Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta


I grew up in the bay area, where the arrival of May 5th marked a day filled with delicious spicy Mexican food, festive music by brightly colored mariachi bands, and the gleeful squeal of children chasing after treasures of a freshly broken pinata. Cinco de Mayo, which translates into the "Fifth of May," celebrates Mexican heritage and pride, specifically Americans of Mexican ancestry. And although I am not of Latino descent, the lessons and fond childhood memories affiliated with this day remain fervently with me.


For this month's Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24, I wanted share with you an early Cinco de Mayo fiesta that I threw for my family and my friends Margot and Dillon from White Hot Oven over the weekend. It is my sincere hope that some of the recipes and traditions featured on this post will inspire ideas for your own celebrations on May 5th.

As soon as guests arrived to the party each person noted the medley of savory aromas swirling in the air— from the smoky chili spices of Spanish rice to the sizzling smell of freshly roasted hand made corn tortillas. If they weren't hungry before, this was sure to kick their appetite into high gear. 

With beverage in hand, everyone helped themselves to chips, chipotle salsa, and a brightly flavored chunky guacamole from my favorite recipe.


Simmering on the stove were two types of beans: Rancho Gordo's Good Mother Stallard and frijoles negros (black beans).  The Good Mother Stallard beans were wonderfully dense and hearty with a delicious chestnut flavor.

Also from Rancho Gordo were white corn posole, a staple of Mexican cuisine, which were incorporated with the Good Mother Stallards in Beans and Vegetable Posole.


As soon as the cooking was done, everyone surrounded the table to for some good south of the border eats.


 There's no mistake, this spread had Cinco de Mayo fiesta written all over it.

Everyone grabbed a plate and started to build their tacos with homemade carnitas made with seven spices, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro and diced onions.

In addition to the Spanish fried rice, frijoles negros, and bean and vegetable posole, there were enchiladas made entirely from scratch, including the salsa roja from a great recipe that can be found on A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. These are flavorful, comforting and filling.

For the enchilada filling I combined a pound of shredded chicken meat with four green onions thinly sliced, 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

The homemade enchiladas sauce is just as easy with 3 whole tomatoes diced, or 1 can of diced tomatoes, 2 cups chicken broth, 5 garlic cloves, smashed, 2 dried guajillo chile's, stem and seeds removed, 1 large dried ancho chile, stem and seeds removed, 1/2 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Combine in a pot and simmer for roughly half an hour before blending.

After a ravenous dinner, we sat down to a decadent, creamy and caramel-rich flan, a traditional Mexican dessert.  
We didn't have a mariachi band, but they were here in spirit.

Dillon glances admiringly at the mariachi band and contemplates a career change.

I hope y'all enjoyed this early Cinco de Mayo fiesta! In addition to the links to the recipes of each dish featured, here are a few recipes. ¡Viva México!

Spanish Rice Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 cup of medium to spicy salsa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Directions
  1. In a deep skillet, toast the garlic in heated olive oil over medium heat until a light golden color. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add the rice and saute until the grains are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder and green bell pepper and saute for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in the salsa and chicken broth. Cover, and simmer on low to medium low for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

Frijoles Negros
Adapted from Celebrate Cuban
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dry Spanish wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Cover dry beans with water and let stand covered overnight. Drain and discard water.
  2. Place the cleaned black beans in a large 6-quart saucepan. Add water and olive oil—this will prevent the beans from foaming. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Do not add salt to the beans when they are cooking. Salt at this stage of the game will make your beans very tough. Do not drain the water from the cooked beans.
  3. Meanwhile, chop onion and green pepper. Mash the garlic with salt and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Sauté the onions and green pepper in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add mashed garlic and sauté another minute or so. Add the cooked beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar, and wine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Some cooks—including us—like to thicken the beans by taking about 1 cup of beans and mashing them to make a thick paste. Mix the mashed beans back into the pot. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sugar; then drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the beans. Immediately cover the pot, remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
 
