The impact Mexican culture has had on the American culinary experience is undeniable. Tacos, burritos, salsa, tortillas — they’re become mainstays in our diets.
With millennials leading the way, Americans are now more adventurous in their food selections than ever before.
According to market research organization Mintel, 25 percent of those who have developed a taste for an ethnic cuisine, have done so because they live in diverse neighborhoods where the flavors are readily available. Other reasons include inspiration from cookbooks, TV cooking shows and discovering flavors when traveling.
The report also stated that Americans are more comfortable trying new recipes at home than they would be with a chef preparing them in a kitchen.
To celebrate shared culture, country and food with our southern neighbors, here are four simple recipes to help keep your Cinco de Mayo fiesta a tasty, homegrown affair.
- 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes (lightly drained)
- 1 small white onion peeled and quartered
- 2-3 jalapeños (for less heat, remove seeds)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
- 1 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 – 2 handfuls cilantro
- Juice of 1 small lime
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or a Vitamix blender. Pulse a few times to break up the larger pieces. Continue processing/blending until texture is as smooth as desired.
- Taste the salsa adjust as necessary to your personal preference.
- Fill airtight container and let rest in the refrigerator for several hours up to a day for best flavor.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
EASY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- 3-4 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I use cooked rotisserie chicken)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 – 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 large can enchilada sauce (Dos Amantes is my fav)
- 3 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend preferred)
- 8-12 flour tortillas
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large pan over medium heat, heat 2 tsps of olive oil. Simmer the onions and cook until soft. Stir often.
3. Add the chicken to the onions in the frying pan. Stir until combined.
4. Pour about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the chicken and onion mixture — just enough sauce to coat the chicken.
5. Add sour cream and parsley. Stir.
6. Spread just enough sauce in a baking dish to cover the bottom.
7. Fill the tortillas, first with a spoon of sauce spread out, and then some of the chicken mixture.
8. Roll the tortilla and place in dish. Repeat until tortillas fill the dish — or until you run out of the chicken mixture.
9. Pour enchilada sauce over rolls and spread evenly.
10. Top with shredded cheese and chopped parsley. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Tortilla edges should be slightly crisp, cheese melted and sauce slightly bubbly when you take it out.
11. Enjoy! And let me know what personal spin you put on it!
- 1 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cups water, divided evenly in 2
- 2 cups milk (I like 2% for this)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar, to taste
- To a blender, add rice, 2 cups of water, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Blend for 2 minutes or until the rice and cinnamon sticks are ground roughly. Pour in the remaining water and blend again. Leave contents in a pitcher with lid or a sealed container and let rest on your countertop overnight (or for at least 5 hours).
- Pour the rice mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer and into a pitcher. Toss any rice or cinnamon stick solids. Stir in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar (do a taste test before adding the maximum amount of sugar). Chill. Stir well before serving over ice. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Adapted from All Recipes
- 2 cups horchata
- 2 shots vodka
- Sugar cinnamon mixture (for dipping glass rim)
- Put ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.
- Put sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Wet rim of glass and dip into mixture.
- Strain liquid into glass.
- 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed, minced (remove seeds to make less spicy)
- 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 of a fresh lime to squeeze for juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (+ a sprig more for garnish)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- pinch of cumin
Mash avocados, jalapeño, pineapple, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and cumin together with a fork or in a mortar and pestle until well mixed.
Garnish with extra cilantro. Serve immediately with blue corn tortilla chips. Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap so the wrap touches the guac (preserves color and helps from drying out) and refrigerate.