Cinco de Mayo

I don’t ever remember celebrating Cinco de Mayo very often. Sure, we used it as an excuse to have a party in high school Spanish class, and also for drinking lots of margaritas and tequila in college. However, in my adult life, I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated the holiday. It’s probably because I am German. And English. And some other ethnicities here and there. All over the blogosphere (starting to dislike that word a lot now) there are recipes for Cinco de Mayo. Not wanting to be left out, I got a few together to share. This year, I am planning to make these, the best Chicken Fajitas I have ever made at home. They are delicious, so delicious in fact I thought about making them again the day after I made them for the first time. I plan to serve them with homemade salsa. I am not a fan of fresh tomatoes. I like tomatoes cooked and in dishes, but raw and alone I can’t stand them. Therefore, I tend to dislike most homemade salsas. I decided to give this one a shot because the majority of the tomato flavor comes from canned diced tomatoes. The other thing is, I like my salsa smooth and liquidy and spicy. This recipe is very versatile in that you can customize the spiciness by keeping in the jalapeno seeds and adding more or less cayenne pepper. Since you are operating the food processor, you can also make it as chunky or as smooth as you like. This recipe makes a lot (about 6 cups!) and it is so good and so addicting that we (the two of us) ate it in about 2 weeks.

Salsa

Ingredients:

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, coarsely chopped (remove seeds for a milder salsa)
4 cloves garlic, halved
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want in your salsa)
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. cumin
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 C. fresh cilantro
juice of one lime

 In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos and garlic. Process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add all other ingredients to the food processor. Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Makes about 6 cups.

Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

A few years ago, I wanted to make tacos and had all of the ingredients except for the seasoning packet. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make myself. A quick search yielded quite a few options. I happened to have all of the ingredients to make the following one, adjusting the amount of red pepper flake and cayenne pepper to make it spicy enough for our tastes. I never bought the seasoning packet from the grocery store again.

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

 1T. Chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. red pepper flake

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

Mix all together. Add to 1lb. browned ground beef or turkey for tacos. If mixture is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

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