Look at me finally getting ahead so you can try these recipes on the holiday itself! Trying to get better and better each week people, bare with me! For the celebration of Cinco de Mayo we will share a few recipes that I have picked up along the way, that will be sure to impress your guests. Tacos are great party food because it gives your guest the opportunity to enjoy them how they like, they get to be the chef building the masterpiece. This week we are going to make Chile Verde Pork Tacos that you will set and forget in a crockpot for 6 hours, and Spanish rice that can be mixed together and made in a rice maker, as elk as an array of toppings for a little variety. This is a shout to my friend Drew that wanted more one pot meals for the busy adult with limited cooking time. So Drew this one is for you!
This Friday is Cinco de Mayo, another holiday where American’s go a little overboard on the drinking. A day that is mistaken for the Mexican Independence (actually September 16), it is not as big of a holiday in Mexico as it is in the US. Cinco de Mayo is actually the celebration of Mexican army’s 1862 victory over advancing France, led by Emperor Napoleon III, at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. It symbolized the unity and pride in what was considered and Mexican David vs. the French Goliath.
In Mexico they celebrate the holiday with military parades and reenactments of the battle in the city of Puebla. Since it is not a federal holiday, it is basically just another day to most Mexicans. For Americans on the other hand, it is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture, especially in areas with a large Mexican influence. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated here with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods. The largest celebrations are in Los Angeles, Houston and surprisingly Chicago.
It’s popularity started during the 1940’s for the Americans during the Chicano movement. From there like any other drinking holiday it became exploited and commercialized. In the U.S. Cinco de Mayo ranks fourth on the Times list of “Top 10 Drunkest Holidays.” Right behind understandably #1 New Years Eve and #2 St. Patricks Day, but somehow fell behind #3 Thanksgiving Eve….. was I the only one that didn’t realize that was a holiday, and also one where Americans drank heavily? On Cinco de Mayo Tequila, Mexican beer and margarita sales go through the roof, as well as the sombreros that only make it out of the closet once a year.
For the preparation of this meal the good thing is that a lot of it can be done ahead. The pork is slow cooked in a slow cooker, braising like we would in the oven of a professional kitchen for hours. The ingredients for the rice can all be mixed together and then cooked in a rice maker, which usually takes 30-40 minutes. The pickled red onions can be done the day or more before. All that i recommend is you dress the slaw before you serve so that there is still some crunch in the cabbage and make the crema right before so it doesn’t turn brown.
Well grab a cerveza and get together with some close friends or family and enjoy so tacos and rice this Cinco de Mayo. I hope you all enjoy this as much as we do, drink responsibly this holiday and remember to always #stayhungry! Buen Provecho!
Shredded Chile Verde Pork
Place pork butt, tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cover the pot and cook on either high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.
When done, shred the pork with two forks. Squeeze the lime over the pork and mix all together with the remaining juice to fully incorporate them.
Pickled Red Onions
Slice the onions thin with either a sharp knife or a mandoline. Cut the garlic cloves in half, set aside in container.
Heat the mixture of vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pickling seasoning. Bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the onions and place it in the refrigerator to chill and marinade. Let it sit for at least and hour.
Thinly slice the cabbage into shreds with a knife. Rough chop the cilantro.
In a bowl mix together the cabbage, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a blender, blend together sour cream, avocado, lime juice and water until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with Tortillas, Lime Wedges, crumbled queso
Mix together rice, chicken stock, tomatoes, cilantro, peas and carrots, and spices in the rice maker, cook rice on the proper rice setting on your machine.
You can also take the leftovers and make a great taco bowl