Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. What holiday? … you may say. Cinco De Mayo! There’s just not much better than a day celebrating freshly made margaritas, chips & salsa, guacamole, and my favorite … sopapillas! So let’s celebrate … why not?!!!
Many people mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexican Independence Day. However, that event is September 16 (another good date to mark on your calendar to enjoy margaritas!) Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). It’s a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. But in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.
To help you enjoy the holiday as much as I plan to, here are some of my favorite mexican recipes. All these are also frequently enjoyed at our tailgating events!
LA LINDA’S SALSA
My simple, quick, fresh tasting salsa.
- 3 large fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1/3 bunch of cilantro
- a few pickled jalapeño slices
- 1/2 cup Pace Restaurant Style Salsa (or your favorite store bought salsa)
- Wash tomatoes and cilantro.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters.
- Place tomatoes, cilantro, & jalapeno in food processor and pulse a few times until chopped.
- Put into a container and stir in your favorite “store bought” salsa.
- Cover and refrigerate while flavors mix.
- Stir, serve & enjoy with tortilla chips.
- This makes approximately 1 pint of salsa.
- Adding a small ½ cup of “store bought” salsa simply provides some “seasoning” and is my secret ingredient.
- I do not add onions to my salsa. Onions will take over the flavor after Day 1. This salsa tastes just as good or better on Day 2!
The more often I eat this, the more it becomes a craving favorite. Great flavor in this guacamole. Ole!
- 2 Haas ripe avocados, halved & seeded
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Roma fresh ripe tomato, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Scoop the flesh from the ripe avocados into a molcajete, or bowl.
- Coarsely mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt.
- Add cumin and cayenne. Mix.
- Add tomato, red onion, cilantro & garlic.
- Mix until well combined.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
- Haas avocados are the ones with the dark, pebbly skins from California. The smooth green rinds are Florida avocados. California Haas avocados are richer, creamier, and tend to make better guacamole.
- Remember that because of the variability in size and freshness of the ingredients … this should be done to taste. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
- If you need to store, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate.
When I was a kid growing up in Louisiana, my family went every few months to Pancho’s Mexican Buffet restaurant in Bossier City for Sunday dinner. We went not so much for the “just ok” tacos, but for the yummy & warm sapodillas for dessert. Below is a copycat recipe.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- milk (about 1 1/4 cups)
- crisco for frying
- powdered sugar, cinnamon, & honey
- Sift flour, measure, and sift again with the salt, baking powder, and sugar.
- Cut in the shortening, then add milk to make a soft dough just firm enough to roll.
- Cover bowl and let dough stand for approximately 60 minutes.
- Roll 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board and cut in diamond or rectangular-shaped pieces.
- Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan to about 375 degrees. (or use your deep fryer)
- Add a few pieces at a time. Turn at once so they will puff evenly, then turn back to brown both sides.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and a little cinnamon.
- Serve with honey.
- This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen.
- Be sure your oil is at 375 degrees to ensure sopapillas puff up.
- This is a quick and easy recipe made with baking powder. I also enjoy sopapillas made with yeast … but they then become French Market beignets from New Orleans (an all-time favorite recipe I’ll be sure to share soon!)
And finally for the very best margarita … check out The Best Margarita recipe, previously posted here on TigerTailgate.
Happy Cinco De Mayo!
Health and love and time to enjoy! ¡Salud!