My son was born on Cinco de Mayo, so until he was of the age where he could actually voice an opinion about a birthday party, I managed to sneak Mexican food and Margaritas into the party menu. (Hey, I wasn’t giving the kids the Margaritas.) Well, he’s old enough to make his own demands now so its slot cars and nerf gun wars for awhile, however I am sure there will come a day in the not so distant future, when he will celebrate his “oh so bueno” birthday once again with Mexican and Margaritas, and I better get an invite.
If you are looking for some creative ideas for your May 5th Menu, I’ve scoured past posts on Jersey Bites and some websites, to help make your Cinco de Mayo perfectamente. For starters, check out the Food Network’s line up of Margarita recipes.
Melissa Yurasits, Regional Editor for Jersey City has provided a recipe for Ropas Viejo Tacos below. For more traditional Mexican fare, about.com offers some excellent suggestions.
From Jersey Bites:
Mexican Lasagna: An easy one dish meal that feeds a crowd.
Chocolate Chicken Mole: Uses a already cooked rotisserie chicken. So easy.
Beef Enchiladas: You can substitute chicken or pork, always delicious.
Ropa Vieja Tacos
Traditional ropa vieja is a Cuban dish usually served with white rice and black beans, but for a Cinco de Mayo Mexican twist, pile the meat into soft corn or flour tortillas with queso fresco and guacamole, or whatever your favorite taco ingredients may be. This recipe was slightly modified from Ingrid Hoffmann at FoodNetwork.com.
· 4.5 pounds flank steak
· 3/4 cup Delicioso Adobo seasoning, recipe follows
· 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
· 4 bottles beer (Modelo Especial or Pacifico recommended)
· 1/3 cup canola oil
· 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
· 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
· 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
· 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
· 3 whole garlic cloves
· 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
· 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the flank steak into large pieces and place them in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the adobo and the Worcestershire sauce to make a paste. Rub the paste into the meat, add the beer, and let marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Transfer the meat, as well as the marinade, 3 garlic cloves, and handful of the chopped onions into a crock pot and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 3 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and set it aside.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, scallions, and tomatoes and cook until they are soft, 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and meat to the pan along with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Cover and simmer until the juices cook down, about 15 minutes.
· 2 tablespoons garlic powder
· 2 tablespoons onion powder
· 2 tablespoons dried oregano
· 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
· 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
· 2 tablespoons achoite powder from annatto seed
· 1 tablespoon cumin powder
Combine all ingredients.
**For an easier adobo mixture, use Goya’s pre-made adobo, which already has most of these ingredients added. They come in different varieties, so check ingredient list and add about 2 1/2 tablespoons of whatever ingredient is missing.