Fiesta at Home

Chef Moosah Commons Club Chicago
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By Virgin Hotels

Margaritas, tacos, dips, enchiladas, and more margs! Cheers Cinco de Mayo is here and coincides with Taco Tuesday this year. This celebration commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, not independence like many assume. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a complete life of its own and is a celebration for many of Mexican food, culture and traditions.

Usually, many of us would head to our favorite taco restaurant and order a bundle of food to celebrate the Mexican celebration. But with many restaurants remaining closed for dine-in, Americans might have to celebrate differently this year and keep the party at home. To make your Cinco de Mayo celebration delicious we’ve tapped Chef Moosah from Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Chicago to share some of his favorite recipes.




2 lb.Bone-in skinless Chicken thighs
3 tbsp Achiote paste
6 ea. Dried guajillo chili peppers
3 ea. Garlic cloves
1 tbsp Dried Mexican oregano
1 tbsp Cumin seeds toasted
1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp Black pepper
¾ cup White vinegar
1 cup Pineapple juice

For the chicken al pastor: In a blender add all dried ingredients first, then add the rest and blend well.  Pour the marinate into the chicken, rub well and marinate for up to 12 hrs. (in the refrigerator) before grilling or cooking in cast iron skillet. Cook until it is done and nicely charred.  Set aside until it cools. Then peel the chicken off the bone and cut into bite size. Reheat when ready to serve.

Ingredients for Pastor Pico:

1 ea. Red onion (diced small)
1 ea. Pineapple, skinned and sliced into 1-inch (2 cm) rounds grilled
1/8 cup Chopped cilantro
2 ea. Jalapeño charred and diced (no seeds)
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 ea.Fresh lime juice

For the pastor pico: Take pineapple and cut it into dice segments and mix with all ingredients. Set aside in a bowl for topping to the tacos.

Ingredients for the tortilla:

9.5 oz Maseca
1 pinch Guar gum
2 tsp Salt
12 oz Warm water
4’ Wax paper

For the tortilla: Combine 1st set in a bowl and mix well. Add water and knead to smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. If too wet sprinkle more maseca.

Cut 4’ squares out of wax paper. Roll 1 oz of dough into a tight ball and sandwich between two pieces of wax paper. Press with a tortilla press into a 3’ circle. Then, take two tortillas and stuff it with the squash and pinch together resembling large ravioli. Making sure that there are not any holes or ripped surfaces. Refrigerate until needed. To cook use lightly oil cast iron plate and toast to desired color.  Set aside covered with a towel.


Ingredients for the smashed peas (Yield: ¾ QT):

16 lb.Frozen sweet peas, blanched and shocked
2 ea. Charred jalapeños (peeled and seeded)
4 ea. Roasted tomatillo chopped
½ cup Cilantro leaves chopped
1/8 cup mint leaves chopped
3 tsp Salt

For the smashed peas: Combine all ingredients in a robot coupe and process to a coarse mash. Refrigerate until needed.

Ingredients for the guacamole (for 2 orders)

Set 1

2 ea. Ripe avocado (mashed)
¼ cup Smashed peas mix
1 oz Scallions, whites only, sliced as thin as possible
1 ea. Micro planed lime zest
2 ea. Fresh lime juice
2.5 g Jalapeño, chopped fine
5 g Salt

Set 2

2 tbsp Sweet peas, blanched and shocked
1 tbsp Chiffonade cilantro
Sea salt/lime wedges
Evo as needed to drizzle over the guacamole

Combine the first set and mix well. Distribute between 2 cold bowls. Scatter each with the peas, and cilantro; (second Set) then sprinkle with sea salt and serve with lime wedges.

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