Cinco de Mayo

Taco Tuesday AND Cinco de Mayo on the same day! That sounds like a recipe for a fiesta. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for the perfect Cinco de Mayo+Taco Tuesday party! (Don’t forget the margaritas!)

Carnitas

  • 5 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 2 Tbps vegetable or other neutral cooking oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol (or ancho chile powder)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • water

Cut the meat into 5-inch chunks, removing any excess fat. Season all sides of the chunks well with sea salt.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the meat until very well browned on all sides. You will probably have to do this in batches (Don’t overcrowd the pot.) Once they are brown, remove them from the pot & drain on paper towel. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the meat is browned and removed from the pot, add 2 cups of water and scrape the bottom of the pot to release all the brown bits. add the bay leaves, garlic, chile powders and cumin. Mix so it’s well combined and then add the meat back to the pot. Add more water until the meat is about 2/3 covered.

Braise in the oven, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 3 1/2 hrs. Turn the pork a few times during braising.

Remove the pot from the oven & transfer the meat to a platter.

Strain the liquid into a bowl. reserve any meaty bits and discard any other solids. the fat will rise to the top. Skim off as much as possible.

When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it up and put it back in the pot. Add the liquid and return the pot back to the oven. Cook until much of the liquid evaporates and the outer edges of the pork becomes caramelized and crispy. The time will depend on how much liquid you have left and how crispy you want it.

Serve with tortillas (or sopes), onions, cilantro, salsa, limes, guacamole….the possibilities are endless!

Guacamole
CLASSIC

  • 4 avocados, ripe
  • 1/2 med. red onion, finely diced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbsp, fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Slice the avocados in half, remove the pit and skin. Place in a mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork. Make it as chunky or smooth as you’d like.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir together.

Sopes

  • 4 cups yellow corn masa flour
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ tsp salt

What are sopes?

Sopes are thick shells made from masa. The edges are pinched to create a wall that helps to encase the topping of your choice. We recommend topping with carnitas and guacamole!

Combine yellow corn masa flour, water, & salt and knead for five minutes or until masa is no longer sticky.

Divide into 20 small balls. Flatten into thick tortillas approximately hree inches in diameter.

On a hot skillet or griddle, cook each sope for one minute and hen turn; cook until golden.

Repeat with remaining masa balls. Hold each sope with side first cooked facing up; pinch edges to make a border.

Be careful as sopes will be hot. Cover with a cloth to keep sopes warm and moist.

Fry sopes in a skillet with a bit of oil until lightly golden; remove from skillet and drain.

Tres Leches Cake

FOR CAKE

  • 5 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

FOR MILK

  • 1 (13.6 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups Coco Crema* (about 1 15-oz can)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

FOR WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • strawberries, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch cake pan. In a large bowl, add 5 egg whites.

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the egg whites about 2-4 mins, until stiff peaks form. Scrape the egg whites into a bowl and store in the fridge.

In the same bowl that you beat the egg whites, add 1/2 cup butter and beat until smooth, scraping edges.

Add 1 cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 mins, scraping sides halfway through.

Add 1½ tsp vanilla and beat well. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1½ cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp baking soda.

Add the flour and egg white mixtures in alternating batches. Do not over mix. Once it is combined, stop.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread out with a spatula. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 2530 mins, until the edges are pulling away from the sides, & a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no batter on it.

While the cake is baking, make in a very large glass measuring cup or bowl, add 1 can coconut milk & microwave for 3060 secs. Stir until all the lumps have disappeared.

Add 2 cups Coco Crema, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 1 can evaporated milk. Stir together until combined.

When the cake is baked, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, use a chopstick or straw to poke holes in the cake. You want a lot of holes in the cake – this helps the milk mixture absorb.

SLOWLY pour the milk mixture over the cake (pour a portion and then let it absorb – should take about 3 minutes to add all of the milk mixture.) If you pour too quickly, the top of your cake will not absorb the liquid. Yes, pour all of the liquid on the cake. It seems like too much. It’s not!

Once all the milk has been added, put the cake back in the oven that has been turned OFF and set a timer for 10 mins. When the timer goes off, remove the cake from the counter and let cool for a few minutes on the counter.

Cover well and transfer to the fridge to cool completely, and to let the liquid absorb into the cake. This will take at least 4-6 hrs.

Once the cake is completely chilled and you are ready to serve, make the whipped cream.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat 2 cups cream on high for 2-4 mins until soft peaks form.

Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Beat well, scraping sides and bottom.

Spread the whipped cream over the cake. Garnish with strawberries and enjoy! Store in refrigerator. Make sure cake stays covered in refrigerator as it has a tendency to absorb smells from the fridge.

Heather Dombos comes from a long, southern tradition of hospitality and hearty cooking. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up something special for family and friends.

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