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amccomb

What to make for Cinco de Mayo?

39 posts in this topic

So, I have a tradition of having a huge feast for Cinco de Mayo every year. About 25 people come to my house for food, conversation, and drinking.

Some things stay the same - I always make tamales with pork/raisins/almonds/chiles. I always make a spiced sangria. I have been told I must always make Tres Leches cake.

Other things vary. I started out the first year going more Tex Mex along with a huge bowl of ceviche. The next year I made quesadillas with non-traditional fillings such as beef tenderloin and blue cheese, or curried duck and mango chutney, or turkey, cranberries, and brie. The next year I made Chiles en Nogada (which was not well accepted) and chilaquiles. Two years ago I made a green pumpkin seed mole with chicken and a oaxacan red mole with lamb shanks. Last year I made about several different taco fillings (mostly from the Rick Bayless books) including bacony beans, garlicy greens, smoked chicken with tomatillo sauce, shredded beef with chipotle sauce, seasoned ricotta cheese, a huitlacoche filling...I also made some condiments like pickled onions, pickled chipotles, guacamole, crema, and several salsas. Lastly, I made both corn and flour tortillas from scratch.

This year, I am totally blanking! i am looking for some ideas that are different from what I have done before. I know I want to try empanadas this year, and would appreciate some help locating a recommended recipe or any tips or techniques.

I thought about doing the pork and chicken dish from All About Braising by Molly Stevens, and maybe another mole. Since both of those could be used as taco filling, I thought about doing the flour and corn tortillas again, as well as making a spicy shrimp filling.

I also thought about going a different direction and doing one-pot dishes like soups or casseroles. But again, I'm blanking on ideas!

I'm also looking for ideas for other tamale fillings, and some other desserts. I've done flan, and I think I'll do that again this year, but I really feel like I want to add another dessert.

I am also hunting for cookbooks that might inspire me, so any suggestions there would be greatly appreciated, too!

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I can't think of anything more inspiring than Docsconz's report of his culinary trip to Mexico earlier this month.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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The food you have done in the past sounds amazing. I love my Rick Bayless cookbook and use it often. How about doing a unified theme? For example, you could do street food (aqua frescas, the grilled meats, etc.- I'm pretty sure that the Bayless cookbook has several recipes). Or perhaps you could pick a region and focus on food from there.

Best wishes!

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You mentioned one pot dishes. How about some different chilis?

Maybe a pot of red, a pot of green, use different meats. Make a big pot of small red and black beans seasoned with chili peppers and onions and broth. Different toppings like cheese, onion, hot sauces, green onions, jalapenos. Tortillas and rice would be Mexican, but I really like corn bread and hominy with the chili. But then, I'm a gringo.

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Your previious menus do indeed sound wonderful.

Do you have the first Bayless book? There is a great sounding recipe for a salpicon in there--a cold chicken salad with vinegar and chiles and lots of other good things. We were just talking a bit about these in an intersesting thread on Yucatan food.

Looking throught the Yucatan thread may give you some great ideas as well although it may require a bit of hunting to track down the recipes.

Have you ever had or made a Mexican chicken soup? These are wonderful and could be fun to serve with all the additional condiments for people to add--freshly squeezed lime, avocado, radishes chiles, cilantro, etc.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Cinco de Mayo is not really a celebration in Mexico.....

It is more a USA celebration (marketing from beer company) one more opportunity to spend more money.

Cinco de Mayo is the day that Mexicans fight and liberate the village of Puebla from French troops.

Cinco de Mayo is definetly not the independance day of Mexico.

Indep. Day is September 16.....this is where you will see most Mexicans People celebrating.

Anyway, to find idea of original recipes from Mexico you can check Rick Bayless books (sorry if I mispelled his name), every he does is really Mexican (no Fusion of any kind. I hope that will help you.

sincerely

Africa :smile:

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You might want to look at California Rancho Cooking by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan for some ideas. The recipes come from the mix of Spanish, Mexican, and native cooking that evolved as California was settled. It has a chapter on "celebration" meals, a chapter on grilled foods, and the recipes look great. It sounds like California rancho life included lots of parties, so this might be a good source for you. I've only tried a few recipes from it, but what I've tried has been very good.

