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A Gourmet Cinco de Mayo: Recipes From Julian Medina

Our May issue (on stands now!) features a lightened-up version of enchiladas, along with tips from Julian Medina, Chef/Owner Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia restaurants in NYC. And with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we were psyched to score a few more online-only recipes from the inventive chef! Combine the gourmet recipes below with the guilt-free one in the mag and you'll have a flavorful fiesta ready to go!

toloache guacamole recipe

Photo courtesy of Toloache Restaurants.

Guacamole de Frutas (serves 4)

  • 2 Mexican Hass avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mango, diced
  • 2 tablespoons peach, diced
  • 2 tablespoons apple, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon habanero pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Thai basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Scoop the pulp out of the ripe avocados into a bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt.  Mash the ingredients together, leaving it chunky and check the seasoning.

3. Serve with warm corn tortillas or chips.


julian medina toloache margarita

Photo courtesy of Toloache Restaurants.

Toloache Margarita (serves 1)

For the Hibiscus Puree:

  • 1 cup of hibiscus flower
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 ounce sugar

Combine ingredients into a blender, or food processor and puree until smooth. Let cool.

For the Virgin Mix:

  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce lime juice

In a separate container combine the Cointreau and lime juice, stir well.

For the Toloache Margarita:

  • ½  bar spoon of blueberries
  • 2 ounces hibiscus puree
  • 2 ounces Herradura Blanco
  • 1 ounce virgin mix
  • Splash of simple syrup

1. In a cocktail shaker muddle the ½ bar spoon of blueberries, then add the hibiscus puree. Pour in the Herradura Blanco, virgin mix and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well.

2. Pour the margarita into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with a hibiscus flower and lime wedge.

Keep reading for an ambitious chicken quesadilla...!

toloache questadilla recipe

Photo courtesy of Toloache Restaurants.

Pollo Quesadilla (serves 4)

For the Pickled Jalapeño:

  • 7 fresh jalapeños, quartered lengthwise
  • ½ cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

1. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat, then combine in the pot the jalapeños, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf, coriander seeds, sugar and salt. Let ingredients cook on simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the rice vinegar and remove from heat.

2. Allow to cool, then store in a jar, or similar container, in the refrigerator and keep until ready to use.

Julian Medina chef

Julian Medina, the chef-owner of Toloache, Yerba Buena, and Yerba Buena Perry, was recruited to NYC from Mexico City about 15 years ago, by another chef.

For the Pico de Gallo:

  • 2 cups tomato, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Kosher salt to taste

In a medium bowl combine all then ingredients and mix well, salt to taste.

For the Adobo Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, dried
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 chipotle peppers, dried
  • 10 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and deveined
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 5 cups water
  • Kosher salt

1. Preheat a large skillet over a medium flame. Combine the olive oil, onions and garlic, allow to cook for five minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, oregano, cumin and chipotle, then cook for an additional two minutes  Add the guajillos, water, pineapple juice and salt; cook until the guajillos are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and set pan aside.

2. When the mixture cools purée in a blender until smooth. Strain into a bowl then add the sherry vinegar, salt to taste.

For the Roast Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 cups adobo marinade
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle
  • ½ cup kosher salt

1. In a small bowl combine the adobo marinade and chipotle.

2. For chicken preparation, wash it thoroughly in cold water and pat the skin dry with a paper towel, then place the chicken in a roasting pan.  Sprinkle with part of the salt, then pour over chipotle-adobo marinade.

3. Cook in a 350° oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.  Remove from oven and allow the chicken to cool, then remove the meat and discard the skin.

For the Quesadilla:

  • 4 cups roasted adobo chicken shredded
  • 2 cups Chihuahua cheese
  • ½ cup queso fresco cheese
  • 1 cup Pico de gallo
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeños, quartered
  • ½ cup Mexican crema
  • 8 flour tortillas

To Assemble and Serve:

1. Place the flour tortillas on a pan sheet. For each quesadilla place about a 1 cup of the shredded roasted chicken meat, add on top ½ cup of Chihuahua cheese and then cover with another flour tortilla. Heat the griddle to a medium heat, place the quesadilla and let it cook for about 3 minutes or until slightly golden brown, flip the quesadilla and cook for 3 more minutes.

2. Remove from the griddle and cut each quesadilla into 4 triangular slices. Then add on top the pico de gallo, cotija cheese and Mexican crema. Finally place in the center the pickled jalapeños.