Spanish Flan Recipe
adapted from All Recipes
This is a very simple recipe that is best made the day before to allow the custard to solidify completely.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In pan (or any wide vessel) that is wider than the 9-inch round baking dish, fill it hot water from the sink, up to 1-inch deep. Place the 9-inch glass dish in the vessel, taking care to keep the interior of the pan dry.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar, stirring every 1-2 minutes until liquefied and golden in color. This process which should take roughly 20-30 minutes, going from a hardy rocky texture to syrup. A drop or two of lemon juice should accelerate the melting process. Remove the 9-inch round baking dish from the water, wipe off any water from the interior of the pan. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9-inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into caramel-bottom baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Let it cool completely, before placing in the refrigerator. Allow the flan to solidify overnight. 
  5. To serve, carefully invert on serving plate with edges.

76 comments:

Megan said...

That is a stunning spread! My mom recently went to Santa Fe and sent me all sorts of spices and things. One of the things was a bag of white corn posole. I've never made it or eaten it before, so I'm planning to check out that recipe you linked to.

Sarah said...

Oh how I love mexican cuisine! Good thing it's everywhere here! Your party looks delicious and tons of fun.

Velva said...

I love a good Cinco De Mayo party-looks like yours went well. Thanks for sharing it with us.

El said...

You threw an amazing party. How delicious does that food look! You've inspired me to make a nice Mexican meal!

Joanne said...

this theme sounds absolutely fantastic! Nothing tastes more like a party than mexican food and everything looks delicious.

Debinhawaii said...

Wow--such an incredible spread of food--everything looks amazing. What a fun and festive event! ;-)

Anncoo said...

Amazing party and love the dishes are superb!

lostpastremembered said...

Such a great party, Christine!!! So many wonderful dishes which is always the best way to do Mexican food, I think. I love blending flavors and the cool and hot... it looks like it was fun too.

Emily said...

Looks like a great 24^3 event! I love the Cinco de Mayo theme and all of the wonderful cultural dishes. Congrats!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Oooh, this looks like so much fun, and there are so many great things to eat. I'm not even sure where I would start :)
*kisses* HH

Chef E said...

There is only one place in my area that has Cinco, and its a chain Tex-Mex, so I stay away from there...I do miss the good ones in Texas, and will make my own food and drinks in thought! Yours looks like a great celebration...

La Table De Nana said...

Totally festive!

Simply Life said...

Wow, what a great event! Everything looks delicious!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Christine!
I have never heard of this festival, but when I visited my daughter in Palo Alto last August, we ate the most incredible Mexican Food we have ever had in our life throughout the San Fran area... We have nothing even close to that here in Edmonton, yet. This is one of my favourite posts that I have read from you. It is packed with amazing ideas and links to each recipe. The 7 spice pork I will absolutely make - and most likely a lot of the other recipes as well. I also have a favourite guacamole recipe that I learned from a dear Mexican friend very similar to yours but without the tomatoes... and with cilantro. Thank you so much for sharing your fiesta! What a blast your party must have been. And - I do LOVE a good Margarita.
YEE-CHa-CHa-CHA!
Valerie

Kim said...

You really went all out and had a true Mexican fiesta! I don't drink too often, but when I do, I love a great margarita and yours looks perfect to me;D Of course the food looks excellent too.

Sweet and Savory said...

What a great Cinco de Mayo fiesta! I have been entering many months to be part of the 24, 24, 24...so I hope I get my chance someday! Looks like you had a wonderful party:)

Beth said...

looks like a fun time was had by all!

5 Star Foodie said...

What a fun party and an excellent feast for cinco de mayo! Great 24, 24, 24!

Stella said...

Hey Christine, I always love Cinco de Mayo too most likely b/c of refreshing flavors and sweet yet refreshingly tart drinks brimmed with salty goodness. I should probably try to focus a bit more on what the holiday is about though (smile)...

