Cinco de Mayo

5/4/2015 - 7:42:50 AM
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Happy May!

We often think of Cinco de Mayo as being Mexico’s celebration of independence, but this holiday is actually about something completely different, the celebration of an unlikely victory of the Mexican troops over the French May 5th, 1862. Mexico’s actual independance day is celebrated on September 16th, while Cinco de Mayo is actually about what Time magazine said is a victory that symbolized unity and pride for what seemed like a “Mexican David defeating a French Goliath.” For the Mexicans it gave them a much needed sense of national unity and patriotism and today really symbolizes their resilience and ethnicity. For us in the U.S and Canada it is our chance to celebrate everything we love about Mexican food. The Mexican cuisine is very warm and comforting and in fact ranks in the top 25 comfort foods in the U.S. Most everyone loves a good Mexican inspired meal, enough so that we have evolved it into its own unique genre with Cali-Mex, Tex-Mex and of course, Taco Bell. Lately Qdoba has also inched itself in as well as Chipotle, Moe’s southwest grill, and chains like Hacienda. We love it.It also happens to be some of the easiest food to cook. Mexican cuisine relies heavily on corn, beans, rice, fruit, vegetables, some meats and queso. In Pennsylvania, and other states, we tend to cook it a little richer so we often add lots more cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, plus more meat. There’s hardly anything to go wrong in a taco meal, enchiladas or something like rice and beans so we often turn to this types of recipes for a filler meal. This kind of food is especially easy to throw in the crock pot or oven and doesn’t get ruined easily by slow cooking methods, so it’s also good for those days when you don’t have much time, or want something to be ready when you get home.

Kauffman’s Cinco de Mayo

We had to chip in (pun intended) and come up with some of our own recipes in celebration of foods we all love, and while we were at it threw in a little bit of a twist with stuffed peppers and the chimichangas.

Mini Taco-Stuffed Peppers

Note: In the test kitchen we cut this recipe to about half because we didn’t want to end up eating that many. This recipe (below) will make around 32 servings.

Tacos

  • 1 # ground beef
  • 1 pckg (1 oz) Taco Seasoning Mix
  • ¾ c. water
  • 1.5 # mini bell peppers
  • 1 c cheese
  • ½ c. chopped onion (optional)

Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • ½ c. sour cream
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP. lime juice



Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Slice approx. ? of pepper off lengthwise keeping it for later use. Seed the peppers. Peppers often have one side straighter than the other, so when slicing the top try to slice off the curvier side so the flat side remaining is the side you stuff.
  • Chop the reserved peppers (? top slice) finely and set aside ¾ c.

 

  • In a skillet cook beef and reserved chopped peppers over medium heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Stir in the taco seasoning and water and cook for another 5-10 minutes stirring only now and then. Let the mixture cool a bit.
  • Fill each pepper as full as possible with the beef mixture and put on baking sheet, bake for 13-15 minutes
  • While peppers bake make cilantro cream sauce
  • Process or blend sour cream, cilantro, garlic and lime juice until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Remove peppers from oven, top with cheese and put back into the oven for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top or drizzle with a dollop of cilantro cream sauce.


These stuffed taco peppers can be made a day ahead and popped into the oven to bake for when they are needed.

Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas



Serves 6

Ingredients for Chimichangas

  • 6 (8-inch) soft flour tortillas
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ c sliced strawberries
  • vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for Coating

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • ? c sugar

Ingredients for Serving

  • 1 c sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, 1 TBSP sugar and vanilla.
  2. Fold in ¾ c of sliced strawberries
  3. Divide the mixture up between the 6 tortillas, slather the filling in the lower third of each tortilla, fold the two sides of each tortilla toward the center and then roll the tortilla up like a burrito. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Combine the ? c sugar with 1 TBSP cinnamon in shallow bowl and set aside. Line large plate with paper towels.
  5. In a deep saucepan put in about 2-2/12 inches of vegetable oil for frying and heat it over medium heat until it reaches 360°F.
  6. Fry chimichangas until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes and flip them as needed. (work in batches)
  7. Transfer fried chimichangas to the paper towel on a plate to drain for a bit, then roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.



Remove toothpicks and serve each tortilla with a spoonful of the sliced strawberries.



Bien Provecho!
(Spanish blessing after one eats)

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