Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with homemade Mexican cuisine

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Do you know how Cinco de Mayo celebrations began?

Most people think Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Independence Day, which is incorrect.
Cinco de Mayo is actually a celebration of the victory at the Battle of Puebla, which took place in Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico, May 5, 1861 during the French-Mexican war.

The victory at the Battle of Puebla represented a powerful moral triumph for the Mexican government, symbolizing the country's ability to defend itself against a powerful nation. During the Battle of Puebla, 2,000 loyal Mexicans battled 6,000 French troops from sunrise into the early evening. The French retreated after losing nearly 500 soldiers. The Mexican army lost less than 100 soldiers.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with traditional Mexican cuisine, music, and of course, some adult beverages. Below are a few recipes to help spice up your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.


· 3-4 Jalapeño peppers (Use more or less depending on desired spice)
· 5-6 cloves of garlic
· Bushel of Cilantro
· 2 green onions
· 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes (If salsa is too spicy, add more tomatoes)
· Half of a lime
· Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

· Pan roast jalapeños until they are blackened on each side. Remove the stems and add to blender.
· Rinse off cilantro, rip off a handful and add to the blender.
· Slice green onions into 2inch pieces and add to blender
· Peel garlic and add to blender with whole peeled tomatoes
· Squeeze in juice from lime
· Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to desired taste
· Use the pulse button on blender to manually blend the salsa to desired consistency.
· If salsa is too spicy, add more tomatoes and blend again. Add spices as needed.
· Chill salsa and serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for other dishes.

Refried beans, without the refry

· 1 onion, peeled and halved
· 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
· 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
· 2 tablespoons minced garlic
· 5 teaspoons salt
· 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
· 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, (optional)
· 9 cups water

1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on high for eight hours, adding more water as needed. Note: If more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.
Beef Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce

· 5 ounces of monterey jack cheese, shredded
· 1lb. ground beef
· 8 corn or flour tortillas
· 1½ cups onion, chopped
· 12 roma tomatoes, chopped in large chunks
· 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
· 2 teaspoons dried oregano
· 2 cups cilantro, chopped
· 2 chipotle chilies
· 1½ limes, juiced
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 tablespoons Mexican Seasoning

Preheat oven 375°F.

In a medium-sized skillet, heat olive oil until smoky. Add tomatoes and ½ cup onions. Cook two minutes, add garlic, oregano, chilies and cilantro. Cook for one more minute. Puree in blender or food processor, adding lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour back into sauté pan.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with 1 cup onions. Add salt, pepper and Mexican seasoning.

Dip each tortilla in the chipotle pureed sauce and stack on plate. Place 2-3 tablespoons of beef and onion mixture in each tortilla and arrange, seam side down in baking dish. Pour remaining chipotle sauce over and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with cheese, then return in oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese melts.


· 1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
· 6 fluid ounces tequila
· 2 fluid ounces triple sec

1. Fill blender with crushed ice. Pour in limeade concentrate, tequila and triple sec. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Invite over some friends, crank up the salsa music and give homemade Mexican cuisine a try this Cinco de Mayo. Remember, always celebrate responsibly.