Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco De Mayo

Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo. Ole'!!!!!

Cinco de Mayo means “the fifth of May.” Many people believe it is Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is incorrect. (Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16.) Rather, Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a battle that took place between the Mexicans and the French in 1862.

In the United States it is becoming a popular holiday to celebrate Mexican culture. Kids and families can try delicious Mexican food, listen and dance to Mexican music, make and admire Mexican art, and shop for fun souvenirs and products at markets called “Mercado.”

The largest Cinco de Mayo event in the world is held in Los Angeles, California, where more than 600,000 people celebrate with music and food. The whole event is called Festival de Fiesta Broadway. Two other big festival are held far from Mexico, in Denver, Colorado, and St Paul’s, Minnesota, but they draw hundreds of thousands of participants.

The Cinco de Mayo festival in Chandler, Arizona, is known for its Chihuahuas! There are Chihuahua parade, races and pageants. At the end, a King and Queen of the Chihuahuas are crowned.

I found some recipes that look really good and fairly easy to make. I think this will be on my dinner table tomorrow night!

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
Flour tortillas, corn tortillas, and/or wheat tortillas*
Nonstick cooking spray (I like to use the olive oil spray)
Seasoning of your choice (optional)**

** Salt, seasoning salt, garlic salt, paprika, chili powder, or cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay the tortillas out on a cutting board, spray with the nonstick olive oil spray on both sides. If using a seasoning, sprinkle on both sides now.

Stack the tortillas in piles of eight (8) tortillas. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut through the pile of tortillas, cutting into 4 equal triangles.

Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake for approximately 6 to 7 minutes until crisp and the edges start to curl and turn lightly brown. Watch the chips carefully after 5 minutes, as they can burn easily. Once the chips are done, remove from the oven to cool. Chips will continue to crisp as they cool.

Citrus-Marinated Shrimp
1/2 cup(s) fresh orange juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, stems discarded, seeded and thinly sliced, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can
2 tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
1 1/2 pound(s) shelled and deveined large shrimp
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large sweet onion, cut crosswise into 3 thick slabs
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large navel oranges, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoon(s) chopped cilantro


1.In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice with the garlic, adobo sauce and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper; let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

2.Preheat a grill pan. Thread the onion slices on skewers to hold them together. Brush the onions with some of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the slices over high heat, turning once, until softened and charred, about 3 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop the onions and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the sliced oranges, chipotles, cilantro and the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

3.Drain and thread the shrimp onto 6 metal skewers. Brush lightly with the remaining olive oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Serve the shrimp with the onion and orange salad.

Easy Fiesta Beans
1 can(s) fat-free refried beans, preferably spicy
1 can(s) no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 cup(s) prepared salsa
2/3 cup(s) grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
4 scallions, sliced

1.Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
2.Combine refried beans, pinto beans, salsa and 1/3 cup cheese in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is hot and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes.
3.Spoon the bean mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese and scallions. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Mexican Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Crêpe Torte

2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoon(s) melted butter, plus more for brushing
1 cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
10 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cup(s) dulce de leche (see Note)
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting


1.In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the granulated sugar and salt. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, 6 whole eggs and the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and let stand for 30 minutes.

2.Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet and lightly brush with melted butter. Pour 1/3 cup of the crêpe batter into the skillet and immediately swirl until it reaches halfway up the side. Pour any excess batter back into the bowl. Cook the crêpe over moderate heat until golden at the edge and set in the center, about 1 minute. Flip the crêpe and cook for about 15 seconds longer, or just until the bottom is browned in spots. Transfer the crêpe to a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the skillet with butter only as needed.

3.In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of the cream to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and cinnamon. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 2 of the egg yolks. In a medium bowl, whisk the dulce de leche with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 2 egg yolks.

4.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Fit a crêpe in the bottom of the pan, pressing to flatten it. Halve 2 crêpes and line the sides of the pan with them, placing the cut sides down and slightly overlapping the bottom crêpe; the rounded part of the halved crêpes will hang over the edge of the pan a bit.

5.Spoon a slightly heaping 1/2 cup of the chocolate filling into the pan and spread to the edge of the crêpe. Top with another crêpe, pressing to flatten it. Spoon a slightly heaping 1/2 cup of the dulce de leche filling on top, spread it to the edge and top with a crêpe. Repeat this layering with the remainder of the fillings and 4 more crêpes, ending with a crêpe. Any leftover crêpes can be frozen between sheets of wax paper for later use. Fold the overhanging crêpes over the top. Press a round of buttered parchment paper directly onto the torte and cover the pan with foil.

6.Bake the torte for 1 hour, or until puffed. Remove the foil and let cool for 1 hour. Remove the parchment and run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert a plate over the pan and then invert the torte onto the plate. Remove the pan and parchment paper and let cool completely. Sift confectioner's sugar over the torte just before serving.

7.Make Ahead: The baked torte can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat slightly in a 350°F oven.

8.Notes: Dulce de leche is a caramel-like boiled sweetened milk. Smuckers is a good supermarket brand. Turning crêpes with a spatula often causes them to break. The easiest way to flip them is with your fingers. Use a spatula or a table knife to lift up the edge, then gently pick up the crêpe and flip it over.

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