Colorado Gets Taste of Valley’s Finest Cuisine – Fiesta Time

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Allison CollinsNo better reason to cook up a fiesta-themed feast than celebrating a friend’s birthday.  I got the opportunity to do that on Monday.  Luckily some of her favorite food is Mexican, and she wanted to just hangout and cook up tacos, so I brought the taste of home and the Valley to Colorado!

I was very excited to cook up tacos, it had been awhile since I have had authentic Mexican food and I have still yet to find a place here that serves Mexican food anywhere close to as good as Valley food.

My friend wanted to keep things simple, just tacos and roasted veggies with some chips and guac!

For the veggies I chose bell peppers, zucchini, green onion, and a yellow onion and seasoned them in some lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.  I was going to grill the vegetables but the weather was quite cold out that evening so I resorted to roasting them in the oven.  The seasoning was simple but the perfect mixture for what we needed.

For the main course we went with beef tacos.  I got choice rump cut round steaks and seasoned it in the following marinade over night:

IMG_4112Meat Marinade:
¾ cup lime juice

½ cup tequila

¼ cup soy sauce

1 bunch cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

2 Serrano pepper, diced

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cloves of garlic

1 lb. beef (I used rump cut round steaks, but you could also use skirt steak)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a bowl, cover and let marinate overnight.  When ready to cook drain the excess liquid off the meat, grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side (or until medium done) let set before cutting.  Make sure to cut against the grain.

I cut the meat into little chunks so it would fit into the tortillas better.  I really liked this marinade too, the combination of the lime with the spices gave just the right amount of tang and heat. It soaked into the meat overnight and I could really taste it the next day.

Being a birthday fiesta wouldn’t be complete without dessert and you can bet I wasn’t going to let it be anything other than delicious!  I thought about making flan, but when it came down to it kept the authentic Mexican flavor going by frying up some sopapillas and topping them with fresh berries!

I used the following recipe for the Sopapillas:

IMG_4118Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp. shortening

¾ cup water, heated to 110 degrees

½ cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees

oil for frying, peanut or corn

½ cup sugar (for dusting)

½ tsp cinnamon (for dusting)

Honey

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a bowl.  Mix in the shortening until it makes a fine sand like mixture.  Make a small indent in the top and pour the water and milk on top and using the dough hook of a stand mixer, combine.  Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Fill a pan about halfway with oil and heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches 360 degrees.  Roll out your dough until it is 1/8 inch thick and cut into even squares.  Place the dough carefully in the hot oil.  Fry for about two minutes on each side, continuing to turn until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towels; lightly dust with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

To serve:

Drizzle with berries and honey on top, if you have whipped cream or vanilla ice cream you can add a little of that as well.  Enjoy!

I have to admit I was a little skeptical to make these at first, just because I had never made them before and I don’t like dealing with hot oil on the stove/or frying food in general, but boy was I glad I made these.  They ended up being quite simple to make, the frying process wasn’t that bad and with friends and some fiesta music blasting in the background it actually made for a really fun time!

Next time you are looking to have a fiesta, try cooking it up yourself with one of these recipes- or use your go-to fiesta favs!