Trying make some traditional Cinco De Mayo Food was a fun way to celebrate. And yes we actually made food and didn’t just drink Margaritas, but it was a struggle.
What is Cinco De Mayo?
Most people believe Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day. Cinco De Mayo actually celebrates victory over France In the battle of Pueblo. Napoleon the 3rd(a relative of THAT Napoleon) thought the time was a good opportunity to expand the French Empire, while there was other termoil in the world. The Mexicans were able to fend them off and Battle of Pueblo Day was born. This became a celebration of Mexican Heritage in the US where we now drink Maragaritas in celebration of something we have no idea about.
The Food and Stuff
Click the name for the inspiration (if there is no link we kind of winged it)
Not Sure I have every met anyone that doesnt like Margaritas. If you don’t please stop reading. We made some “traditional” Margaritas, I think that means no sour mix which I wouldn’t use anyways. Simple Tequilla(your choice), Orange Liquor(Gran Marnier for me), Lime Juice(the recipe said use the juice from half a lime but i just used 1oz of lime juice) and some simple syrup. Shake it up with some ice, skip the the salt rim( i don’t care if it’s traditional or not.) Surpise it was good and gave us a buzz. We had one with the appetizer(Jicama) before dinner and one with dinner.
What is Jicama? I hope I wasn’t the one person who had no idea what this was. A while ago I went to Mexico for work and they served these weird cold frech fry looking things as a snack. I had to ask what they were and how to eat them. Long story short they are a vegetible root looking thing that is seasoned with lime juice and chili powder. I really enjoyed them as a snack, Laura maybe not so much. They defintely don’t taste like they look, they do not taste like a potato or really any other root. They are very moist and have an almost sweet taste.
Not that kind of Mole
For the main course we had some Mole Tilapia Tostatas. As I had to explain to Laura it’s Mo-Lay not Mole like the animal. Although the latter would have been intersting to say the least(That is one animal I have never eaten.) This recipe was much simplier than I expected. Make sure your fish is thawed and dry before you marinate it in the mole suace. The mole sauce was super simple, essentially just cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder, lime and canola oil. Easy Enough.
Cabbage and Friends
While the fish marinates, it’s time to make the slaw. This is where I screwed up a bit. The recipe says to use the leftover lime juice(which there was none because i put it all in the mole sauce) so i squirted a bit into the cabbage and sour cream mixture, but it was still kind of dry and i couldnt really mix the sour cream. So i added some more. Now i had a really creamy mixture that I’m not sure was correct. it didn’t taste bad but I don’t think this was how this was supposed to come out.
Cooking 2 foods at Once!
After the fix marinaded and my slaw is done, it’s time to cook. The recipe said to grill the fish(which would have been prefered) but no grill to use in our apartment right now. So i set up 2 cast iron pan’s one grill pan and one standard 10 inch cast iron skillet. I oiled the grill pan and put the fish in at around mediium/medium high heat. I start cooking the small corn tortillas in the other pan while that is going, 2 at a time. By the time the fish seems about right to flip, it stuck to the pan… what a dissapointment. Again like the slaw it worked out fine, the fish needed to be cut up to go on the toastadas, but It would have been nice to have some nice grill marks. The fish cooked fast, in fact it was done faster than the 8 tortillas, which to be honest was pretty shocking. If I had realized that I would have started the torillas sooner. And now we cut up an avocado and we are ready to serve!
The end result our interpretation of traditional Cinco De Mayo Food. We both liked this one, i don’t think either of us would call this a life changing experience but the food was good. The flavors of the slaw. avocado and fish combined with the slight crispiness of the tortilla worked. My personal improvements would be to make sure the fish doesn’t freakin’ stick! Maybe we could have added some extra mole sauce (which got lost a bit in the cooking process) and well not screw up the slaw. It is possible if everything had been done right It would have been life changing. I guess we will have to try again(I feel like this is a common story….)
Other ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo
While we cooked and during some of the meal, we listened to a “Cinco De Mayo” playlist on Spotify, a nice mix of mariache music, pop, hip hop, classic rock. It was a fun playlist but definitely could get old pretty quickly.
While we were in a food and margarita coma we watched a show called Three Sheets. It’s from the mid 2000’s and back in those days I absolutely loved this show. It stars a not so well known comedian named Zane Lamprey and he travels the world learning drinking customs in different areas. This is totally my dream job/life, although I’m pretty sure it’s not great for someone’s health cause you can physically watch him age on the show. Anyways we watched the Mexico epsiode to go along with our margaritas and learned all about tequilla! For anyone interested in Food and Culture, this show is highly recomended!
Happy Cinco De Mayo! We hope you enjoyed and learned something about traditional Cinco De Mayo food. Let’s know about your favorite Margarita recipe or your favorite ways to celebrate.