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful party and look at all that delicious food you prepared! Now I think I need to visit my favorite Mexican restaurant this weekend ;) Your recipes look and sound delicious! I love the flavors of Mexico.

Sara said...

How fun! I love Mexican food. And everything you made looks amazing! That flan is killer. I've never made flan, but think I'm going to now!

Mari's Cakes said...

Everything looks delicious! The recipes are wonderful. How many margaritas did you have?????

Have a wonderful day!

kat said...

we're big fans of everything Rancho Gordo too. Everything at your party looks great.

Margot said...

Christine - we had a blast :) Again, the food was absolutely delicious. You may not be of Mexican decent, but you certainly cook as if you were. Everything came out perfect and even I, a cilantro-phobe, adored the guacamole. Perhaps I'm getting used to it?

Cannot wait to see you again!

xoox

Bob said...

Sounds like fun! Congratz on getting picked for FB 24. :)

alison said...

lovely party!congrats !

Ravenous Couple said...

sounds like a great party...r u ready to do again on the real cinco de mayo? :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

What a delicious celebration and such a wonderful idea for 24, 24, 24! Your guests were lucky indeed, FLB!

I'm a big fan of carnitas and anything with black beans has my name written all over it. Magnificent feast and re-cap!!!

Lori said...

What a meal! Especially those build your own tacos. They look incredible.

Sook said...

Christine, your pictures are fantastic! I love cinco de mayo celebrations! All the food looks great!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Handmade corn tortillas and homemade guacamole - as the song says, "who could ask for anything more?"
Sam

Gloria said...

Christine we love too mexican cuisine, specially quesadillas and tacos, the kids always love them
Your pictures look fantastic and delicious!! gloria

Sippity Sup said...

What a fun party and a great 24 event. GREG

Asha @ FSK said...

Oh! What an awesome spread!!! Love the tacos

Chow and Chatter said...

wow you throw the coolest parties I want to come!

Bridgett said...

What a great cinco de mayo feast. I would especially love the tacos and the guacamole.

Diana Bauman said...

This is wonderful Christine! Thank you so much for trying my enchiladas! I hope you enjoyed them ;) I only wish I was there with you!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Looks like you got a delicious jump on the holiday - that flan looks amazing!

Sherry said...

What an AWESOME feast! Can't wait to try ALL of your recipes! Love those Good Mother Stallard beans!

Mimi said...

You've got it covered a perfect fiesta. It wouldn't be Cinco de Mayo without a little Mexican cuisine and a margarita.
Mimi

sweetlife said...

what a wonderful feast, so many flavors that's exactly what i love about mexican food, great post

sweetlife

Angie's Recipes said...

Love your chunky guacamole, simply perfect. And margarita, corona beer...that's a super party.

Ivy said...

Congratulations for being one of the other 23. Love Mexican food and have bookmarked that flan !! Happy Cinco de Mayo.

tigerfish said...

I have stayed in San Jose but never attended any Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. I must be missing out.

Congrats on the feature.

Meena said...

love the spread...i live near san jose...so i think i will just go grab a spread like this one:)))

Lori Lynn said...

Fiesta Grande! I love your decorations Christine. Feliz Cinco to you and your amigos!
LL

A Year on the Grill said...

a great use fro 24,24,24 congrats!

Cristie said...

Wonderful recipes and ideas, thanks for the post. So happy for the holiday to bring the family around to use this party food!

Danielle said...

Wow...what a spread!! Are there any leftovers? I'd kinda like to have some. Looks like you all had a great time :)

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What an impressive spread of authentic and delicious eats! I can only imagine the lovely aromas. But better yet I'm sure was the feasting. How lucky your guests are!

Lori said...

I love Cuban black beans. All of your food looks so good.

tasteofbeirut said...

That is one cuisine I adore! One time I was invited at a Mexican friend's home for a posole: talk about a great tradition! Takes forever to make though! Love your spread, especially the tacos and that guacamole! and of course the maragaritas!
I even learned some mariachi songs La Paloma is one I like a lot!

krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com said...

what a great idea! sounds like you had a fun cinco de mayo party, and it's a good way for people to get ideas for their own 5th of may celebration next week!

