Dinner For Two: 4 Sultry Recipes To Spice Up Your Cinco De Mayo

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aja spice cocktail
Including a surprising libido-boosting salad, a tipsy-inspired dessert and an oh-so spicy cocktail.

Cinco de Mayo is nearly here — so what do you have cooking?

Before you ransack your kitchen pantry in desperation, there are plenty of easy-to-whip-up dishes perfect for a relaxing at-home dinner for two. That's why we've cooked up our own Dinner For Two series by serving up a mouthwatering menu that's sure to impress your sweetheart — sneakily flavored with aphrodisiac ingredients, like this Mexican-themed feast that is sure to spice things up between you two.

Did you know that cactus is an aphrodisiac? (I know, me neither.) The cactus has been used for thousands of years by northern Mexico natives as a very arousing aphrodisiac. Wondering what other aphrodisiacs are hidden in this fiesta of a feast? Ginger, chili powder, avocados and garlic to start! And you've got yourselves one sexy meal!

The Drink: Aja Spice
By Christine Dionese of The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair

Aja Spice Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 5-7 jalapeno slices
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz tequila blanco (we like 123 Organic for this recipe)
  • 1 oz orange liqueur (we like Combier for this recipe)
  • Ice

Directions

1. The Tin-play shaker and muddle tool are our choice to create the Aja Spice. Add 2-4 jalapeno slices, dash of chili powder and ginger to a dry tin and muddle gently.
2. Once the aroma of jalapeno hits the air, add pineapple juice, tequila and orange liqueur.
3. Add 20 pieces of ice (or 1 scoop of a 16oz/475ml shaker).
4. Shake for a count of 20 and pour into a double old-fashioned glass.
5. Garnish with remaining jalapeno and chili powder.

 

The Salad: Nopal Salad Recipe
By Chalio's Birrieria of Los Angeles

Nopal Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cactus leaves
  • 1/2 medium brown onion
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 4 garlic teeth
  • 2 pints of water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe red roma tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 jalapeno (depends on your tolerance for heat, to reduce heat devein jalapeno) you can substitute with 1/2 bell pepper
  • 4 oz. of fresh queso fresco

Directions
1. You can buy precut cactus (nopales) at many Hispanic markets without the spiky pringles. If your daring trim along edges of cactus and shave off the pringles. Make sure you do so in a forward slashing movement away from body to avoid getting them over your clothes.
2. Cut cactus in 1/4 in to 1/2 in thick by 1 inch long. Get colander and rinse cactus and cilantro.
3. Place 2 pints of water to boil.
4. Add garlic whole teeth, salt, whole cilantro and cactus.
5. Allow to boil so that broth can extract flavors from spices and greens. The time may vary depending on cuts of cactus. Cactus will change to a dark green indicating its ready for cooling.
6. Place cooked cactus in colander to rinse liquid allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
7. Mix cut cooked cactus with tomato, onion, jalapeno. Place on dish add avocado and spread cheese on top of dish, you can garnish with oranges and cucumbers if you wish. Enjoy with a meat of your choice or a la carte.

 

The Main Dish: Easy Seafood Tacos
By Sharon Chen of Gourmet Persuasian

Easy Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 large Halibut fillet (or Mahi Mahi)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • 2 cups oaxaca cheese, shredded (or Mozzarella)
  • 2 white zucchinis, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 oz butter
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 2 limes
  • Green Salsa

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap it up with Aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.
3. In a saucepan, heat up black beans over medium heat for 15 minutes.
4. In the meanwhile, chop all the veggies and shred cheese.
5. In a sauté pan, melt butter over high heat. Add onion and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
6. Add tomatoes and zucchinis. Stir for 2 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/2 tsp salt into the pan and stir a couple times. Cover to cook for 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and turn off the heat. Taste and add more salt if desire.
8. In a large non-stick skillet, warm up tortillas with a few shreds of cheese in the center of each tortilla over high heat until the cheese starts melting. Fold each tortilla and heat each side for a few more seconds. Stack up the warm tortillas and wrap with a cloth to keep warm.
9. Dish veggies, black beans, and fish separately.
10. Open up one tortilla. Place a scoop of black beans and a scoop of veggies on top of the cheese in the center. Add two or three fish chucks by breaking it with a fork. Garnish with cilantro, drizzle with green salsa and lime juice. Wrap up the goodies and enjoy!

 

The Dessert: Margarita Cupcakes
By Simply Sweet ColorCakes

Margarita Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Paper baking cups
  • 1 (18.25-oz.) package lemon cake mix
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 cup gold tequila or water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (3-oz.) package lime-flavored gelatin
  • 2 (12-oz.) containers whipped ready-to-spread white frosting
  • 1 teaspoon electric green food coloring gel
  • 1⁄4 cup coarse white sugar or white decorator sugar crystals
  • 24 thin lime slices (about 3 limes)
  • 24 cocktail umbrellas (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, next 5 ingredients, and V cup water at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.
3. Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
4. In medium bowl, mix frosting and food coloring until blended. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle sugar on small plate; roll edges of cupcakes in sugar. Roll edges of lime slices in sugar; place on cupcakes. Poke 1 umbrella into each cupcake, if desired. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

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