First of all, if you want to look smart in front of your friends, make sure you understand that “Cinco de Mayo” is not Mexican Independence Day (that’s on September 16th). In fact, “Cinco de Mayo” is more commonly observed in the US and it’s mainly been a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Yeah, there’s a lot more to it but let’s get back to the food (after all, that’s what I’m here for).
For me, Mexican food encompasses everything that Tex-Mex is not. Yes, I like my cheese slathered nachos once in a while, but true Mexican food has so much more depth and flavor. My go-to dinner menu is soft tacos. I’m talking corn tacos. You can conveniently purchase them in most supermarkets today actually. I like to toast them directly over an open flame for a few seconds on each side, then stuff them in a tortilla warmer (IMUSA makes an awesome one) and then prep the rest of the ingredients. But on the 5th of May I go a step above and make the soft tortillas from scratch! In fact, my chipotle tortillas are a treat in my house because you can actually smell the authenticity. And the beauty is that it’s so much easier to make than you think! You will need a tortilla press. In fact, the one from IMUSA is a cinch to use.
Once the tortillas are made, I focus on the fillings. My specialty lies in cornmeal crusted tilapia (you just can’t get enough corn on “Cinco de Mayo”!). I make sure I have a great non-stick skillet and bread the tilapia slices in cornmeal or polenta and I sauté them until crispy. Put together a creamy slaw and some salsa and you’re good to go.
But wait…how could I have forgotten the guac’? That creamy herbed dip that always begs to be invited to my Mexican fiestas? My guac’ is as chunky as they get. And yeah, I load it up spicy with jalapenos, but that’s ok, because I’ve got a secret weapon (ok, ingredient) that can quench those hot peppers: granny smith apples. After I make my guacamole, I dice up some granny smith apples and fold them right in. Your guests won’t know what that crunchy-sweet-and-sour-ay-dios-mio ingredient is. Authenticate it all with an awesome molcajete, a stone morter and pestle, and I guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve shown off your true Mexican pride. Of course, don’t forget the tequila!
By: George Duran
You can find more information about IMUSA’s tortilla press by clicking Here
You can find more delicious Mexican recipes by clicking Here