Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: A great excuse for a fiesta!

Yeah… yeah, Cinco de Mayo isn’t really a huge Mexican holiday, unless you live in Puebla. That isn’t to say that we can’t have fun and enjoy a day designated to celebrate our wonderful culture. So, let’s all drink margaritas, eat tacos, dance some zapateados and not remember any of it the next day.

Here are a few tips and some easy recipes for your fiestas!


  • Sautee diced onions, diced tomatoes, and diced jalapeños. Then, add your favorite meat (eggs or potatoes for vegetarian yumminess) for a quick “a la Mexicana” dish. 
  • If you’re going to use canned refried beans, make them even better by sautéing some fresh diced jalapeños in a tablespoon of oil and then add the beans. Sautee for a few minutes, until the peppers are evenly distributed.


Add some spice to your plain ol’ beer by adding a few ingredients.


Ice cold beer
1/2 tbs ground piquin pepper (substitute cayenne, but use less)
1 tbs Kosher salt (to coat rim of glass)
1 lime slice
Juice of 1.5 limes
2 dashes of “Maggi” seasoning sauce (substitute soy sauce)
2 dashes of Worschestire sauce
2 tsps hot sauce (I prefer Valentina brand)
Salt and pepper


Coat the rim of a glass with the slice of lime. Make a salt and piquin pepper mixture and place on a plate. Dip the rim of the glass into the mixture.

Add all of the ingredients except the beer to the glass. Slowly pour in the beer. Stir.


Nacho Sauce
Don’t use that weird cheese sauce for nachos, make your own. It’s worth it!


2 tbs unsalted butter
3 cups of milk
½ medium onion
4 garlic cloves (smashed)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper


Put the milk into a saucepan and add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and cumin. Warm over medium low heat until the milk starts to steam, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the flavors infuse while you make a roux. In a large pot, over medium heat, add 2 tbs of butter and the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes; don’t let the roux color. Strain the infused mil into the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the sauce is thick (coats the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat and add the cheese, chipotle, and cayenne; stir until it is melted and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Alternately, you can add ¼ cup diced pickled jalapeños or cooked chorizo after you add the cheese.

And for that sweet tooth...



1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tbs ground cinnamon
3/4 stick of margarine
1 cup water
1 tsp sal
1 cup granulated sugar
Canola or vegetable oil (for frying)


Boil water in a saucepan. Add the butter and salt and cook until butter melts. Add the flour and remove from heat. Mix the ingredients with a fork or whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing.

Add the batter to a large pastry bag with a large star tip. In a medium skillet, heat about an inch-deep of oil over medium-high heat (350 degrees F). Squeeze out 4" long strips of the dough into the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a plate. While the churros are still hot, roll them in the mixture.

Eat them as is or add some ice cream for a la mode!