Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Tasty Mexican Recipes!







Today, Cinco de Mayo is primarily a celebration of the heritage and culture of Mexican-Americans. But like St. Patrick’s Day, it encompasses all people in its fun and pageantry. Interestingly enough, Cinco De Mayo actually enjoys larger popularity in America than it does in Mexico. A paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture states that the celebration can actually trace its roots to the 1860s where peoples of Mexican descent began observing this great victory over France in support of their countrymen.

But whatever its origins and heritage, there’s no denying that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration filled with dancing, food and fun. So no matter what your heritage, why not celebrate this year with a feast for your taste buds? Start the party with an authentic Guacamole”>http://www.recipe4living.com/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?id=26440″>Guacamole with Roasted Garlic by Wolfgang Puck. In his introduction, Wolfgang says that to this day, he still loves good, freshly made guacamole. “Of course, I’ve come up with my own version, adding roasted garlic for another rich dimension. And I plan to eat some this coming May 5, the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo. Start with flavorful Haas (sometimes spelled Hass) avocados, recognized by their relatively small size, tapered neck and dark pebbly skin. If you plan to use them the same day, look for perfectly ripe specimens that yield just slightly to thumb pressure, neither rock-hard nor mushy and overripe.”

Ingredients

ROASTED GARLIC

1 whole head garlic

1 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

GUACAMOLE

3 medium, fully ripe avocados

1/8 C. freshly squeezed lime juice

1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro

1 to 2 Tbs. Roasted Garlic

1 medium shallot, minced

2 small jalapenos, halved, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1 tsp. salt

Directions

First, prepare the Roasted Garlic. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the garlic head on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and rub the garlic all over with the olive oil. Wrap the garlic securely inside the foil, place the packet in the oven and roast until the garlic feels very tender when you squeeze the packet carefully with an oven mitt or heatproof pad, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the packet from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Unwrap the garlic. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut the head in half crosswise. Squeeze out the softened garlic pulp into a small glass bowl, or scoop it out with a tiny tsp. or small knife. You’ll have 2 to 4 Tbs., depending on the size of the garlic head. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Make the Guacamole shortly before you plan to serve it. With a sharp knife, cut one avocado lengthwise in half, and twist the halves to separate them. With a Tbs., scoop out the pit and discard it. Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. Repeat with remaining avocados. Pour the lime juice over the avocado flesh. Using a fork or a potato masher, lightly mash the avocado until it is still slightly chunky. Stir in the cilantro, garlic, shallot, jalapeno and salt. Serve immediately with corn tortilla chips. 

Makes about 2 C., serves 4 to 6.

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Once you’ve gotten the party started, it’s time to bring on the main course. And what better food to serve than Chicken”>http://www.recipe4living.com/Recipe/31946-ChickenQuesadillaswithGrilledPearSalsa.aspx”>Chicken Quesadillas with Grilled Pear Salsa. The sophisticated fruit salsa adds an elegant flair to this easy to make dish.

Ingredients

Grilled pear salsa:

1 large pear, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices

1 Tbs. canola oil

1/4 C. small diced red onions

1 tsp. chopped garlic

1 small jalapeno, diced

1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano

1 Tbs. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quesadilla:

1 1/2 C. shredded cooked chicken meat

1/4 C. sliced scallions

3/4 C. shredded Gruyere

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 6-inch flour tortillas

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1/4 C. crème Fraiche

Directions

To make the salsa, toss the pears with the canola oil. Place the pears on a hot grill or grill pan. Grill for 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and cool. Core and chop grilled pears into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Add red onions, garlic, jalapeno, oregano, and lemon juice. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

To make the quesadillas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the shredded chicken, green onions, and Gruyere together. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until cheese is melted.

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And with all these spicy foods you’ll want to serve a whole host of refreshing drinks. One of our favorites is Frozen”>http://www.recipe4living.com/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?id=61502″>Frozen Margaritas. Should be made a day in advance and can be kept in the freezer through the summer (if it lasts that long).

Ingredients

1 lg. can sweetened pineapple juice

2 lg. cans frozen limeade

2 lg. cans water

2 lg. can tequila

Directions

Mix well and freeze. To serve, rub lime on glass, dip in salt and serve drink. Can also blend a package of frozen sweetened strawberries with margarita mix to taste for a strawberry margarita.

Serving Size

12 large glasses

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And finally it’s time for dessert. While candy from the Piñata may work for the kids, adults prefer a more complex sweet. Chocolate was first discovered in Central and South America and is an integral part of any Mexican feast. One of our favorites is Chocolate”>http://www.recipe4living.com/Recipe/55050-ChocolateKahluaCheesecake.aspx”>Chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake. It combines the two traditional flavors of Mexico in one great cheesecake. This is a very rich, chocolate lover’s delight–a chocolate and coffee liquor flavored cheesecake that is sure to please dinner guests! This recipe makes enough for 16-20 good-sized slices.

Ingredients

Chocolate crust:

1 1/2 C. chocolate graham, crackers, crumbled*

1/4 C. butter, melted

2 Tbs. sugar

Cheesecake:

1 8-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate baking squares, divided

1 C. whipping cream

1/4 C. and 2 Tbs. Kahlua, divided

3 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 C. sugar

1/3 C. cocoa

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbs. powdered sugar

Directions

Chocolate crust preparations: Mix crumbled chocolate graham crackers, melted butter and sugar. Press onto bottom and part way up sides of spring form pan. Freeze for 5 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cheesecake preparations: In microwave-safe bowl, place 3/4 cup chocolate chunks. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until chunks are melted; stir. Add 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup Kahlua; stir until blended. In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add cocoa; beat until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla and reserved chocolate mixture. Pour over prepared chocolate crust.

Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then decrease to 275 degrees and bake for 50 minutes.

Remove from oven to cool. In microwave-safe bowl, place remaining chocolate chunks. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until chunks are melted; stir. Stir in 1/4 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons Kahlua; blend well. Spread on top of cake.

Refrigerate for 6 hours. At serving time, beat remaining whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff; garnish cake with small rosettes of whipped cream. You can also decorate with chocolate curls or chocolate espresso beans, if desired. Refrigerate leftover cake.

Serving Size

16-20

Preparation Time

45  minutes

Cooking Time

1 hour

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Finally if you still have room you’ll want to finish off your feast with a traditional Mexican”>http://www.recipe4living.com/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?id=46006″>Mexican Coffee. Find out what it is about Mexican coffee that makes it so delicious.

Ingredients

3/4 C. ground dark roast coffee (regular or decaffeinated)

2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

6 C. water

1 C. milk

1/3 C. chocolate syrup

2 Tbs. light brown sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

whipped cream

additional ground cinnamon

Directions

Place coffee and cinnamon in the filter basket of coffeemaker. Add water to coffeemaker and brew as directed. In a saucepan, blend milk, chocolate syrup and sugar. Stir over low heat, until sugar dissolves. Combine milk mixture and brewed coffee. Stir in vanilla. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Makes 6 C.

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Start the decorating and break out your most festive clothes, Cinco De Mayo is a time to celebrate familyFree Reprint Articles, fun and food. And you don’t have to be Mexican-American to enjoy it. Have a tasty week.