Viva Cinco de Mayo! While not Mexican Independence Day as some think, Cinco de Mayo is a time to celebrate the flavorful foods of Mexico.
May 5 marks the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Coast Mexican restaurants will be overflowing with customers on Saturday, and other non-Mexican restaurants will join in with food and drink specials.
While I have my favorites among those eating establishments, I prefer to relax and celebrate at home. Of course, hosting a fun outdoor fiesta does not sound bad either. Fire up the grill and hang the piñata. You are set to go.
Mexican food is in my Top 3 of international cuisines. Being reared by a Texas mom, I learned to eat Mexican food early. In my hometown, two of the Mexican restaurants were owned by family friends, so we dined there often.
My mom, who didn’t really cook too often, made great cheese enchiladas. They are simple and tasty. I know some folks prefer beef enchiladas, but I prefer the creamy texture of cheese ones. We tend to like what foods we grew up with.
If you readers think Mexican food is too labor-intensive, think again. Yes, I love fajitas and like to marinate the flank or skirt steak for several hours, but there is more to Mexican food than just fajitas.
Today, I am sharing quick-fix Mexican dishes that are guaranteed to please family and friends, along with a cocktail that offers a sweet alternative to the margarita that I found on www.snappygourmet.com. In 30 minutes or less, whip up one-dish summer vegetable skillet enchiladas that make use of fresh zucchini, yellow squash and corn kernels. Since my granddaughter only eats Spanish rice, that is a must-have on my menu.
Wanted: Cakes made with stevia
Rhonda Hughes would like a good recipe for a yellow cake made with stevia. I have not cooked with stevia, so readers I am counting on you to provide the recipe. Hughes also is gluten-free, so the cake must be made with rice or almond flour.
Don’t forget those Mother’s Day or grilled cheese recipes
Time is running out to send your favorite Mother’s Day or grilled cheese recipes. What do you like to serve on Mother’s Day or do you make reservations?
Rouse’s supermarket is asking shoppers to enter the national grilled cheese competition. There will be national and local winners. Send me your favorite ways to make grilled cheese.
Andrea Yeager can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.
Summer Vegetable Skillet Enchiladas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh from about 2 medium ears corn
1/4 teaspoon salt (maybe more depending on enchilada sauce used)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (love this spice)
2 cups baby arugula
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into pieces
15 ounces red enchilada sauce (or make your own)
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, Cheddar or Mexican blend
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Sliced avocado, for serving
Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the zucchini, squash, corn, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the veggies are all tender. Stir in the arugula and black beans and cook until the arugula is wilted.
Sprinkle the tortilla pieces over the top. Pour in the enchilada sauce, then toss to combine. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with the cheese, then cover the pan with a lid. Decrease the heat to medium low and continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and everything is nice and warm. Remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with sliced avocado.
Recipe from Cook Nourish Bliss
1 medium tomato (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped onion
Large clove garlic, pressed or minced
Small bunch of chives for garnish (optional)
Core, halve and seed tomato; chop coarsely and set aside.
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice and sauté, stirring frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes or just until golden.
While sautéing rice, bring chicken stock to a boil over medium heat in small saucepan.
Add onion and garlic to rice and sauté, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Stir in chopped tomato.
Add 1 3/4 cups hot stock to rice mixture. Stir rice once, adjust heat, to a simmer, cover and cook 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Taste rice to check for doneness. If not quite cooked, add remaining 1/4 cup stock, recover pan and cook until absorbed.
Let rice stand, covered, 10 minutes before serving. Wash chives, if using and pat dry. Chop enough to measure 2 tablespoons.
Divide rice among dinner plates and garnish with chopped chives, if desired.
From “Great Meals in Minutes Mexican Menus”
Cherry Matador Cocktail
4 ounces pineapple juice (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 ounces tequila (3 tablespoons)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)
1/2 ounce maraschino cherry juice (1 tablespoon)
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the pineapple juice, tequila, lime juice and maraschino cherry juice to the cocktail shaker.
Shake for a few seconds, then strain drink into a martini glass or glass of your choice.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or lime slice as desired.
Notes: Be sure to shake with ice, or you could serve over ice. Instead of tequila, rum would also be good.