Cinco de Mayo!

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16. 

While it is important to remember the events that surround the holidays we acknowledge, I am thankful we celebrate these historical milestones with FOOD these days! This is what I will be making to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, yes even the hot chocolate while it is 93 degrees outside! celebrate and enjoy ~ v

XOCO Churros with Mexican Hot Chocolate

For the cinnamon sugar:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Mexican hot chocolate:

  • 5 cups milk or water
  • 10 ounces Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra, coarsely chopped

For the churros:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 to 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying

 

Make the cinnamon sugar: 
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. DO AHEAD: The cinnamon sugar can be made ahead and stored, in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 1 month.

Make the hot chocolate: 
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over moderate heat, combine the milk or water and the chocolate. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is almost completely dissolved (there will still be small pieces of chocolate) and the mixture is steaming. Transfer to a blender or use a handheld immersion blender and process until the mixture is foamy and fully emulsified, about 30 seconds (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return the hot chocolate to the saucepan. When ready to serve, place over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm.

Make the churro dough: 
In a medium pot over moderate heat, whisk together the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to melt the butter. Remove the pot from the heat and add the flour, stirring vigorously to fully incorporate it into the liquid. Return the pot to moderate heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the dough is smooth and sticky, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner; cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Following the 15-minute resting period, add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated after each addition. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip.

Fry the churros:
Line a large baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and place the cinnamon sugar in a small shallow bowl.

In a heavy large pot, heat 3 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375°F. Working in batches (about 6 churros per batch), hold the pastry bag just above the surface of the hot oil and carefully and gently pipe 4-inch ribbons of dough directly into the oil, using a paring knife to cut the batter at the end of the star tip if necessary. Fry the churros, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked in the center, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer as done to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and return the oil to 375°F between batches. Toss the churros in cinnamon sugar and serve warm with the Mexican hot chocolate.

 

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 6- to 61/2-inch-diameter corn tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans or black beans, drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup purchased pico de gallo
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons bottled chipotle hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush six 10-ounce custard cups with 1 tablespoon oil. Stack tortillas; microwave uncovered until warm and flexible, about 25 seconds. Gently press 1 tortilla into each cup. Brush tortillas with 2 tablespoons oil.

Place pinto beans, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, and cumin in small bowl; mash coarsely with fork. Spoon bean mixture into bottom of tortilla cups, spreading and dividing evenly. Crack 1 egg into each tortilla cup atop beans. Sprinkle each with grated Monterey Jack cheese, covering egg completely. Bake uncovered until egg yolks are firm to touch and whites are set, about 27 minutes (yolks will still be soft inside).

Meanwhile, mix pico de gallo, 1/3 cup cilantro, and hot sauce in small bowl. Using large spoon, lift tortilla cups from dishes; transfer to plates. Top eggs with pico de gallo and serve immediately.

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