eve of Cinco de Mayo, my Mexican hat

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican Hat   Stand by your principles.  I like to think that I am practicing Green Living.  One of the ways that we spend  ” free time”, is attending flea markets and White Elephant sales. Last fall, I arrived on day two of the sale by Princeton Medical Center’s Ladies Auxiliary  in the last 30 minutes. Walking quickly around the perimeter of the huge Airplane hanger, I spotted the area with hats and tote-bags. When the Sale came to an end, the volunteers announced that each person had five minutes to gather “Free items”.  I was nearby and ran over to the hat collection where I had spotted  a couple of Large sombreros’ , Eeeh, I said with glee, “I’ve got them !!!!”  Also, there was a decorative” bird-cage” that I had been viewing with discernment, during the sale; I liked it , but not willing to shell out bucks for it.

¡esto hay que celebrarlo!

Celebrate!

  Pollo con Calabacitas

Chicken with Squash and Corn

3  Tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter ( I use Canola oil)

1 chicken 2 1/1 pounds cut into serving pieces salt to taste ( prefer a salt substitute)

1 teaspoon cumin ( 0r cumin seed , crushed)

1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into quarter-inch slices, (about 5 cups)

1 cup finely chopped onion 2 1/2 cups fresh corn “off the cob” , (scraped from about 4 ears) or two packages 10 ounces each frozen corn

2 small hot green peppers , chopped, optional

1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored

1.  Heat the oil in a large casserole and add chicken.  Sprinkle with salt or salt substitute, and cook until chicken loses its raw look.  ( I use chicken herb seasoning).

2. Add the cumin, coarsely ground pepper. and minced garlic, and cook stirring occasionally  ten minutes.   Add the squash and onion.   If the corn is fresh off the cob, add it.   Do not add the frozen corn if used until later. Add the hot green peppers and tomatoes and cover. Do not add other liquid.; as the mixture stew it will add quite a bit of liquid.   Cook for one hour. 

3.  If frozen corn is used , add it now.  Either way, uncover the casserole  and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes.

A , now it’s time for an authentic Mexican beverage!

Sangrita

3 ounces Tomato juice

1 teaspoon grenadine syrup

(or less to taste)

Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

1 ounce of orange juice

salt

Tabasco

1 1/2 ounces Tequila

Lime wedge ( my favorite part! I love the sour taste.)

1. In a Beverage shaker, Combine the tomato juice, grenadine, lime,and orange juices, and salt and Tabasco to taste.   Add ice cubes and shake rapidly.

2.  Strain the mixture into a glass and serve the Tequila on the side.   It is drunk in Mexico, by sipping the tomato mixture alternately with the Tequila.  Many non-Mexicans prefer to add the Tequila to the tomato mixture before shaking the cocktail.   Serve with the lime wedge and additional salt.

Note: Tabasco sauce is a Yankee addition to the recipe.    In Mexico, small , hot, chopped green Serrano chilies are used as the fiery seasoning.    A genuine sangrita is highly seasoned.  

Ole!!!

Note:

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Cinco de Mayo is here- May 5, 2010

Feliz  Cinco  de Mayo

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I am featuring a recipe with the name from one of the states in Mexico, Veracruz.

Pork Chops Veracruz

6 servings

1/4 cup bacon fat

1 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

6 thick pork chops

2 teaspoons dry mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 green peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into strips

Directions:

1.  Heat the bacon fat and add the garlic.  Cook stirrring but do not brown.

2.  Smear the pork chops with the mustard and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Brown on both sides in the bacon fat and add the wine and orange juice.   Cook over low heat until the sauce is slightly reduced.  Add the onion slices and green pepper.  Cover the pan.

3.  Continue cooking over low heat until the chops are tender, for one  to one and a half hours.  If desired add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot , with rice.

Cookbook:

The New York Times International cookbook       by Craig Claiborne

Note:  I am so delighted with this cookbook.  I found it at a used booksale in town of Cranford, N.J.  a few years ago.  It’s my found treasure.

Cinco De Mayo History:

Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on  May 5, 1862.  The victory delayed the French advance on Mexico City.

In the United States, it is a date to celebrate the cultures and experiences of Americans with Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick’s day, Octoberfest and Chinese New Year are used to clebrate Irish, German and Chinese respectively.  Similarly, the Italian Americans  celebrate Columbus day.

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