Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo - מחר זה סינקו דה מאיו
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. It is one of my favorite festivals. And it is decidedly American. Despite the fact that it memorializes the victory of the Mexican Army over the French Empire (Napoleon III) forces, on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla, it is not widely celebrated in Mexico and has become in California especially, a celebration of the richness and depth of Mexican-American culture.
For us gringos, Cinco de Mayo is a very good excuse to eat great food, drink a lot of Tequila and party. Two years ago we invited all the Americans we could find (and few non-Americans as well) to do just that.
It was fabulous. Everyone was relaxed. Almost everyone came which is a miracle in its own right, in Israel.
Avi made the salsa. It was (and is) quite memorable. The recipe has many steps and takes many hours to prepare (including roasting the peppers) but it really is necessary for any proper Mexican meal.
Isaac was in charge of the guacamole. After 4 years in California, I'd say he has become an expert. His take is much better than mine. And even though we had over a dozen, maybe 20, avocados, it was thing that went the fastest.
Adam was assigned bartending duties. We put him at the counter with a bushel of limes, some ice and the Patrón Silver. He executed his job perfectly.
Late in the evening Courtney, taught us how to properly do Tequila shots - with accompanying Spanish countdown.
It maybe one of the best parties we have had since we moved here.
I miss our friends. I miss parties. I miss eating together. Zoom is wonderful and I know for the moment it is necessary, but it really is a poor replacement for the energy that comes from being together.
So on this eve of Cinco de Mayo I want to assure everyone that will celebrate together again. Los Tarantos will be back in action as soon as we can safely gather.
Tomorrow I think I will make tacos and green rice. There will just be the two of us and my great Mexican oilcloth apron.
Below is an easy recipe you might like to try the next time you are in the vicinity of tomatillos.
As with all the recipes it will be also be published later under a Creative Commons License. The attribution is important to me. If you enjoy the recipe, let me know and don't forget the shout-out.
BT's Pico de Gallo
6 large tomatillos - ripe but not soft
2 small cucumbers (optional)
2 fresh serrano chilis
1 small red onion
1 small bunch cilantro
4 sprigs fresh mint (1/4 teaspoon - 1 gram - dried)
4 sprigs fresh oregano (1/4 teaspoon - 1 gram - dried)
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) coriander seeds
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sunflower oil
1-2 teaspoons sugar
3 drops tequila
salt to taste
Toast coriander seeds 30 seconds on high heat
Remove seeds and place is a spice grinder and process until seeds are in crumbs but not paste
Reserve the coriander
To a food process add cilantro, mint, and oregano and pulse until herbs are finely chopped but not paste
Add chilis and pulse - 2 or 3 times - until incorporated
Remove mixture and place in a non-reactive bowl
Squeeze limes and add 3/4 of lime juice to herbs and chili mix
Add salt and sugar
On a cutting board, dice tomatillos and onion into small pieces (and cucumber if using)
Add vegetables to bowl with herbs and chili
Taste for sourness
If too sour add more sugar
If too mild add more lime juice
Note: There is no garlic in the recipe because I found that it overpowered the brightness of the tomatillo
Enjoy! חג סינקו דה מאיו שמח - בתיאבון