I recall that there's one substantial casserole-y dish, called "Chilena Pie" (or something like that) that has chicken and beef and other tasty things in it; there was also a seafood variation, too. I've wanted to try it but haven't had a big enough crowd to feed it to since I got the book! There are also a few tamale recipes in the book, one of which is a sweet dessert tamale that might make an interesting dessert for your party.

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You could make sacahuil

i10758.jpg

a giant chicken-filled banana leaf-wrapped sort of tamale pie.  Serves 20 easily.

Oh yeah, that's what I want!

Do you have any hints or suggestions, or a tried-and-true recipe you would be willing to share?

Also, I tried finding banana leaves last year, and could not find them locally. Is there somewhere I could order them online?

Thanks!!

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I'll PM you the recipe, as it's huge and would be tedious to sanitize for the guidelines. I adapted a recipe from the Sunset Magazine website, and it's really yummy, as well as impressive.

Frozen banana leaves are easy to find in an Asian market, if you have one where you are.

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For some unbeknownest team building reason, my company has decided to have a Cinco de Mayo potluck. I am supposed to bring something. We have the following appliances: toaster, microwave, and toaster oven. Any ideas?


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

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For some unbeknownest team building reason, my company has decided to have a Cinco de Mayo potluck.  I am supposed to bring something. We have the following appliances: toaster, microwave, and toaster oven.  Any ideas?

Cerveza! :smile:


Edited by dls (log)

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Thanks for the suggestions! The company is actually supplying the beer. Looks like I'm making some flan.


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

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Reviving this thread because Cinco de Mayo is coming up and we're invited to a potluck...

Now, should I make empanadas or flan? Decisions, decisions! :biggrin:


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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... but I really feel like I want to add another dessert...

Consider making my cake that was inspired by my son-in-law Jeremy whose birthday is Cinco De Mayo. Ole` Ole` :biggrin:

edited to say >> Oh oops I didn't notice the dates on the posts. Oh well, still a great Cinco De Mayo cake-ola.


Edited by K8memphis (log)

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A traditional Independence recipe is Chiles en Nogado (red white and green) and very yummy.

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for the red white and green as well I serve both red and green chilequiles with lots of mixed white Mexican cheese layered in and on top

easy to take to a pot luck and really good!

in the evening and only if you have the pot luck at your own house..what we do is make a fire pit to sit around listen to music ..and we have sopapillas (I fry them over propane in a huge wok away from the fire pit) serve them with fresh ground cinnamon spiked honey butter ..and Abuelita hot chocolate made with lots of cream and a couple of shots of rum ...

nice sugary rum rush!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Reviving this thread...well, just because I am on such a Mexican roll these days.

I'll make something suitable. I want to try a new ice cream recipe from Gerson's My Sweet Mexico, Helado de Queso / Requeson Cheese Ice Cream. Never had cheese ice cream.

Does anyone celebrate this unusual holiday and what are you making/eating?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I was pretty much raised in Los Angeles with the info presented in Wiki. A marketing tool more than anything. The beer and tequila and margarita mix distributors have a field day. However- I would love to see some menus because the cuisines of the regions are wonderful on any given day :biggrin:

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Cinco de Mayo is not really a celebration in Mexico.....

It is more a USA celebration (marketing from beer company) one more opportunity to spend more money.

Cinco de Mayo is the day that Mexicans fight and liberate the village of Puebla from French troops.

Cinco de Mayo is definetly not the independance day of Mexico.

Indep. Day is September 16.....this is where you will see most Mexicans People celebrating.

