Categories: 4th of July, Appetizer, avocado, brunch, cheese, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo, Comida Latina, Dies y Seis de Septiembre, DIY, Easter, Father's Day, fiesta, game day, gluten-free, healthy, Labor Day, las posadas, Meat, Memorial Day, Mexican Classics, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Olives, Recipes, Recipes with onions, seafood, Snacks, spring, summer, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, winter
My grandmother bestowed many gifts on me—heirloom jewelry, precious old photographs, I’d like to think a smidgeon of her wit. But some of my most prized hand-me-downs are the boxes and boxes of china, glass, and silver I inherited first when she moved to the retirement home (‘where people go to die’, she would say) and then when she did eventually pass away (I guess she was right).
When we were going through her things I found the most beautiful relish tray that I had never seen before. It is stunning cut glass with etched images of fish, olives, vegetables, and pickles in each compartment, making clear for any nervous entertainer what exactly goes where. I’ve been trying to come up with something worthy of this tray for a long time and now with Easter around the corner I thought I’d share with you some of my fanciest nibbles to fill the slots.
There are several recipes here and all of them are fabulous on their own. The pickled onions are a vinegar-packed cocktail onion either for adding to a dry martini or munching on while sipping something sweet. They can be made a month in advance and benefit from at least a day or two in the fridge so I’d suggest making a batch just to keep on hand for any impromptu guests.
The requesón is my newest obsession I first read about on The Mija Chronicles. It is a fresh cheese made in Mexico that is very similar to Italian ricotta but made with bitter Seville orange juice instead of vinegar or lemon juice. I couldn’t find Seville oranges so I used half lemon and half orange juice with delicious results. When drained for a short period of time (30 minutes or so) it is creamy and tinged with flecks of orange zest and oregano. I’ve been spreading it on toast and topping it with avocado slices, olive oil, and salt. You can also drain it for longer (an hour or more) and it becomes crumbly and perfect for sprinkling over enchiladas, tostadas, or tacos.
The shrimp cóctel is Mexico’s version of (you guessed it) shrimp cocktail but instead of just using the sauce as a dip the shrimp gets marinated in the spicy tomato sauce and soaks up all the flavors of lime, chipotle, and Mezcal. You can serve it in the sauce along with some chunks of avocado, a good sprinkling of chopped cilantro, and a hefty squeeze of lime or as I did here, on its own.
I’d like to think this Easter Gram will be looking down on me with pride and feel like I did good by her relish tray. I won’t kid myself into thinking she would mow down some spicy shrimp cocktail—ABC dip was more her thing—but I hope she will be happy I put the platter to good use—breaking out the good china was her thing.