Can you handle the heat? Spice up your Cinco de Mayo celebrations with these recipes

MILWAUKEE -- Who's ready for a fiery fiesta? Chef Alisa Malavenda joins Real Milwaukee to spice up your Cinco de Mayo menu. Alisa is making all sorts of Mexican-inspired drinks and dishes to serve up this Friday for Cinco de Mayo. She's making a spicy grilled pineapple and jalapeno margarita, Mexican street corn, avocado and tomatillo salsa, tequila-lime shrimp shooters with chipotle sauce, queso "fun" dido, chili spiced fruit skewers, chocolate-chipotle brownies and a margarita mousse.

Spicy Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Margarita

  • Make in a cocktail shaker or jump on the French press trend with this cocktail
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1-3 slices of Jalapeno depending on how spicy you like it.
  • 1 sprig of cilantro ( optional)
  • 2 thick slices of grilled and chilled fresh pineapple
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T agave nectar
  • ½ oz grand marnier
  • ½ C soda water
  • Chili salt for rim (combine 2 T kosher salt with 1 t chili powder )

Place tequila, jalapeno , cilantro if using , and pineapple in a cocktail shaker or French press and infused for about 15 minutes- muddle with the back of a spoon.

Add juice of the lime, agave nectar and grand manier and either shake with ice in shaker or mix and press with French press.

Coat rim of glass with chili salt , add ice to glass and pour strained cocktail into glass- top with soda water and garnish with a wedge of pineapple , jalapeno slice or cilantro

Mexican Street Corn  ( Elotes)

  • 6 ears of corn , remove husks and grill
  • ¼ C Mexican Crema or sour cream and ½ C Mayo , combined
  • ¼ C cilantro , chopped fine
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½-1  t chili powder or 1 T taco seasoning
  • 2 t of zest from a fresh lime
  • 2 T of lime juice from the fresh lime
  • ½ C Mexican Cotija Cheese

In a small bowl add the mayo / sour cream mixture – add the cilantro, garlic, chili powder or taco seasoning, juice and zest of the lime and a little salt to taste. Set aside while you grill the corn until charred .

Cut the corn cob in half or thirds and stick with a skewer. With a pastry brush or spoon , coat the corn with the Crema mixture , sprinkle with the cheese and sprinkle with a little cheese .

You can serve this with more chili powder, cilantro and some extra lime wedges.

Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped rinsed husked tomatillos
  • 2 medium Jalapenos with seeds, minced
  • 2 large avocados, halved, peeled, pitted, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Place tomatillos and chiles in food processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse puree forms. Pour puree into medium bowl.

Mix in all remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill).

Serve with fried plantain chips or tortilla chips

Tequila-Lime Shrimps Shooters with Chipotle Sauce

Makes 24 shooters

24 cooked, peeled and deveined prawns or large shrimps (16-20)

Marinade

  • 1/4 C tequila
  • 1/4 C fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  •   1  jalapenos, seeded & rough chopped
  • 1/2  C chopped- green onions
  • 1/2  C cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/2 t.  chopped garlic
  • 1    T. olive oil

Combine all marinade ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse to mix. Mixture should still have some texture.

Pour over shrimp and let sit 15-30 minutes before serving. Do not over-marinate.

Chipotle Sauce 

  • 1 cup  good quality mayonnaise
  • 2  chipotle pepper in adobe
  • juice  of  1/2   lime
  • Chop chipotles in processer. Add mayonnaise and lime, puree.

To assemble:

Pipe a small amount of chipotle sauce in bottom of shooter cup or glass. Drain marinade Place one shrimp, tail up, into cup. Garnish with cilantro sprig.

Queso “FUN”dido

  • ½ pound chorizo, seasoned ground beef or sausage
  • 1 T cooking oil
  • 1 med-small white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno , seeded and diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced ( you could also use 1 can RoTel Diced tomatoes with green chilies) if tomatoes are not in season)
  • 3 T Tequila or dark modela beer
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack or Mexican Melting Cheese , shredded ( approx 3 cups)
  • ¼ C chopped cilantro ( optional)

Heat oil in a frying pan and add your choice of meat. Cook until browned remove from pan. Leave enough fat in the pan to equal about a T.

Add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno with a pinch of salt and cook over med-high heat until soft and onions are  translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tequila or beer to pan and cook until the alcohol burns off and evaporates, add the cheese to the mixture and stir constantly until cheese is melted.

Add the meat back to the pan and stir. Pour into a serving bowl .  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

Chili Spiced Fruit Skewers

  • ¼  Watermelon
  • 1 Pineapple
  •  2 Mango
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lime
  • 2 chili powder
  • 1 t flaked sea salt

Cut fruit in to 1 inch cubes and thread on skewers. In a small bowl add lime juice and zest and pour over the fruit skewers. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or over night. In a small bowl mix salt and chili powder. Before serving sprinkle fruit skewers with salt mixture or serve on the side for dipping.

Chocolate-Chipotle Brownies

  • 4 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped or morsels
  • 4 oz bitter sweet chocolate , chopped or morsels
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 C flour
  • ¼ C dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2.5 C sugar
  • 1 T instant espresso powder
  • 1.5 t cinnamon
  • 2 t chipotle powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 t Kahlua or vanilla extract

Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil overlapping sides and grease or spray with pam; set aside. Preheat oven to 325 and put rack in the middle of oven.

In a pan combine the butter with semi sweet and dark chocolate. Stir and cook over low heat until it is totally melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and chipotle powder. Beat on med speed until combined and then add one egg at a time and then Kahlua until mixed thoroughly. On low speed, add the flour mixture a little at a time , just until combined well, but do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. When completely cool, pull up on the foil to lift brownies out of the pan, cut into squares ( remove foil) and delicious serve with dulce de leche ice cream

Margarita Mousse

  • ½ C toasted Coconut
  • 1 t Grated Lime Zest
  • 2 C mini pretzels , crushed
  • ½ stick butter

Process the lime and coconut until coarse in food processor, remove 1 C and set aside for garnishing later.
Add pretzels to food processor with coconut and lime and process until finely ground. Add mixture to bowl and mix with melted butter.
Press into the bottom of mini margarita or martini glasses

  • 10 oz margarita mix
  • ¾ C Water
  • 4 t Knox Gelatin
  • ¼ C Tequila
  • ¼ C Grand Marnier ( you can also use triple sec)
  • 1.5 C heavy Whipping cream
  • 1 can ( 14 oz) sweet condensed milk
  • 4 oz room temperature soft cream cheese

For the mousse :
• Combine ¼ cup water and gelatin in small saucepan and let sit for 3-4 minutes until it blooms. Add margarita mix, tequila, and grand marnier and cook over low heat, until the gelatin dissolves gelatin dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Whip chilled cream until soft peaks form and set aside. In another bowl, whip sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese until combined. Add 1 cup margarita mixture and whip until incorporated. Then gently fold in whipped cream in three stages. Pour filling into individual glassed . Refrigerate until just set, This should take about 1 hour.

• For the Gelee topping: Stir remaining ½ cup water into remaining margarita mixture. Pour mixture through strainer into a pitcher and then gently pour mixture over filling. Refrigerate until set, about 3-4 hours or over night . Garnish the top with a little lime wedge and a sprinkle of remaining coconut mixture