Northwest NEWS

April 29, 2002

Home & Garden

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The great flavors of Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is one of the many dates when Mexicans feel proud of their heritage. It was on a Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 1862), that the powerful French army was defeated by a small, ill-equipped army of Mexicans in Puebla, Mexico. Today, Hispanics in the U.S. celebrate Cinco de Mayo with dancing, music and joy.
   But the main celebration is the food: steamy, appetizing, mouthwatering Mexican dishes nobody can resist.
  
   Tortilla Soup
   The most typical and traditional of all Mexican soups. Garnish to each individual taste.
   Best when made with homemade tortillas.
   10 corn tortillas
   3 garlic cloves
   1/2 onion coarsely cut
   3 red tomatoes
   6 cups chicken broth, divided
   2 sprigs epazote, optional (herb found in
   Latino markets)
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Oil for frying
   3 dried pasilla chiles, seeded and cut
   into slices
   1/2 cup sour cream
   6 ounces panela cheese, cut in cubes
   2 avocados, peeled and sliced
   Roast garlic, onion and tomatoes, then grind or lightly process (with food processor). Add a small amount (2 tablespoons) chicken broth to the mixture. Fry mixture, stir constantly until thick or color changes.
   Add remaining chicken broth and epazote. Bring to boil; add salt and pepper to taste.
   Simmer on medium heat 15 minutes.
   Meanwhile, cut tortillas into medium strips and fry in oil until golden brown. Fry chile slices in oil; drain.
   Ladle soup into bowls; add fried tortilla strips. Garnish with dollop of sour cream, chile slices, cubed cheese and avocado slices.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Tlayudas From Puebla
   A very Mexican dish, that unites the most Mexican flavors: the tortilla, the beans and the mole. This is authentic from Puebla, the birth of this celebration!
   2 cups corn masa mix
   1 1/8 cups water
   Salt to taste
   Oil for frying
   2 cups mole poblano (one 16 ounce jar, found in your ethnic aisle)
   1 1/2 cups pinto refried beans
   1 whole chicken breast, cooked and shredded
   Sesame seeds for garnish
   Mix the corn masa mix with water and a pinch of salt. Knead and let rest.
   Form ten medium-sized balls; flatten into tortilla shape. Cook on comal (pan or griddle), then fry until golden. Drain. Heat beans and mole separately. Spread each tlayuda with a tablespoon of beans; top with shredded chicken and mole. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
   Makes 10 tlayudas.
  
   Champurrado
   Sweet and rich, hot and delicious! Perfect with churros or Mexican sweet bread.
   1 cup corn masa mix
   3 cups water
   1 cup packed brown sugar
   1 1/2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
   Dissolve the masa in water; strain and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
   Add brown sugar and chocolate; mix well until sugar is dissolved and chocolate melted.
   Boil for 23 minutes, remove from heat and serve.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Recipes courtesy of Family Features