Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Break out the mariachi band and tequila because I am ready to indulge in all things Mexican. Before we dive into today’s eats and beats, I thought I would provide a little history lesson behind this festive holiday. Contrary to popular belief, it is not Mexico's Independence Day. That is on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on the fifth of May in 1862. Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated predominantly in the state of Puebla and has become increasingly popular in US cities where there is a large population of people with Mexican heritage, or for people like myself who just love to eat Mexican food, listen to great music, drink and be merry.

After living in Chicago for four years, the Cinco de Mayo celebrations here in Memphis are not as large, but that won’t stop this girl from doing it right. Today I’m making a large batch of sangria, compliments of my best friend Cristina’s Mexican family recipe. Hands down this sangria is a crowd pleaser and your friends will be shocked to find out how easy it is to make. That is if you chose to share your secret with them. We’re also stirring up some cubitas; and to top off our fajita feast, I have a salsa recipe that is so fresh and packed with flavor.

Sangria:
1 box of Franzia Merlot
2 oranges, chopped
1 can of pineapple tidbits
2 apples, chopped
1 can of limeade
In a large pitcher, pour the can of limeade in the bottom. Add as much fruit (apples, oranges and pineapple) to your liking into the pitcher. Using the empty limeade can, alternate one can of water for every two cans of Merlot, and pour into the pitcher until it's almost full. Chill in the refrigerator and serve.

Cubitas:
Mix brandy and coke or diet coke over ice and top off with a garnish of lime.

Salsa:
5 tomatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
Juice of one lime, freshly squeezed
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 large red onion, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
Cilantro, pull and handful and chop
Add salt to taste
Add onion, jalapeno and cilantro in the food processor. Squeeze juice from one lime into the mix. Blend for about 5-10 seconds, until you have a smooth texture. Remove ingredients from the food processor and place in a side bowl. Put tomatoes in the food processor and blend for 5-10 seconds, so there's still some small chunks of tomato in there. Add part of the onion mixture back into food processor with tomatoes, so that there's three parts tomato to one part onion mixture. You probably will not add the entire onion mixture back into the food processor. Stir. Add salt to taste.
Note: with this recipe it is best to taste the salsa as you go along. This way you can gauge how much or how little of a particular ingredient you want to taste.

I would love to show you every song on my Cinco de Mayo playlist, but to give you a little taste of these beats I’m featuring three songs today! They go from slow to fast, depending on how much you want to shake it.

First is Luis Miguel’s “La Bikina”. Luis is one of the most famous singers from Latin America. He has won four Latin Grammy Awards and five Grammy Awards. Fun fact: when growing up, Luis’ father used to make him watch and analyze nearly every Elvis Presley performance, movie and concert. My favorite part of this video is at 1:32.



But for the salsa clubbing/fist pumping/dance party version of Cinco de Mayo, I’ve got to give this one to the former Menudo star, Ricky Martin. He's Puerto Rican, so it really has nothing to do with Mexico. But if you can listen to this song and not want to move your hips, I’d like to know who you are. Although I might say it’s because you have no rhythm. Ha! Just kidding…maybe. This song inevitably makes me move my bon-bon, even if I’m in my chair at work…just little wiggles. It’s a good thing no one sits across from me.



And just because I like this song.



On Thursday I'll post photos from our Mexican feast and share with you what I'm making for my mama's birthday!

Iwepa!
Julia

1 comment:

Brett & Kelly Aldridge said...

Julia! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! I'm excited to read abput all of your wonderful dishes and I LOVE the spin you are taking with it!