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Celebrate Cinco De Mayo in your kitchen

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Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 8:09 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Iuliana Petre

Killeen Daily Herald

Although often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is actually a commemoration of "the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862," wrote National Geographic news writer Stefan Lovgren in an article titled "Cinco de Mayo, From Mexican Fiesta to Popular U.S. Holiday," in May 2006.

According to Lovgren, "Latinos are the largest minority in the U.S. today with more than 40 million people," and Cinco de Mayo is "definitely becoming more popular than St. Patrick's Day," said José Alamillo, a professor of ethnic studies at Washington State University in Pullman, who has studied the cultural impact of the holiday in the U.S.

And according to the writers of world-food-and-wine.com – a Web site dedicated to discovering how people eat in close and faraway places – Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more enthusiastically in the U.S. than in Mexico, and fiestas often include Mexican foods, parades, mariachi music and folk dancing. "Decorate your home with plenty of flowers and add the colors from the Mexican flag, green, white and red."

With Cinco de Mayo just six days away, it's time to start thinking about bringing Mexican flavors to your cuisine.

"There is no set traditional food for Cinco de Mayo, as foods vary between the families and the regions of Mexico, combining native Aztec food stuffs, with a rich variety of items brought by Spanish conquistadors and settlers. Traditionally Mexican foods include guacamole, chilaquiles, enchiladas and mole poblano. The food will be colorfully presented with many vegetables and salsa," world-food-and-wine.com reported.

Contact Iuliana Petre at ipetre@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7469.

Flan

Ingredients:

8 eggs

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1½ tsp vanilla extract

1½ cups white sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a blender, combine eggs, condensed milk and vanilla and blend until smooth.

In a medium sauce pan, cook the sugar, stirring constantly, until it liquefies. Remove from heat when it begins to turn a light brown, pour into the waiting pan.

Pour the egg mix over the liquefied sugar.

Next you need to line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place the baking dish on the towel. Then place the roasting pan on oven rack. Fill the roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake for 70 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from water and allow cooling completely (1 hour). Run a knife along the edge of the pan, place a serving plate on top, and invert.

Margaritas

Ingredients:

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

kosher salt

3 ounces Sweet and Sour mix

1 1/2 ounce tequila

3/4 ounce Triple Sec

Lime slices, to garnish

Preparation:

Rim margarita glass with fresh lime.

Dip glass rim into kosher salt.

Shake all liquid ingredients with ice.

Strain over ice into salt-rimmed margarita glass.

Serve with fresh lime slice and stir stick.

Guacamole

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion

4 chiles serranos

2 rounded tablespoons cilantro

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 large avocados

2/3 cup tomatoes, finely chopped, not peeled

Topping:

2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon heaped, finely chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes

Preparation:

Grind the onion, cilantro, fresh chiles and salt into a rough paste.

Cut the avocados in half, remove pits (set them aside, but do not throw away) and scoop out the flesh.

Mash the flesh roughly into the chili mixture, Mix well.

Mix in the chopped tomato, sprinkle top of the guacamole with the extra onion, cilantro and tomato.

Place the pits back into it for a nice effect and serve immediately inside a fresh warm, corn tortilla.

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