My in-laws are visiting from the East Coast and for their last night we are planning a Mexican-inspired feast to send them off in California style. For those of us who grew up in the Golden State, celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a matter of cultural pride. I took particular delight in celebrating Mexico’s victory over France when I was living in Paris a little over a decade ago. I grabbed a six pack of Stella Artois—Belgium’s answer to Corona, only Corona is much, much better—and a couple limes at the local Monoprix, and headed back to my little apartment on Rue Paul Bert. There, I shoved a ceremonial lime slice down the neck of a bottle of Stella, and sat with the windows open, smoking a cigarette and drinking a toast to my friends back home. It may have been the only time I truly savored a Stella.
So for tonight, Mr. Foodinista and I are putting together a menu of some of our favorites as follows. And, of course, margs. What will you be cooking up tonight? Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Cinco de Mayo Menu
Squash Blossom Quesadillas—I picked up a fistful of colorful squash blossoms on Monday at farmers market. I love them with a little creme fraîche, feta and cracked black pepper in a tortilla.
Salad with Spicy Lime and Avocado Vinaigrette—a recipe from my friend Jimmy Shaw at Loteria and a staple in our home. Love the spicy pumpkin seeds!
Red Beans and Rice with Salsa—Tiny G’s nanny is an excellent cook and learned all the Mexican classics from her mother-in-law. While Tiny G takes a power nap, she plans to make our kitchen smell awesome with tomatillos, chiles, garlic and onion simmering away. (Note: Tiny G’s nanny points out that the rice in this dish should be shorter grain than in the photo—and will be tonight!)
Grilled Carne Asada—Our neighbor Chris, an expert griller, turned Mr. Foodinista onto the carne asada from Liborio Market. Last year at our Guac Off, Mr. Foodinista grilled up something like 15 lbs of the stuff. And there were no leftovers.
And for dessert? In my fantasy world it’s Tres Leches Cake from Animal restaurant on Fairfax. OR the Banana Dulce de Leche Ice Cream from Milk on Beverly is muy delicioso.