Trissa said...

I love Mexican food too! I can't believe such a large selection of food. I especially love the caramel flan - reminds me of the leche flan we have in the Philippines. Thanks for sharing the recipe. And I love Cinco De Mayo! Never understood what the celebration was meant to commemorate.

nancy at good food matters said...

Wonderful Fiesta! So timely--Cinco de Mayo will be here Pronto!

I love Rancho Gordo's Good Mother Stallards, and must try their white corn posole.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Man, if you weren't in the mood for a party before...my favorite is the Mariachi Band. =)

redmenace said...

Thanks to this post, I am now STARVING. Everything looks great! I grew up in the Bay Area too and I sooo miss a real Cinco De Mayo party!

From the Kitchen said...

I've just discovered your blog, become a "follower" and am weak with hunger after reading this post. I need to get a bite to eat (wish it could be that flan) and return for more happy food-photo grazing/gazing. My son and his wife moved from NYC to the Bay area--a reversal from you. We've enjoyed visiting both places.

Thank you for your amazing recipes.

Best,
Bonnie

Tricia said...

Margaritas, tacos, quacamole? Is there anything more perfect than those? Unlikely. Muchisimo bien!

sophia said...

Christine! You got chosen for 24, 24, 24 AGAIN! I'm not at all surprised...you always rock out awesome ideas, and AMAZING food! Next time, send me an invitation please! Haha! ;-)

Nadji said...

Quel menu.
J'aurai eu beaucoup de plaisir à être de la fête.
See soon.

Sophie said...

What a menu with festive recipes & lovely tasty dishes!!


A georgous menu!

Barbara said...

Great post, Christine! Love your photos and you had me drooling at the guacamole. However, my favorite was the flan!

MaryMoh said...

Wow....everything here looks very delicious. I love the Spanish flan. Would love to make that. Thanks for sharing.

doggybloggy said...

great idea for a "24" cinco de mayo is the same as st. paddy's day - I think its a US tradition(I need to look into that) - looks great though

Trix said...

Wow! You put a lot into this, awesome. This post gave me an instant and insatiable craving for a margarita and guacamole, I am serious.

theUngourmet said...

Everything looks amazing, especially the flan! I really need to get a Cinco de Mayo plan together before I'm too late!

Chef Dennis said...

OMG...you have made me so homesick and so hungry...sigh...I grew up on TEx-Mex, and your food looks so very very good!
The only difference is we grew up on Pinto Beans, not Black Beans, they are wonderful...refried...sigh..

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That looks like a feast! Starting with that icy cold margarita~~

OysterCulture said...

Looks and I can only imagine it tastes amazing. Love Mexican food and I'm all for any excuse to cook it! I think you set the tone perfectly with that yummy looking margarita. Are you going to recreate this feast for the actual day? =)

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

What a great Cinco de Mayo fest!! So many delish recipes in this post. The enchiladas from scratch must have been amazing!!

Cocina Savant said...

What an awesome dinner. Congrats on being one of the 24, 24, 24 bloggers, it is quite a treat. The posole is something I have never tried and hope to in the near future. Great food and pics as always.

♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

this post reminds me of our fiestas back home... the spread, the festivities and the booze... so many similarities here especially the flan... now i'm homesick haha!

Joy said...

Christine your 24 24 24 this month is AWESOME. That is how we celebrate cinco de mayo in texas -- a big gigantic goblet of an icy margarita :)

Your cinco de mayo event looked amazing, loved the mariachi band on the wall :) very cute!

chubbychinesegirl said...

Congrats!!! ur fiestas are always super awesome...

Let's get together when I get back from Shanghai!
hope all is great =)

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Oh gosh, I am FINALLY getting around to reading last month's 24,24,24 events and absolutely loved this post! What a fabulous fiesta you put on!!!