FELICES FIESTAS PATRIAS
While Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th, Hispanic Heritage Month, or Mes de las Patrias consist of month-long celebrations. The Fiestas Patrias begin in mid-September and continue through mid-October.
Many Hispanic Americans trace their roots to the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas -- including the Arawaks (Puerto Rico), the Aztecs (Mexico), the Incas (South America), the Maya (Central America), and the Tainos (in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other places). Some trace their roots to the Spanish explorers -- who in the 1400s set out to find an easier and less costly way to trade with the Indies. Others trace their roots to the Africans who were brought as slaves to the New World. For purposes of the U.S. Census, Hispanic Americans today are identified according to the parts of the world that they or their ancestors came from, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, or the nations of Central or South America.
The term Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race. People of Spanish, Hispanic, Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "other Spanish Hispanic Latino countries." There are nearly 45 million Hispanics in the United States or 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
To reach the US Hispanic consumer, we recommend a Hispanic Marketing book: "How to Win The Hispanic Gold Rush" by Francisco J. Valle. This book tells you about the US Hispanic market, how to identify their needs, produce products and services to meet those needs: pricing, distribution, and how to promote those products and services to make a profit.
Hispanic foods are enjoyed all over the US. Where would we be without tacos, empanadas, enchiladas, salsa, tamales, chipotle, horchata, black beans and rice, and flan?
Here are some Mexican recipes to help you celebrate our Hispanic heritage:
MAYAN SALSA HABANERA
This salsa is amazing. The habaneros, when mixed in lime juice, lose some of their heat. The habanero is the chile of choice in Yucatan and surrounding areas. It is said to have mysterious healing powers. I believe it. I also know that it releases some serious endporphins. Preparation time is about 45 minutes and this will make a little over a pint.
2 medium red onions, finely diced
6 large tomatoes, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic,
5 habanero chiles, minced (remove seeds and membranes, using gloves)
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp Orange juice or 1 tsp Controy (similar to Triple Sec)
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Serve with chips for dipping.
For nachos - layer tortilla chips on a plate. Cover with grated cheese. Microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. Remove and spoon salsa over the top. Serve immediately.
PANCHO'S TORTILLA SOUP
This delectable rendition a Mexican classic comes to you from Restaurant Pancho's in Cabo San Lucas. It will warm your heart and soul. Share it with your loved ones. Takes about two and a half hours to make. There will be 10 to 12 servings, so count on having enough for leftovers.
1 whole chicken
4 quarts water
salt, pepper Pepper and other seasonings to taste
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
8 large, ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 large, white onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp dried fresh oregano, Oregano or to taste
6 bay leaves Bay Leaves
6 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon (they use Knorr Suiza in Mexico) Knorr chicken bouillon
4 tbsp olive oil
12 corn tortillas, cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide
1/2 cup corn or canola oil
2 avocados, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups Chihuahua or Jack cheese, grated
1 cup sour cream
fresh cilantro, in sprigs
6 chiles negros Chiles Negros
Boil chicken (well seasoned) with water for at least one hour. Remove chicken from water, remove bones and cut into chunks.
Place peppers, onions and tomatoes in large skillet with the olive oil and saute until cooked. Add the seasonings and bouillon and cook about a half hour. Adjust seasonings and set aside.
About 20 minutes before serving, combine the chicken and stock with vegetables and heat thoroughly.
At the same time, deep fry the tortilla chips and drain on paper towels. Divide among six large soup bowls Place chunks of chicken, avocado and grated cheese in each bowl. Pour two cups soup into each bowl. Float a bit of sour cream on top and garnish with cilantro sprig and chile. Serve immediately and prepare to gloat.
JALAPEÑO CORN BREAD
Jalapeño chiles, real corn and lots of cheese distinguish this corn bread from the old-fashioned, all-American ya'all version of corn bread. It's not too fiery, but makes an awesome side dish for roasted or grilled foods. Serves 10.
2 - 10 jalapeño chiles, finely chopped with seeds 1168
1 3 1/2 ounce can diced green chiles Green Chiles
1 onion, finely diced
1 17 ounce can creamed corn
1/2 tsp baking soda Royal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup corn or canola oil
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups yellow corn meal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 14 inch pan. In a large bowl, mix jalapeños with corn and onion. Beat in baking soda, salt and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Add buttermilk and oil, then cheese and cornmeal.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan and serve in squares.
TOTALLY MEXICAN GRILLED DORADO
This is an astonishingly great recipe. If you can't find the two types of salad dressing, then visit your grocery store and get creative. Serves eight and takes about an hour to prepare.
8 filets of Dorado (or Mahi Mahi)
1 12 oz bottle of El Torito Serrano Grape Vinaigrette
1 12 oz bottle Kozlowski Farms Key Lime Salad Dressing
¼ cup Hornitos tequila
½ bottle Tecate beer
juice of 3 limes
1 bunch cilantro, lightly chopped
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper Pepper to taste
In large bowl, mix all ingredients except fish. In 9 x 14 pan, pour a thin layer of marinade. Add fish, then rest of marinade, coating thoroughly. Let sit, covered on the counter, for up to an hour.
Heat the grill. Grill fish on both sides until done. Remove from grill and place on platter, garnishing with onions and cilantro. Serve immediately with Tortilla Soup and Jalapeño Corn Bread.
Recipe and tips provided by Ann Hazard.