Cinco de Mayo recipes from Food Network's 'Mexican Made Easy'

2:32 PM, May 4, 2011   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.--  Marcela Valladolid from Food Network's "Mexican Made Easy" joined us via satellite today to share her favorite recipes for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

For more information about Marcela or her show, visit

Steak Quesadillas with Roasted Tomatillo and Apple Salsa
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

1 (1-pound) skirt steak
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups Roasted Tomatillo and Apple Salsa, recipe follows
Eva's Chunky Guacamole, recipe follows

Place the steak in a glass dish. Sprinkle the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour to tenderize, turning the steak occasionally.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add the steak and saute to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.

Place 4 tortillas in the skillet with the pan juices and heat over medium-high heat. Place 1/2 cup cheese on top of the tortillas and top with 4 ounces sliced meat. Place the remaining 4 tortillas on the top. Cook until the cheese start to melt, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden and the cheese is melted, another 2 minutes on the other side.

Remove the quesadillas from the skillet. Peel open the quesadilla and spoon about 1/2 cup Roasted Tomatillo and Apple Salsa on top. Close the quesadilla and slice into quarters. Serve with Eva's Chunky Guacamole. 

Roasted Tomatillo and Apple Salsa
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 green apples, such as Granny Smith, quartered
2 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 white onion
2 jalapeno chile, stemmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatillos, apples, garlic, onion and jalapenos on a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and roast until the tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 20 minutes. Peel the garlic. Puree all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Eva's Chunky Guacamole
Recipe courtesy Eva Longoria

3 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 serrano chile, finely minced
2 small lemons, about 4 tablespoons
1 teaspoon kosher salt

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

In a large bowl, place the avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, serrano, lemon juice, and salt, to taste. Stir gently until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Cook' s Note: To keep the guacamole from turning brown, press a pit from one of the avocados into the center of the dish. Remove it before serving.

Salsa Asada
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

8 plum tomatoes, cored
1 large shallot, peeled
2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1/3 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, shallots and serranos to the dry skillet and char on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the charred ingredients to a blender, add the broth and process until smooth. Return the salsa to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the salsa turns a bright red color, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Salsa Verde
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

5 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 Anaheim chile, cut in half
1/2 small white onion
1 whole clove garlic

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatillos, chile, onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Baked Tortilla Chips
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

12 fresh corn tortillas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt

To make the chips:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush each tortilla lightly with oil. Slice the tortillas into 8ths. Using 2 baking sheets, distribute half the chips onto each sheet, making sure they are evenly spread out and not overlapping. (If the chips overlap they will not crisp in the oven.) Bake on the top rack until golden and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving bowl. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Cook's Note: Season your chips with chipotle powder and/or garlic salt before baking for extra flavor.

Watermelon-Jalapeno Cooler
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded
4 sprigs fresh thyme
5 cups chopped, seeded watermelon
Ice, for serving

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeno and thyme and let it infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the jalapeno and thyme and set aside.

Pour the simple syrup and chopped watermelon into a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve cold over ice and garnish with the sugary sprigs of thyme.

Pecan Caramels ("Glorias")
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Melt the butter in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the condensed milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns to a light caramel color (240 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and incorporate the pecans. Let cool for about 8 minutes. Roll into 2-ounce pieces and wrap with parchment paper.

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