Today's a big day. For one, it's my brother's birthday - Happy Birthday Brother!! Two, I've got a week of vacation on the Outer Banks ahead of me (ahhh) and three, I'll be starting with Saveur Magazine's editorial team next week! Ahhhhhh. Starting next week, a few days a week I'll be in their midtown office, pitching various stories, dreaming up cocktail recipes, and hopefully occasionally photographing for them! From the sounds of it, I'll get to wear a few different hats. It's crazy to think that just 6 months ago I was in Montpelier, Vermont, wearing chef's brigade and still unsure where I would be spending the upcoming year, and now, in just a week, I'll be throwing on a blazer and taking the subway into Saveur's Manhattan headquarters every week. Life, eh? Big and mysterious changes that lead to new big and mysterious changes.
So with all of that, let's celebrate - with Mexican food! For Cinco De Mayo! Perfect. Vanessa Rees asked that I create some vegan recipes for a photo shoot to commemorate the holiday and what a fun task. Food stylist Lauren Lapenna and I teamed up to create some seriously beautiful and delicious recipes that you really have to try at some point, seriously. And she taught me how to braid corn husks! Amazing.
¡Radicchio Fiesta Boats!
2 radicchio heads
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can black beans
7 red radishes, sliced
1 grilled corn, cut off the cob
2 leaves romaine, sliced
1 avocado, diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
I. Preheat oven to broil. Slice tomatoes and other ingredients while preheating. Broil halved tomatoes for about 1-2 minutes, or until charred.
II. Place all ingredients except radicchio heads in medium sized bowl and toss until combined.
III. Take the leaves off of the radicchio heads and scoop the salad into the center of sturdiest, whole leaves.
IV. Drizzle Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette over the salads and serve with your other impressive dishes!
Jalapeño Lime Vinaigrette
1 – 2 jalapenos, sliced
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients, mix together thoroughly, and serve on radicchio salad boats!
Vegan Mexican Street Corn
6 husked corn on the cob
1 cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut milk
4 tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes)
½ cup almond milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove roasted garlic
1 tsp chile powder
½ tsp salt or to taste
¼ bunch cilantro (for garnish)
chile powder (garnish)
lime zest (garnish)
I. Submerge corn in water and let soak for at least an hour.
II. While the corn is soaking you can make the vegan cream sauce. Combine all of the ingredients (except the corn) into a blender and blend on high until a smooth consistency. Cover and set aside.
III. Heat your gril or grill pan until very hot. Grill corn on both sides until charred, about 2-3 minutes per side.
IV. Place the grilled corn on a large plate and drizzle your cream sauce across the top. Garnish with cilantro, chile powder, and lime zest. Serve and impress all your friends!
Mango Salsa Stuffed, Grilled Avocados
3 avocados, halved
2 Mangos, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small jalapeño, diced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 scallion, diced
I. Heat grill to high
II. While grill is heating, place all diced ingredients in medium sized bowl and toss in lime juice. Set aside.
III. Place avocado halves face down on grill and let sit for 5-8, or until charred. Take off grill and let cool.
IV. Scoop mango salsa into avocados and serve, completing your amazing cinco de mayo arrangement!
Strawberry Jalapeno Margaritas
Strawberry Jalapeno Puree
makes about 4 servings
1 lb. strawberries
1 seeded jalapeno
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
I. Slice seeded jalapeno into 4 large pieces. Quarter the strawberries.
II. Place strawberries, jalapeno, sugar, water, and lime juice into small pot and heat over medium high for 12 – 15 minutes or until strawberries have broken down.
III. Remove jalapeno slices from mixture and let cool. Once cooled, pour into blender and blend on high until thoroughly pureed.
To make a single Margarita…
½ cup Strawberry Jalapeno Puree
¼ cup lime juice
1 cup ice (2 handfuls)
1 oz tequila.
I. Pour all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth
II. Enjoy your crazy delicious frozen Strawberry Jalapeno margaritas
Pro tip: Take all leftover salsas and cashew cream sauces, dump all over nachos, and enjoy on the rooftop ...at sunset... or wherever really