You know my day started out great after I saw an email that read: “Are you still wanting to make some cupcakes this weekend?”
Heck yeah, I’m still up for making cupcakes this weekend! The cupcakes in question are my kinda-famous on an incredibly small level Margarita Cupcakes (scroll for recipe, or click here for the archived post) and the weekend in question is Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo, aka “Texican Day”, is a much needed celebration between St. Patty’s Day and Memorial Day. Not that Easter doesn’t count – it does, and for much holier reasons than green beer and guacamole, but – well, you know what I mean.
Someone somewhere knows just how much the Foodie Bride household needed Texican Day to fall on a Saturday this year I’ve always viewed Cinco de Mayo as Thanksgiving with Tequila – that means loads of fajitas & ‘ritas, salsa & Sauza, and queso & cupcakes.
Fajitas are my very favorite thing to eat. The key to good fajitas is a good flavorful marinade. Traditionally, fajitas referred to the cut of beef known as “skirt steak” but they have since been wonderfully bastardized to include just about anything that you can grill and serve on tortillas: chicken, shrimp, portabello mushrooms – you name it!
Here we serve fajitas on flour tortillas topped with sour cream, homemade guacamole, grilled onion rounds, and grilled sliced green bell peppers. Served alongside Mexican rice, tortilla chips, homemade salsa and queso, it is a great meal for eating and entertaining on a backyard patio.
I’ve included a handful of recipes should you need inspiration for your Cinco de Mayo/Texican Day dinner.
Foodie Groom’s Margarita
8 oz Margarita mix
juice of one lime
3 oz Sauza Conmemorativo
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
Add ingredients to a shaker, shake, and pour over ice. Serves 2. That’s not true. It makes two servings but usually serves only one
1 Skirt steak (approx 1 lb; serves two people)
A splash of white vinegar
1-2 cloves chopped/minced garlic
Ground red pepper
large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Put the skirt steak in a shallow glass dish and thoroughly douse with Worcestershire sauce and just a bit of white vinegar, turn to coat both sides. Rub cumin, red pepper, garlic, and cilantro on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for minimum of 6 hours (I’ve marinated it for 18 hours before). Turn meat a few times while marinating. Remove from refrigerator one hour before cooking. Grill over medium-heat coals 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.
Chicken fajita marinade
4 chicken breasts
large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness (not less than 1/4 inch). Zest one lime and place the zest in shallow glass baking dish. Add the juice of two limes (using one that you zested), 1/2 cup orange juice, and cilantro to the baking dish and mix. Add chicken breasts, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (I have marinated it for 18 hours before), turning meat a few times. Remove from refrigerator one hour before cooking. Grill over medium-heat coals 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
3 flour tortillas
Vegetable oil/Cooking spray
1 lime wedge optional
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly rub the lime wedge across the top of each tortilla (if using). Stack the tortillas and cut into 8 wedges using a pizza cutter. Lay the tortilla chips on an oven-proof rack sitting over a baking sheet. Lightly rub the lime wedge across each triangle. Using a pastry brush or an oil spray bottle, lightly coat the top of each tortilla with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown on each side. Serves 2-3.
1 large tomato, seeded, cored, and sliced/wedged
1 slice medium yellow onion round, sliced 1/4 in (can substitute white onion, but not red)
1 clove garlic
1 large handful cilantro
1/2 jalapeÃƒÂ±o pepper, seeded and stemmed*
salt, to taste
Toss all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and process until desired consistency is reached. Let sit for 30 minutes to one hour, stir and then taste – adjust ingredients as necessary.
*JalapeÃƒÂ±os are the real wild card in this salsa. Everything but the heat is usually perfect. Occasionally, half of a pepper will actually be too much heat, and then I add another 1/4-1/2 of tomato to lessen the blow. More often than not, though, it’s just not hot enough. If you’re sensitive to heat, start smaller – maybe 1/4 of the pepper.
9 oz Margarita mix (such as Mrs. T’s or Bacardi)
3 oz tequila (Sauza Conmemorativo is a house-fave)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
White cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 recipe Lime Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass or spouted bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Pour the remainder over a small glass of ice and drink (make another double batch to drink while you’re baking).
In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest, and 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mixture. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for two minutes (the batter will still be a bit lumpy).
Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.
Lime Buttercream Icing
3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
green food color
Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, food coloring, and lime juice to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy. Taste – add additional lime juice and mix again if necessary. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes or use a spatula/knife.