Our Favorite Recipe for Cinco de Mayo
I grew up in Texas, so Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays.
The May 5 festivities celebrate the Mexican Army’s surprising victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. There is a common misconception that it is the Mexican Independence Day, but that is not the case. In the U.S. it has become a celebration of Mexican-American culture. No matter your reason for celebrating, anyone can enjoy the festive music, dancing, parades and (most importantly) the food of Cinco de Mayo.
To help you get in the spirit of the holiday, I’ve got an amazing, hearty enchilada recipe that will satisfy both meat lovers and vegetarians, leaving no need for the Battle of la Cocina.
- 3 oz. diced red onion
- 1 oz. chopped green onion
- 2 oz. chopped or sliced mushrooms
- 5 oz. pico de gallo
- 7-8 oz. canned seasoned black beans
- 7-8 oz. canned dark red kidney beans
- Two 7 oz. cans of chipotle sauce
- 3 oz. asparagus (about half an uncooked bundle)
- ½ jar of preferred salsa (Newman’s Own Chipotle salsa works great)
- 7 oz. of whole kernel corn
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of pepper (taco seasoning can substitute for dry ingredients.)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Start by heating a large skillet to medium heat.
- Pour olive oil into the pan and then add red and green onions.
- Once onions start to brown, add the mushrooms, pico de gallo and corn.
- Pour in your first can of chipotle sauce, and then add beans and asparagus.
- Next add salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic and salsa.
- Stir, and then reduce heat to just above a simmer. Cover and stir occasionally.
- Once sauce is bubbling throughout, add the second can of chipotle sauce.
- Raise heat slightly till it’s again bubbling throughout.
- Reduce to a simmer, and stir in any additional ingredients to taste (i.e. more salt, pepper, etc).
- Once you’re ready to serve, remove from heat and pour over desired dish.
This sauce can be used in many ways. You can be traditional and cook chicken and peppers in a skillet. Then wrap the chicken in tortillas, place in a baking dish and top with sauce and cheese.
Alternatively, you can prep ingredients and let guests add what they would like.
- Cook quinoa and add a small amount of seasonings — a dash of paprika, cumin, and salt tastes great.
- Add a few scoops of rice to a bowl and then top with lettuce or other greens.
- Put out seasoned cooked chicken, diced avocado, sour cream, red and black beans, cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, and tortillas or chips.
Then your friends can have their own personalized bowl of below-the-border deliciousness! Let them pile on the cheese and savory chicken or load up with red and black beans and avocado to fuel with healthy protein.
The best thing about this dish? Its diversity. You can use it to make traditional enchiladas, add it to queso for a loaded dip, add it to burritos or tacos, make our tasty bowls, or just eat it plain. Cinco de Mayo can get pretty rowdy and although this recipe is a little spicy, nothing brings people together like a good meal.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cat S.