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    Happy Cinco de Mayo

    Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:08 am
    Forum Host

    Cinco de Mayo is translated in English as the fifth of May. What, where and why is this day celebrated?

    First off, this day of celebration is often confused with Mexico's day of independence which is celebrated in September. The day of celebration is observed in parts of the United States and regionally in Mexico.

    In Mexico the day is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla where it is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla or English translation The Day of the Battle of Puebla. Puebla is in East-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the north and east, Hidalgo, México, Tlaxcala and Morelos to the west, Guerrero and Oaxaca to the south. The city of Puebla was founded by the Spanish in 1531 to secure the trade route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz.

    The roots of Cinco de Mayo go back to the French occupation of Mexico. This occurred as a result of 3 wars mid to late 1800's that left the treasury of Mexico nearly bankrupt. In July of 1861 Mexican President, Benito Juárez, issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response France, Britain and Spain sent naval ships as debt collectors.

    Britain and Spain negotiated with the Mexican government and withdrew. France saw the opportunity as a means to expand the French Empire. Late in 1861 the French well-equipped army stormed Veracruz driving the Mexican president and government into retreat. As the French army moved on from Veracruz to Mexico City it was met with great resistance from the much smaller Mexican army. On May 5, 1862 the Mexican army under the direction of General Ignacio Seguin defeated the French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

    The battle was very significant in that the 8,000 strong, well equipped French army had not been defeated in more than 50 years when it fell to the lesser equipped Mexican army of 4,000. Secondly, since the Battle of Puebla, no country in the Americas has subsequently been invaded by any other European military force.

    During the late 1800's Cinco de Mayo became a day of celebration in the Mexican-American communities of the Southwest and Northwest. It has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.

    Foods common to the state of Puebla include atole with chili pepper (chileatole), spicy mole verde, barbacoa, chilate with chopped onion, cemitas, cecina, guaxmole with lime, and mole de caderas or mole espinazo with some of the best known food for the region being cemitas, mole poblano, chiles en nogada and chalupas. Here are some offerings from

    Cemita Roll by threeovens

    Mole Poblano Chicken by Auntie Mags

    Chicken Chalupas by Vicki in CT

    Barbacoa by babygirl65

    How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
    Fri May 03, 2013 8:38 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi Paula, great thread!

    We are cheating this year and going to Cesar Chavez Park. There will be a farmers market along with a Mariachi band and lots of great street food venders.
    Sat May 04, 2013 9:58 am
    Forum Host
    There are celebrations downtown Chattanooga but it is raining! It is suppose to rain all weekend. I think we will stay in. I found Quick Chicken Mole that sounds like it would be a great after church meal.
    PaulO in MA
    Sun May 05, 2013 3:32 pm Groupie
    It's also my wife's birthday.

    Made creamy chicken enchiladas and skillet red rice last year.

    Pictures here: . Scroll up for the recipes.

    Making Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado) and Baked Green Rice (Arroz Verde) this year.
    Sun May 05, 2013 4:33 pm
    Forum Host
    Happy Birthday to your DW!

    Those creamy chicken enchiladas combined with your DW’s b-day and Cinco de Mayo sounds like the makings for quite a fiesta.
    Sun May 05, 2013 5:20 pm
    Forum Host
    Hope your wife is having a wonderful birthday. I loved the photos from last year. Your dinner plans sound wonderful.

    I made Quick Chicken Mole by cookiedog. It was adapted for the crockpot. I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts that started out frozen. poured the mole over and allowed to cook for a couple of hours until done. There was lots more mole than I needed for the 4 chicken breasts. The remainder of the sauce was frozen and will be used later. The chicken was served on top of Alton Brown's Baked Brown Rice with a vinegar slaw. A wonderful dinner.

    The other 2 chicken breasts were shredded and allowed to soak up to sauce. We will be having burritos later.

