Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. The day is observed in the US primarily as a celebration of Mexican heritage. And although I do technically have some Mexican heritage (my great great grandfather lived in the Mormon colony at Colonia Juarez, and even shoed Pancho Villa's horse. . . at gunpoint. . . ) I'm observing Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of breaking the boring food routine and having a fiesta dinner!
Any holiday, no matter how personally unrelated to our family it is , is a welcome celebration if I can figure out how to plan a fun dinner (or sometimes just dessert) around it!
I'm planning our dinner menu, so I thought I would share it here, I'll add pictures after I make it tomorrow. We'll be having chips and salsa, just from a jar. Jeremy chose tostadas for our entree, just your basic crispy corn tortilla, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and salsa on top. Also we'll have my favorite side dish for Mexican food, Tomalito. It's a copycat recipe from Chevy's for a kind of cornbread pudding, that basically tastes like cornbread with honey already drizzled on top--delicious! And finally to drink I'll be making Horchata, the sweetened rice milk drink. I didn't plan dessert, specifically. You could do a flan, or homemade churros-I do have a recipe, but I don't think I'll be up for it tomorrow.
Here are the recipes for the Tomalito and Horchata:
Sweet Corn Tomalito
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cp Masa Harina (Corn flour in Mexican food section)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed and divided
½ cup corn meal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp milk
Preheat oven to 250*
In a small mixing bowl, mix the butter, masa, and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
In a blender or food processor, blend half the corn kernels with the water and the corn meal until smooth. Combine this mixture with the butter mixture, stirring well. Add the remaining corn kernels, baking powder, salt and milk and mix well.
Pour the mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish. Tightly cover with foil and place in a 9x13 baking pan. Pour water in the 9x13 to come ¾ inch up the side of the 8-inch pan.
Place in the oven to steam for 50-60 minutes or until the mixture is set. A knife should come out clean.
Stir pudding to give it a consistent texture and scoop warm portions onto plates. Makes 6 servings.
1 1/2 cups rice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 can (14 oz) La Lechera (from Mexican section)
or sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Put rice and 1 ½ cups water in a blender. Blend about 1 min to break up the rice. Poor into a bowl, add cinnamon sticks and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for an hour.
Return rice and water to blender, add La Lechera and 2 more cups water and blend until smooth. Strain into a pitcher with a fine mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard rice. Add vanilla and 1 quart (4 cups) water to fill pitcher.
Serve immediately over ice, or refrigerate up to 2 days and stir before serving over ice.