Today is the 5th of May. It is not a holiday, but it’s celebrated like one! Especially in border towns like our San Diego.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican effort to rid itself of the French with some help from it’s next door neighbor, los Estados Unitos (who weren’t very united in 1862). Victory was achieved on May 5, 1862. Hurrah. (Mexico had already established independence some 52 years earlier).
And like any good holiday, along with rejoicing comes good eating.
Today, I am making a Mexican feast for Cinco de Mayo. On the menu is: Enchiladas Las Cruces, Black Beans con New World Veggies, Wild Rice and fresh sliced avocados!
Enchiladas Las Cruces*
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can refried beans (vegetarian-style, no lard)
1 large bag Mexican-style shredded mixed cheese
1/2 tub Bueno Autumn Roast Green Chiles (found at select Albertson’s in Spring Valley, La Mesa and San Diego)
1 bag Carb-smart tortillas
1 small can Hatch medium red enchilada sauce
1 9 x 12 baking dish, sprayed with PAM (although it will still be a pain-in-the-patoot to clean)
1. Take 1 tortilla and lightly slather with refried beans.
2.Sprinkle on some shredded chicken, cheese and green chiles. The Autumn Roast Green Chiles are seriously hot, so use with caution.
3. Roll tortilla and place in pan
4. Fill more tortillas in the same way until your pan is full.
5. Drizzle with enchilada sauce.
6. Top with cheese.
7. Bake at 350F for about a half hour, or until the cheese gets all melted and toasty on top.
*Why Las Cruces? Las Cruces, New Mexico is the home of the Chile Pepper Institute, which is nestled on the campus of New Mexico State University. My dear Heart and I visited Las Cruces a couple of years ago on our way home from Austin, TX after a AAS meeting. Alas, the Chile Pepper Institute is not open in early January, but we had a great time in Las Cruces, ate some wonderful food and stocked up on Bueno frozen green chiles since they weren’t available in San Diego at the time.
A simple side dish of New World Vegetables can be easily whipped up:
1 bell pepper,
1 can of drained black beans,
1 small bag of frozen corn,
1 chopped tomato (or 1 small can, drained)
1 tsp ground cumin
2-12 cloves garlic, crushed
dash olive oil
Mix well and heat through.
An ice-cold cerveza is the perfect accompaniment.