Cinco de Mayo

Being neither Mexican nor an American resident the celebrations of Cinco de Mayo are not something that are generally observed in our house. Extensive research on Wiki says that Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is the ‘celebration of Mexican heritage and pride’ and a commemoration of Mexican victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  That said, I absolutely love Mexico and Mexican food and I love a theme, so Mexican it is.

We made a Mexican inspired table full of food last night that included chilli, tortillas, guacamole, rice, salsas and crispy spiced potato wedges.  The chilli was made with the usual ingredients of mince (veggie), tomatoes, beans and peppers but with the addition of 80% cocoa chocolate right towards the end of the cooking time.  I also made these black refried beans which are really tasty.  We ate something like this Merida in the Yucatan for breakfast wrapped up in soft tortillas with poached eggs on the side and slices of avocado – heaven on a plate. Granted this dish look a bit like Pedigree Chum but work with me here, looks aren’t everything!

Black Refried Beans
This is adapted from The World Cafe Cookbook it’s made with dried black turtle beans (no turtles were harmed in the making of this dish) but I think it would be just as good with dried red kidney beans.

Ingredients
15oz/425g black turtle beans (soaked overnight)
2 red onions chopped
6 cloves garlic chopped
3oz/90g butter
4 tbsp olive oil
Good handful chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the soaked beans and fill a saucepan with just enough cold, fresh water to cover the beans.  
Add in the butter, chopped onions and four of the garlic cloves and boil gently until the beans are soft and the water has absorbed.
Blitz with a hand blender, add more water if it’s too thick and dog food looking  
Add the remaining garlic and the olive oil and cook through.  
Scatter the coriander on top and serve straightaway.
For after the spicy stuff I made Margarita Ice Cream.  The recipe is from  Nigella Express.  It’s so easy to make yet it tastes amazing, just like a soft, creamy Margarita, and it scores high on the impressive scale, especially when served in Margarita or Martini glasses with sugared rims.  The recipe calls for tequila and Cointreau and I would advise you not to make this first thing in the morning as I did once and then eat huge spoonfuls of the mixture before it made it into the freezer.  Feeling inebriated before 8am is not really advisable when you have children to take to school and a job to go to.  Anyway, it’s really good.
Margarita Ice Cream

Ingredients
500ml double cream
3 tbsp each of tequila and Cointreau
150g icing sugar
125ml lime juice
Zest of the limes you’ve squeezed
Dissolve the icing sugar into the lime juice along with the tequila and Cointreau.  
Stir in the cream and lime zest and then whisk until thick, but not standing in peaks.  
Pour into a freezer proof container and leave overnight.  I’m never organised to make things the night before so I make it as early in the day as possible and pour it in to a large, shallow container so that it freezes quicker.  
It can be spooned straight from the freezer and doesn’t need to soften before serving. 
Serve in cocktail glasses for maximum kitsch and grate a little more lime zest to serve.
OK, I know that this is not really Mexican, but it’s worth it just for the drummer’s brilliant faces and the guitarist’s innovative sitting down dancing.

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