    Hope you are taking photos of your dinner this year. Would love to see them.
    PaulO in MA
    Sun May 05, 2013 5:27 pm Groupie
    Here are the recipes for this year.

    Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado)

    Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook. By the Editors of Consumer Guide. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1990. Spiral bound hardcover.

    ½ cup (125 mL) blanched almonds
    3 whole chicken breasts ( 1 pound or 450 g each), split, boned, skinned
    2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 mL) vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter or margarine
    ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped white onion
    1 fresh Anaheim or poblano chili, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined (see page 5), finely chopped
    1 small tomato, seeded, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    ½ cup chicken stock or broth
    ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt
    ½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
    Tomato wedge
    Fresh coriander sprig

    1, Process almonds, about ¼ at a time, with on/off pulses in electric spice grinder to fine powder.

    2. Dip chicken in almonds on small plate to coat all sides; reserve remaining almonds.

    3. Heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil and the butter in deep 10-inch ( 25-cm) skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add as many breasts as will fit in a single layer without crowding. Cook until chicken is light brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing heat if almonds get too dark; remove to plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil, if needed.

    4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil and the onion to skillet; sauté over medium heat until soft, anout 3 minutes. Add chili, chopped tomato, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add stock, salt, and reserved almonds; heat over high heat to boiling.

    5. Add chicken to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken to serving dish; keep warm, covered.

    6. Add cream to cooking liquid; heat over medium-high heat to boiling. Cook and stir until sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes; pour over chicken. Garnish with tomato wedge and coriander.

    Makes 6 servings.

    Baked Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

    Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook. By the Editors of Consumer Guide. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1990. Spiral bound hardcover.

    2 tablespoons (30 mL) lard or vegetable oil
    1 cup (250 mL) raw long-grain white rice (not converted)
    ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped white onion
    2 fresh poblano or Anaheim chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined (see page 5), chopped
    6 thin green onions, thinly sliced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt
    ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground cumin
    1 ¾ cups (430 mL) chicken stock or broth
    1 ½ cups (375 mL) shredded queso Chihuahua
    1/3 cup (80 mL) coarsely chopped fresh coriander
    Fresh coriander sprig

    1, Heat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). Heat lard in 10-inch (25-cm) skillet over medium heat until hot. Add rice; cook, stirring constantly, until rice turns opaque white, about 2 minutes.

    2. Quickly add white onion; sauté over medium heat 1 minute. Add chilies, green onion, garlic, salt, and cumin; sauté 20 seconds.

    3. Add stock; mix well. Heat over high heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until rice is almost tender; about 15 minutes.*

    4. Remove skillet from heat. Add 1 cup (250 mL) cheese and the chopped coriander; toss lightly to mix. Transfer to greased 1 ½ quart (1.5-L) baking dish; top with remaining cheese.

    1. Bake, uncovered, until rice is tender and cheese topping is melted, about 15 minutes. Garnish with coriander sprig.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    * For plain green rice, complete recipe from this point as follows: Continue cooking rice in skillet until tender 2 to 4 minutes longer. Stir in chopped coriander just before serving; omit cheese.
    Sun May 05, 2013 5:31 pm
    Forum Host
    Yum!!!! They both sound delicious!
    Sun May 05, 2013 6:32 pm
    Forum Host
    Both of those sound so delicious! If they are not in the database I would encourage you to post them.
    PaulO in MA
    Mon May 06, 2013 8:29 am Groupie
    Very easy to make and very, very good.

    Used a 12-inch sautier, rather than a 10-inch skillet the recipe calls for.

    The final simmer to cook the chicken.

    Cinco de mayo and wife's birthday dinner. icon_smile.gif

    Leftovers for a couple of more nights this week.

    Mon May 06, 2013 10:09 am
    Forum Host
    That looks like a very yummy meal. Your wife is one lucky lady. Wish her well for me.
    Mon May 06, 2013 7:59 pm
    Forum Host
    Now that is what I call one festive dinner!
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