Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla and the United States?

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 …

Read More