For Cinco de Mayo, which conveniently falls on a Monday, I wanted to do something traditional. If you’re a returning reader to Sew You Think You Can Cook you know that almost every Monday I feature a Mexican-inspired recipe for Mexican Mondays. How authentic my recipes are is very debatable, and I don’t pretend that they are. Most of what I make spins from the American version of Mexican cuisine. But for Cinco de Mayo I thought I’d pay tribute to the holiday.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day like most Americans believe. (Fun fact: Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th) Cinco de Mayo is not a national Mexican holiday or even celebrated throughout the country. Oddly enough, the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration occurs in Los Angeles!
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla when the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862. Puebla is considered the melting pot of Mexico – Spanish, French, and the Oriental flavors were given to native Aztec and Mayan foods. While Puebla is known for it’s Mole Poblano I planned to prepare Chiles en Nogada (stuffed chiles in a walnut cream sauce), even it it’s not typically served until the fall when walnuts and pomegranates are in season.
Note I said planned to prepare?
Life got in the way. Weekends were spent out of town and Stuart was on travel (I wasn’t about to spend so much time and effort on a dish just for me). So my Plan B was to create a sweet traditionally found in Puebla – Jamoncillo Pinion. The [translated] recipe looked simple enough. And then I was placed on bed rest. My mom generously offered to give it a shot. Somewhere along the way we failed at candy making. Whether something was lost in the translation or we were simply too impatient I’m not sure. But the candy never set – even after putting it in the freezer overnight. (Before I get in trouble, I am in no way blaming her! I’d be posting the same story if I were the one standing at the stove.)
So now what? I can’t NOT have a post on Cinco de Mayo!
With Cinco de Mayo being widely popular in the states and salsa being the number one condiment in America, why not a simple salsa?
Spicy Blender Salsa
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 small jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 C fresh cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust any seasonings if needed.
*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2012/01/quick-and-easy-blender-salsa/*
Stuart has now put a ban on all grocery store salsas and demands this be made every time instead.