
* parsley for garnish

In a large pot, add broth carrots and potatos and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes. Add in onion and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. In a meddium saucepan, saute zucchini, garlic, jalapeno and seasonings in hot oil for 8-10 minutes. Strain carrots, potatoes and onion from broth and drain on paper towels. Top each sope with stewed veggies and then a layer of sauteed veggies. Add a sprig of parsley for decoration.

Bean and cheese

* 4 cups warmed refried beans
* 16 oz. shredded jack cheese
* 4 oz. cotija cheese. crumbled
* 6 green onions, chopped

Top each sope with 1-2 tablespoons of shredded jack, even around the edges. Heat sopes under broiler until cheese begins to bubble and brown. Top each one with beans, cotija and green onion.


* 3 lbs cooked shrimp, skin removed and coarsely chopped
* 2 cucumbers peeled and coarsely chopped
* 1/4 cup oil
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 2 tablespoons lime juice
* 1/2 cup chopped white onion

Toss all ingredients and top sopes. Serve immediately since liquids in topping may make the sopes soggy.

Savory Sopes

These sopes are little fried masa cakes and are delicious topped with savory meats and veggies. Sopes make a great appetizer because of their small size. Make them extra small and add minimal toppings for a perfect finger food. Or make sopes your main dish by topping them high with large chunks of cooked meats and veggies.


* 3 cups masa harina
* 2 cups warm water
* 1 tablespoon salt
* Oil for frying

Mix together masa, 2 cups of water and salt until a soft dough forms. Add in additional water by the tablespoonful if dough seems too dry. Knead on a lightly floured surface until all ingredients are well combined and dough is softened, about 5 minutes.

Make small balls out of the dough. 1-inch for small (think large marble,) 2-inch for regular size (think walnut,) 3-inch for large sopes (think golf ball.)

Press each ball by hand to about 1/2 inch thick. Or sandwich a ball between two pieces of parchment paper and press with a plate. Or you can roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut out with cookie or biscuit cutters.

Find a glass, or an object with a smaller diameter than the dough patties. The idea is to press the object into the sopes dough to flatten the center more while creating a raised edge. Do this through the parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Fry in a 1/4 inch of hot oil on both sides until lighlty golden brown and cooked through.

Top and serve immediately.

Servings: 8-12.

4 cups fresh Mango puree (from 8 soft, ripe mangoes or from canned mangoes)
2 quarts water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/2 cup red prickly pear syrup (or grenadine)

Puree mango in food processor or blender until smooth; strain to remove any pulp. Place puree in large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in water, sugar and lime juice. To serve, fill drinking glasses with ice cubes and mango juice, then add 1-2 tsp prickly pear syrup or grenadine to each glass.


Servings: 8

8 French rolls, about 4-5 inches long, split, or bolillos from a Mexican bakery
1 can (16 oz) Mexican style refried beans
1 lb thinly sliced or chopped Chile Seasoned Braised Pork (or thinly
sliced roasted pork loin)
3/4 cup salsa
1-2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced
8 ozs crumbled Mexican queso fresco or sliced Monterrey jack cheese

Open rolls and spread about 1 tbsp of refried beans on each face. Layer the bottoms of rolls with pork, some salsa, avocado slices and some cheese. Top with roll tops and serve.

Tortas can be made up to an hour ahead of serving. Place on a serving tray and wrap well with plastic wrap.


Makes 9 large servings

Finish off with a decadent dessert like Tres Tesoros Brownies, packed with ?three treasures? – chopped pecans, chocolate chips and coconut flakes – that will keep guests lingering.

1 stick (4 oz) butter
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan (or a medium bowl in microwave) melt butter and chocolate over low heat.

Remove from heat and stir in sugar; beat in eggs and vanilla, then stir in flour, nuts, chocolate chips and coconut. Spread batter in a lightly greased 8 inch square baking pan.

Bake for 25 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan and middle has barely set. Let cool and cut into squares to serve.



1/2 cup vegetable oil (see note)
1 onion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup canned tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
Garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup each: flour and water
1/2 pound American cheese, grated (2 cups)

Combine oil, onion, salt, pepper, tomatoes, cayenne, sugar, paprika and garlic powder in heavy pot and simmer 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat.

Mix flour and water in small bowl; add to onion mixture gradually, stirring until smooth and thick.

