Forget chips and salsa and that tub of store-bought guacamole this Cinco de Mayo. How about serving your guests some homemade spicy corn salad, poached chicken breast topped with mole sauce or gazpacho, instead?
Celebrity chef Nick Stellino, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his hit TV show 'Storyteller in The Kitchen,' shares his recipes for these three dishes to help you have a truly authentic and fun Cinco de Mayo celebration.
SPICY CORN SALAD
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup C&H Golden Brown Sugar, 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced, 1 tablespoon chopped Parsley, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of Nick's Magic Rub
For the Corn Salad: 1/2 cup Cotija, queso blanco, or feta cheese, cut into 1/4" dice; 2 cups corn kernels; 1/2 cup finely diced onion; 1 diced red bell pepper; Salt and pepper to taste; ¼ cup chopped parsley
• Mix all dressing ingredients in a large bowl, whisking well to incorporate the flavors.
• Add the corn salad ingredients and stir, coating the salad with the dressing.
• Add the chopped parsley and stir into the salad.
For a more flavorful result, let the salad rest in the refrigerator for no less than one and up to four hours. Remove and warm to room temperature before serving.
POACHED CHICKEN IN MOLE SAUCE
Ingredients for The Poaching Liquid: 3 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon Nick's Magic Rub, 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup diced carrots, 1 bay leaf
Ingredients for the chicken: Four 4-6 ounce pieces boneless and skinless chicken breast, 2 teaspoons of Nick's Magic Rub
For decoration: 1 cup finely sliced scallions
• Prepare the mole sauce.
• While the sauce is simmering, prepare the poached chicken.
• Pour the stock into a large pot (large enough to hold the chicken pieces). Bring stock to boil over medium-high heat.
• Add Nick's magic rub, the onion, celery, carrots, and bay leaf. Stir well.
• Flavor both sides of each chicken breast with Nick's magic rub and add to the stock.
• Remove from heat and place the lid on the pot. Let the chicken poach in the stock for 15-18 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees. Cut the chicken breasts into 1" slices.
• To serve, plate the sauce at the bottom each dish and cover with chicken slices. Top the chicken slices with finely sliced scallions.
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup finely chopped onion, 1 cup finely chopped celery, 1 cup finely chopped carrots, 3 tablespoons chopped garlic, 1/4 cup chopped bacon, 1 jalapeño pepper (chopped), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 cup tequila, 1 cup tomato sauce, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon bitter chocolate powder (not sweet), Salt and pepper to taste
• Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
• Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
• Add the bacon and jalapeño pepper. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
• Add the cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
• Stir in the tequila and cook for 2 minutes.
• Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Increase heat to medium-high to reach a boil. Then reduce to a simmer.
• Simmer for 35 minutes and stir in the chocolate powder. Salt and pepper to taste.
• Use this sauce to accompany your favorite grilled meats or chicken or even fish!
Ingredients: 1 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Nick's Magic Rub, 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper finely diced, 1/2 cup cucumbers finely diced (preferably Persian cucumbers if available), 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper, 1/2 cup finely diced green onions, 1/2 cup finely chopped white or red onions, 1/2 cup water or spicy tomato juice, 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced (optional)
• Place the tomatoes in a blender and process to a smooth consistency.
• In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with the additional ingredients and stir well to incorporate all flavors.
• Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
• Serve topped with finely chopped chives.