If it’s Cinco de Mayo, the cooking should be Mexican

On May 5, 1862, a small town in east-central Mexico was attacked as part of Napoleon III’s attempt to take over the country. The outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. While not a particularly strategic victory, its symbolism encouraged the Mexican resistance, which, with American aid, finally destroyed the French in 1867.

Today, Cinco de Mayo, a relatively minor day of celebration in Mexico, is embraced in the US as a comprehensive opportunity to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture. For some, that means (usually too much) margarine and Tex-Mex food at the local cantina. For others, it’s a good excuse to entertain and cook up Mexican favorites.

To keep prep quick and simple, bake some Carne Asada, Steak Fajitas or any vegetable you have on hand, seasoned with homemade seasoning Sazon Spice Mix. Set up a taco stand with lots of condiments: Along with shredded lettuce or cabbage and diced onions, offer a variety of salsas like salsa, smoke, and salsa. Salsa de Molcajetefiery, attractive Salsa Macha and vibrant Charred Salsa Verde (all of which are vegan and can be served with a grilled vegetable tacos.) Guacamole is essential, as are fresh cotija cheese crumbs and crema. (If you want to keep it plant-based, try Vegan Queso Fresco and Vegan Chipotle Crema.) For rounding selection, zesty, spicy Jalapenos . pickles and many kinds Verduras Encurtidas Add a bit of heat to help bring out the flavors while adding crunch and colour.

Perhaps you want to try something a little more authentic Mexican for dinner in Cinco de Mayo? If poblano mole (Mexico’s national dish) is a bit laborious, guisado (dish or main course), usually a one-pot meal, has fewer ingredients and takes less time but offers a lot of flavor. Rajas con Crema (Poblano Strips With Cream Sauce) and Tinga de Pollo (Chicken with Chipotle-Tomato Sauce) are two examples. (Rajas are vegetarian if you swap the vegetable stock for chicken broth.) Pozole Verde (Green Pozole) and earth color Frijoles Aztecas (Black Beans With Nopalitos). Serve these dishes with plenty of seasoning to create contrasting textures and complementary flavors.

Five types of chili are fried, soaked overnight, then added to a sauce of roasted and ground tomatoes, some nuts, seeds, bananas, raisins, chocolate and more.

Time4 hours

yieldsServing 10 to 12

Strips of poblano are simmered in broth and Mexican crema. Monterey Jack cheese is stirred until it is melted and creamy. Serve hot with tortillas.

Time40 minutes

yieldsServe 8

These pickled vegetables get a hint of spice from the jalapeños and chiles de arbol.

Time1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight soak

yieldsMake 4 pints

Citrus pepper steak and fries are grilled and served in tortillas with roasted peppers and onions, cotija cheese and pico de gallo.

Time45 minutes plus marinating time

yieldsServes 4 to 6

Tomato sauce adds a smoky intensity to this spicy, chewy salsa in tomato sauce.

Time30 minutes

yieldsBrew 1 1/2 cups

Pozole is the party food, customized with spices. Lime adds zing, dried oregano leaves an intense herbal aroma. Fresh chili spiced it up. Finely chopped laksa leaves to cool.

Time3 hours 10 minutes

yieldsServe 8 to 10

Taqueria-style pickled jalapeños with onions, garlic, and carrots are easy to make at home.

Time30 minutes

yieldsMake 1 pint

The Chilean sauce enhances the flavor of the chicken. The broth is golden in color, greasy, rich and hearty,

Time1 hour 15 minutes

yieldsCreate 12 tostadas

White onions, coriander, serrano peppers and salt are ground into a paste in a biscuit. Then, the avocado and tomato are mixed into a paste.

Time10 minutes

yieldsBrew 2 cups

Salsa macha combines dried chilies and garlic with olive oil, and this 1986 Tacos recipe includes sesame seeds for richness and orange juice for extra brightness.

Time10 minutes

yieldsBrew about 1 cup

A taste of black beans with nopalitos reveals a simple and unusual dish.

Time3 hours 40 minutes

yieldsServes 6 to 8

This version of the sazón from scratch takes a minute to mix together.

Time5 minutes

yieldsMakes about 2 1/2 tablespoons

Vegan chef Jocelyn Ramirez brings more depth to her salsa with the addition of dried shiitake powder. Charging tomatillos and jalapeños add a welcoming smoky smell.

Time30 minutes

yieldsMake about 4 cups.

This tender steak has a deliciously chewy cut of meat underneath the tantalizing crumbs of the charcoal and the juicy luscious juices of the meat.

Time20 minutes

yieldsServer 4

Like the dairy original, this cheese has a crumbly texture, ideal for sprinkling on vegan chilaquiles or any other dish that requires fresco queso.

Time1 hour 30 minutes

yieldsMake about 1 cup

Creamy and complex, this crema gets its richness from the cashew puree and is enhanced by the addition of chipotle in the adobo. Toss this mixture on top of vegan chilaquiles or any other dish.

Time10 minutes

yieldsBrew about 1 cup

https://www.latimes.com/recipe/list/if-its-cinco-de-mayo-the-food-should-be-mexican If it’s Cinco de Mayo, the cooking should be Mexican

Russell Falcon

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