Add cheese, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Cook until well-blended and smooth.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Some omit the oil because they think the cheese has enough fat. If so, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons hot oil to soften.



5 pounds American cheese, grated
3 1/4 cups (26 ounces) water, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (see note)
1 cup each: chopped celery and green bell pepper (see note)
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno (see note)

Combine cheese and 3 cups water in the top of a double boiler and bring to a boil. Stir every 5 minutes.

While cheese is melting, combine onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeño in saucepan and add 1/4 cup water. Saute over medium heat until vegetables come to a light boil.

When cheese has melted and is smooth, add vegetables and mix thoroughly. Simmer 5 minutes.

Amounts are approximate. The file recipe calls for 13 ounces chopped onion, 9 ounces chopped celery, 10 ounces chopped bell pepper and 1 3/4 ounces chopped jalapenos.


you’re welcomed!


1 15 oz. can black beans
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
2 serrano chilis, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (in that order of preference)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 T balsamic vinegar
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4

Drain black beans and put in a medium sized bowl. Chop remaining vegetables into bowl. Add chili powder, vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well. Can be made one day ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate.

Serving Suggestion
Serve as a side dish in avocado boats. Peel an avocado and cut in half. Revove the pit. Sprinkle with vinegar or lemon juice, so the avocado doesn’t turn brown. Fill depression from the pit with black bean salad.


Tequila Orange Liqueur Dressing:
3 T tequila
3 T orange-flavored liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
3 T orange marmalade
juice of 1 lime, approximately 2 T

Fruit Salad:
4 C fresh strawberries, sliced
4 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut in small pieces
1 small honeydew melon, rind and seeds removed, and cut in small pieces
1 small cantaloupe melon, rind and seeds removed and cut in small pieces

Serves 6

In a large bowl, mix together tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, orange marmalade and lime juice. Add strawberries, oranges, honeydew and cantaloupe. Stir to combine and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to blend.


1 lime, sliced
ice, crushed
4 ounces tequila
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 ounce grenadine
ice cubes
1 orange, sliced
fresh mint sprigs

Serves 2

Rub the rims of two tall glasses with a slice of lime. Place salt on a plate and press the rim of each glass into the salt to coat the rim evenly. Fill the glasses with crushed ice. Pour tequila, orange juice, and grenadine into a pitcher with ice cubes, stir, and strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish with orange slices and mint.


1 1/2 oz. Commemorativo Tequila
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
sweet & sour mix
splash of orange juice
splash of cranberry juice

Fill a very tall glass with ice, pour in alcohol, sweet and sour mix and juices. Shake and pour into a salt rimmed glass (optional).


* 1 pound frankfurters
* 1 can (12 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
* 2 tablespoons pickle relish
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
* 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or oregano
* Rolls

Cut frankfurters lengthwise being careful not to cut completely through. Place on grill. While frankfurters are roasting, combine remaining ingredients in small saucepan. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Serve frankfurters in rolls with relish spooned down middle.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.

Knockwurst may be substituted for frankfurters.

Mexican Hot Wings

* 16 chicken wings (about 3 1/2 pounds)
* 3 tablespoons TABASCO® brand Habanero Sauce
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Remove chicken wing tips and discard. Cut remaining wings apart at joints and sprinkle with TABASCO® Habanero Sauce; using rubber gloves, toss wings until evenly coated. Combine salt, cumin, and garlic powder and sprinkle over wings; toss well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Grill or broil wings until cooked through, crisp, and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Quickie Quesadillas

* 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
* 3 tablespoons TABASCO brand Green Pepper Sauce
* 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
* 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
* 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine refried beans and TABASCO® brand Green Pepper Sauce in a bowl and mix well. Spread bean mixture over each tortilla and sprinkle with bell pepper, cilantro, and cheese. Place tortillas on 2 large cookie sheets and bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts and tortillas are golden around edges. To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters.

Beef Fajitas - Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak Recipe

* 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into large pieces to fit on a grill or in a ridged grill pan (see Notes)
* 3 assorted colored bell peppers, sliced thin
* 1 large red onion, sliced thin
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
* 12 (7- to 8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
* Guacamole, tomato salsa, and sour cream as sides

In a large, heavy-duty freezer ziptop bag, combine garlic paste, lime juice, cumin, and olive oil.