Anyway, to find idea of original recipes from Mexico you can check Rick Bayless books (sorry if I mispelled his name), every he does is really Mexican (no Fusion of any kind. I hope that will help you.

sincerely

Africa :smile:

Absolutely not (entirely) true... Cinco de Mayo is a huge celebration in Zacapoaxtla, Puebla :wink:

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the heroics of General Ignacio Zaragoza's calvary & the tactical, unpredictable brilliance of the Zacapoaxtla indians (a mexikah tribe) under his command (who provoked a bovine stampede among other tactics to rout the more numerous, better armed French troops)......

.... soooo any Cinco de Mayo celebration should celebrate the gastronomic traditions of Puebla... and the Zacapoaxtla people's specifically. And instead of cheesy Mariachi Fiesta CD collections.. a more Egullet caliber music choice might be digging up Aniceto Ortega's 19th century hommage to Ignacio Zaragoza:

And the Pre-Hispanic Zacapoaxtla dances collectively referred to as the Mitoticuicalli including the most famous Danzas de Quetzales:

More info on Zacapoaxtla:

http://www.e-local.gob.mx/work/templates/enciclo/puebla/Mpios/21207a.htm

A meal featuring their regional specialties would look like:

Masa (Tlacoyos stuffed with a local runner bean - Rancho Gordo could be useful here -, Molotes stuffed with Potato & Chorizo hash, & Squash Blossom Turnovers)

Mole (Chayotextle)... a green Mole made from Chayote flesh, Masa & Poblanos & Jalapanos, onions & aromatics... served with Chayote root fritters, braised turkey &

Sweets - Guayabate (homemade Guava Paste), Dulce de Calabaza (whole candied pumpkins), Dulce de Higo (whole candied figs flavored with fig leaves)

Drinks.. Zacapoaxtla is famous for their fruit & herb wines and liquers made from

Oranges, Quince, Capulines (a native cherry like fruit), Aniz, Apple & Toronjil (related to Lemon Balm herb)


Edited by EatNopales (log)

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Cinco de Mayo celebrates the battle of Puebla. Since Puebla is also an area well known in Mexico for good food why don't you don't make food from that region? Molotes, Chile en Nogada, Mole Poblano, Cemitas (Pueblan ver of the Torta). There is also a long tradion of pastry and candy making.


Edited by AAQuesada (log)

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You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. I will return to your post when I have some sitting time.

I was disappointed that the dancers were so 'fuzzy'. Their headdresses were spectacular and it would have been nice to see them up close.

An additional problem is that I have no Spanish and could not read the Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Puebla ZACAPOAXTLA. I might try to figure out how to get the title back to the stage where I can ask for a translation.

I'll check out those foods later. I am happy to say though, that I did know about the holiday from before.

Thanks again.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Cinco de Mayo celebrates the battle of Puebla. Since Puebla is also an area well known in Mexico for good food why don't you don't make food from that region? Molotes, Chile en Nogada, Mole Poblano, Cemitas (Pueblan ver of the Torta). There is also a long tradion of pastry and candy making.

I have Fany Gerson's My Sweet Mexico which has an entire section on the confections and pastries of Puebla. Thanks.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. I will return to your post when I have some sitting time.

I was disappointed that the dancers were so 'fuzzy'. Their headdresses were spectacular and it would have been nice to see them up close.

An additional problem is that I have no Spanish and could not read the Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Puebla ZACAPOAXTLA. I might try to figure out how to get the title back to the stage where I can ask for a translation.

I'll check out those foods later. I am happy to say though, that I did know about the holiday from before.

Thanks again.

Hola Darienne... the E-Municipos site is a fantastic resource.. a quick write up on every municipality in the country (about 2,600 or so) with a quick summary of history, ethnic groups, languages spoken, economy, agriculture, gastronomic traditions, religious traditions & festivities etc.,

If you download Google's browser Chrome.. it is very easy to get a fairly competent translation... after you go to the site.. right click over the page, choose Translate to English... and voila the entire page is produced in English instantly.

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