This Friday, Cinco de Mayo will be in effect and while it means something entirely different to our friends in Mexico, here in the States, it has become a food and drinks celebration. Chef Rick Martinez, a best-selling author and expert on Mexican cuisine, partnered with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer for a pair of Cinco de Mayo recipes along with sharing details of an exciting contest for fans.
Chef Rick Martinez, a native of Austin, Texas, was gracious enough to speak with CASSIUS about the partnership with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, how he came up with his recipes, and more from his current home in Mexico. We opened up the chat to talk about the holiday itself and dove into how it plays out with the recipes offered.
“It’s funny because a lot of people have misconceptions about what Cinco de Mayo is, and in reality, it’s the day that commemorates the Battle of Puebla,” Chef Rick began.
“In Mexico, it’s the equivalent of Pearl Harbor Day and nobody has parties in the States just like there aren’t Cinco de Mayo celebrations here (Mexico). But now, more than ever before, we’re using the day to properly celebrate Mexican culture and cuisine. But it is a perfect opportunity to do both, which is to appreciate the culture and explore new things.”
Martinez, himself a big fan of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which is made in Mexico, views the partnership as a way to not only show off a pair of recipes perfect for Cinco de Mayo but also dishes that pair well with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.
“When the company asked me to think about some recipes to pair with the Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, it was fairly easy because the dishes I created are Mexican in flavor and root,” Martinez explained of his offerings.
“Within a mile of my house here in Mexico, mangos, pineapples, prickly pears, coconuts, all grown around me. So it was easy to come up with something that uses all of these traditional flavors and I wanted to make something I know would fit the theme.”
The first of the dishes Chef Rick shared with us was his Pollo el Pastor, which he said was inspired by a trip to Mexico at a food stand where the dish was being served. Martinez explained that the dish is traditionally made with pork but that the chicken version is just as tasty and easy to make. The recipe is below.
Pollo al Pastor
Recommended pairing with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Strawberry Guava
POLLO AL PASTOR:
4 chiles guajillos (42 g), stems and seeds removed; chiles torn into small pieces
3 chiles moritas
(13 g), stemmed (for super mild, use half)
3 garlic cloves, peeled 10g
¾ cup double concentrated chicken stock, pan drippings or chicken stock
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons achiote (annatto) paste 52 g
2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon dark agave syrup
up or honey
6 g sea salt, plus more for seasoning chicken
1000 g picked/lightly pulled roasted chicken
Warm corn tortillas, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, Pineapple Habanero Salsa
Cruda (for serving
, recipe below
Add guajillos, moritas, gar
lic, stock, orange juice, achiote paste, cloves, agave and sea salt to a
blender and purée until completely smooth, about 1 minute on high.
Toss chicken and al pastor purée in a large bowl until completely coated. Season with salt. Keep
warm for service.
Top each tortilla with a few pieces of chicken a sprinkle of onion and cilantro. Serve with lime
wedges for squeezing over and Pineapple Habanero Salsa Cruda.
PINEAPPLE HABANERO SALSA CRUDA:
2 cups finely chopped pineapple (from about ½
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 habanero chile, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus leaves for serving
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
6 g sea salt
Stir pineapple, onion, habanero,
garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Cover
salsa and chill until ready to use.
Pineapple salsa can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Chef Rick also dropped a video displaying how to make his Esquites Fritos, which is recommended to be served with Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer. The video can be viewed here.
As we mentioned above, Chef Rick is a best-selling author, and his book, Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico: A Cookbook, features the Pollo el Pastor recipe. The book can be purchased here.
Before we concluded our chat, Chef Rick shared his excitement about Top Chico Hard Seltzer’s contest that launched on May 2.
From now until May 9, Topo Chico Hard Seltzwr fans can enter to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Puebla and Mexico City to experience local cuisines, beautiful excursions, and, of course, plenty of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.
To enter the contest, please click here: www.TopoChicoHardSeltzerUSA.com/Cinco.
Photo: Topo Chico
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