Super Bowl recipes with a Latin twist

I love the Super Bowl, but what I don't love is all the gut-busting greasy food so abundantly on display wherever I watch it. It's like there is no avoiding buckets of hot wings, potato skins and nacho dips!

This year I wanted to try something different. So, I reached out to Chef Máximo Tejada, the Executive Chef and part-owner of Rayuela, an innovative restaurant established in 2007 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that serves as the headquarters for Tejada's Estilo Libre Latino cuisine. Tejada also owns Macondo, a restaurant just a few blocks away that focuses on Latin street food--so I knew he would be more than qualified to provide me with some yummy recipes to take my Super Bowl preparations up a notch. And boy, he did NOT disappoint!

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Chef Max was so generous and helpful with his recipes, which incorporate seafood (yay!) instead of the traditional chicken and beef dishes served on the big game day. But the best part is that both of these recipes (especially the Coconut ceviche) are super easy to make, and even though they are a little classier than most folks might be expecting, they are still easy to eat and delicious. So, get to cooking and ¡Buen provecho!

Max's Oyster Recipe
(Recipe Serves 4)

Ingredients:
12 Blue Point Oysters cleaned and off the shell (save shells for presentation)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cup quinoa, cooked
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 cups olive oil
Preparation:
Clean oysters. Dredge the oyster in all-purpose flour, then dip in egg, and finally coat the oyster in the cooked quinoa. Let it rest until needed. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Fry the oyster until golden brown. Set aside.

Serrano Ham Dust
Ingredients:
12 slices of paper thin Serrano Ham
Preparations:
Bake the serrano ham in a convection oven for 10-12 minutes, or until dry. Let it cool. In spice blender, blend until dust-like. Set aside.

Poblano Pepper Allioli:
Ingredients:
3/4 cup olive (not virgin) oil
3-5 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon (juiced)
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustards
2 poblano peppers (roasted and peeled)
1 bunch cilantro                                                                                                                 Preparations:
1. Mince the garlic, poblano peppers and cilantro as finely as possible and add it to the olive oil.
2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together for two minutes.
3. While steadily whisking the yolks, begin to drizzle in the oil in a very thin, steady, slow stream.
4. The yolks and oil will begin to come together. When about half the oil is in, and the mixture is beginning to resemble mayonnaise, add the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
5. Whisk together, then continue to drizzle in the oil while whisking. Stop before you've used all the oil.
6. Squeeze in a little lemon juice, stir it in well, then taste. If it needs more salt, lemon juice, pepper or garlic oil, add it now and whisk it in until it tastes right. Aioli should be thick and creamy, and not overly garlicky.

Presentation:
Serve oysters on a bed of kosher salt. Lay down the oyster shell with poblano aioli and lay the crispy oyster on top. Garnish with a sprinkle of the Serrano ham spice.

Coconut Ceviche a las 7 potencias
Yield: 6 servings
Prepared hot or cold

Ingredients:
2 oz diced octopus (cold)
2 oz chopped clams
2 oz chopped mussels
2 oz shrimp
2 oz sliced calamari
2 oz baby scallops
2 oz lobster
3 tbsp red bell pepper
1 jalapeño
2 tabsp ginger juice
¼ cup lobster stock
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
½ thinly sliced small red onion
1 tbsp diced scallions
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbsp lemongrass
1 tbsp mustard oil
Procedure:
Place jalapeño, lemongrass juice, sugar, ginger juice, coconut milk, lobster stock and lemon juice in a blender and pureé until smooth. Mix seafood with pureé.
Presentation: Place a portion of seafood (mixed with pureé) on a plate and sprinkle with chives, scallions, red bell pepper, onions, and cilantro. Drizzle with mustard oil.

Images vía Marek Berry