Like Saint Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo is a much bigger deal in the States than in the cultural home it celebrates. Everyone’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, and everyone’s having a fiesta on Cinco de Mayo. I love such wholehearted embracing of the different cultures that comprise This American Life! I couldn’t have anything to do with looking for an excuse to enjoy the excellent food and beverages that those cultures have brought us …
Okay, that might be part of it – but that’s okay. I mean, everyone loves a good party.
Anyway, no one loves Cinco de Mayo quite as much as my sister. Both of my sisters, actually, love all things Mexican food- and drink-related, regardless of the date. You say ¡Fiesta! and they’re in – with maracas and a pinata. Really, they’re more fun than I am.
But I bring the food.
And in their honor (and in the honor of Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín) I offer these appropriately-Americanized (but still more authentic than Taco Bell) Mexican dishes. Enchiladas Verde smothers a comforting chicken and cheese mixture in a pleasantly tart and mildly piquant green sauce built from roasted poblano peppers and canned tomatillos. The Arroz Mexicana starts on the stove and finishes off in the oven, producing a pilaf with clean Mexican flavors that pair well with the enchiladas – or with any grilled meat, I would imagine.
Neither photograph particularly well in their final states, but they taste great, so just go with it.
Now, off to find a margarita …