Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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Here’s a quick history lesson on Cinco De Mayo, which translates to the fifth of May.

First and foremost, it is not Mexico’s Independence Day! It is actually an annual celebration that commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

Fun fact: most people in Mexico do not actually observe the day unless they live in the city of Puebla. But over the years, it has become a huge holiday here in the United States. Growing up in a Mexican American household, we would use the day to celebrate our culture as a whole. There were yummy foods, drinks, and desserts.

My family loved any opportunity to celebrate, especially Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo

Now that I am a mom, I love getting to create special moments around Cinco de Mayo. We steer clear of stereotypical portrayals. But it does give us a way to discuss our heritage as well as an opportunity to try out new foods. One of my kids’ favorite dishes is tacos with rice and refried beans.

This year we will be making enchiladas. (Recipe Below)

However you choose to observe the day, I hope you’ll remember that being Mexican is not a joke, a costume, or a pun. If you decide to recreate this recipe, please share your pictures with us!

ENCHILADAS RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • (12ish) Corn tortillas
  • (4 Cups) Shredded chicken (We use rotisserie chicken)
  • (4.5oz) Chopped green chiles/chilis (Any brand)
  • (4 Cups) Shredded Mexican blend cheese (16 oz bag)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • (19oz) Enchilada sauce – Las Palmas Mild Green Chili Sauce
  • 9×13 glass pan

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine chicken, two cups of cheese, whole can of green chiles, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Bring enchilada sauce to a boil and then remove from heat. Steam tortillas slightly in the microwave. Dip each tortilla into heated sauce. Covering front and back of tortilla. Place the softened tortilla in the baking dish and spoon in 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture.

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  • Roll up the tortilla and make sure they are seam-side down in the baking dish. Do this until your pan is full. Top with remaining sauce and the rest of the shredded cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Serve and Enjoy!

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Making Ahead and Storing:

  • To make ahead, follow the above instructions up to baking point, cover with saran wrap, and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • Freezing these to save for later is easy. Make them in a freezer-safe pan, cover them tightly with foil and place in the freezer. Shelf life is about 2 months. To cook let the enchiladas thaw in the fridge overnight and cook for about 25 minutes at 350.

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