Thursday, March 14, 2013

Birthday Fiesta Catered by "Salsa Man"

We ended the busy month of January with my birthday, and my preferred way to celebrate is with friends over good food. In the past, this has typically involved going out to a favorite restaurant. This year, I decided to try something a little different: a house party catered by none other than the "Salsa Man," Arturo Vizzuett, whose fresh homemade salsas are simply the best.

The plans actually sort of fell into place by accident. Arturo had been talking about cooking for us for a long time, and it was brought up again during one of my visits last fall to his salsa stand in the Strip District. Sundays are best for him since it does not conflict with salsa making or vending, but Sundays during football season is always a little dicey...except on the day of the Pro Bowl, of course. As luck would have it, the Pro Bowl was going to take place on the Sunday right before my birthday, and so it was decided right then and there that Arturo would cater a birthday party for me.

On the day of the party, Arturo prepared four traditional Mexican entrées and four side dishes (photos below), each rich, delicious, and flavorful. I think everyone had a different favorite, but mine were the tender pork shoulder, beef tips, zucchini and corn medley, and potato pancakes.

As if Arturo's homecooked Mexican fare wasn't enough, my truly awesome husband surprised me by picking up some pastries and a birthday cake from the famous Oakmont Bakery! To be honest, I can't even remember the last time I had a birthday cake.

A birthday celebration with great food and great friends - what more can a girl ask for? ;)

Arturo Vizzuett's Cochinita Pibil
Conchinita Pibil
(Slow roasted pork shoulder in achiote sauce)

Arturo Vizzuett's Puntas de Filete a la Mejicana
Puntas de Filete a la Mejicana
(Mexican style beef tips)

Arturo VIzzuett's Pescado a la Veracruzana
Pescado a la Veracruzana
(Seabass in tomato based sauce)

Arturo Vizzuett's Chicken in Mole Sauce
Mole Poblano
(Chicken in mole sauce)

Arturo Vizzuett's Calabazitas
(Zucchini and corn medley with fresh cheese and cream)

Arturo Vizzuett's Arroz Andaluz
Arroz Andaluz
(Rice with poblano peppers and roasted corn)

Arturo Vizzuett's Frijoles Charros
Frijoles Charros
(Red kidney bean salad)

Arturo Vizzuett's Tortitas de Papa
Tortitas de Papa
(Potato pancakes)

Pastries from Oakmont Bakery
Pastries from Oakmont Bakery

Cake from Oakmont Bakery
Birthday Cake from Oakmont Bakery