Seal and shake to combine. Place skirt steak, bell peppers, onion, and cilantro sprigs into the bag, squeeze out the air, and turn to coat the meat, distributing vegetables evenly. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight to allow marinade to penetrate.

To Cook:
Preheat the gas or charcoal grill to high heat.

While grill is heating, remove skirt steak from marinade to a platter, shaking off liquid and reserving marinade and vegetables.

Preheat a heavy skillet to the smoking point. Drain vegetables and cilantro, and quickly stir-fry over high heat until slightly charred and softened, but not mushy. Set aside and keep warm.

Grill skirt steak over high heat quickly until medium rare, about 2 minutes per side. Slice meat against the grain into strips and serve immediately with warm tortillas, the seared pepper vegetable mix, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

To eat Mexican fajitas, diners traditionally place strips of meat with grilled vegetables, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream into the tortilla, and fold it up taco- or burrito-style.

Notes: Fajitas may also be made with chicken breast or pork tenderloin steaks. If you like your meat spicy, add 1 minced serrano chile to the marinade . If you don’t have a gas or charcoal grill, you may use a cast iron or heavy grill pan on the stove-top. It is important that the pan be very hot before quickly searing the meat. An overhead exhaust fan is mandatory for indoor stove-top grilling.

Yield: 12 fajitas, serving 6

Tostada Bites Recipe

Think of these as a hybrid mix of nachos and tostadas. This Mexican-style appetizer may be served hot or cold.

* 1-1/2 cups cooked black beans
* 1 large clove garlic, minced
* 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
* Finely grated zest of 1 lime
* 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided use
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* Pinch of ground cinnamon
* Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
* 1 ripe avocado, preferably Hass, pitted and peeled
* 1 tablespoon sour cream
* 30 small round tortilla chips
* 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos
* 3 pale romaine lettuce leaves, thinly shredded

Mash the black beans to a coarse consistency with a spoon. Combine mashed black beans with garlic, tomatoes, lime zest, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, Tabasco sauce, cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, mixing thoroughly.

Place avocado in a separate bowl and mash with 1 tablespoon lime juice and sour cream. Add salt to taste.

To serve tostada bites at room temperature, top each tortilla chip with 1 tablespoon bean mix, 1/4 teaspoon of the avocado mix, grated cheese, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.

To serve the tostada bites hot, top each tortilla chip with bean mix and cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet and place into a preheated 350-degree F. oven for about 5 minutes. Remove to a serving tray and top with avocado mix, lettuce, and cilantro.

Yield: about 30 appetizers

Mexican Fajita Kebabs Recipe
If you like fajitas, you’ll love these kebabs flavored with cumin, cilantro, garlic, and lime marinade. Serve over rice with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for condiments. Plan ahead for marination time.

* 3/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 3/4 tsp ground cumin
* 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
* 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
* 1 serrano chile pepper, sliced into thin rings (optional)
* 1 red bell pepper (sweet capsicum), cut into 2-inch chunks
* 1 green or yellow bell pepper (sweet capsicum), cut into 2-inch chunks
* 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 2-inch chunks
* 2 pounds (1-1/2 inches thick) top round London broil beef steak, cut into 2-inch chunks
* Tortillas, fresh salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for condiments
* Additional fresh cilantro for garnish

In a large heavy freezer bag, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano, garlic, and cilantro.

Add the chile pepper, bell peppers, sweet onion, and London broil to the marinade.

Seal bag and toss to coat all pieces. Reopen the bag, squeeze out all the air, re-seal, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Soak wooden bamboo skewers in cold water for 1 hour prior to assembling kebabs.

Preheat grill or broiler.

To assemble kebabs, thread two skewers through the beef and vegetables, beginning with the beef and alternating with the vegetables. (Double skewers makes the kebabs easier to turn.) You should be able to get about 5 beef chunks per pair of skewers. Reserve marinade for basting.

Grill kebabs ver medium heat, basting and turning to cook all sides, until the beef is medium-rare, about 15 minutes.

Serve fajita kebabs over cooked rice with an accompaniment of warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Yield: 8 servings

I want to serve yummy Mexican influenced food that can be picked up and eaten in 1 or 2 bites
(at least that is what I hope I can find)