I know, I know, 16th de Septiembre is the REAL independence day for Mexico, the day the average Mexican, impassioned by a speech proclaimed by Father Hidalgo, began their fight against their oppressor, Spain. This independence was not achieved by Mexico until over 10 years later. And Independence Day for Mexico is not to be confused with that big party day in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo, which was actually Mexico’s battle against the French who several decades later were vying for another land grab. But in my home, we celebrate many holidays that come to us from other countries, and 16th de Septiembre is no exception.
We must start with a margarita, on the rocks only. Some Jose Cuervo gold, triple sec, fresh lime juice, shaken with ice, poured into a salt-rimmed glass (I use pink grapefruit salt), then splashed with Grand Marnier.
We continued our tribute to Mexico with some black beans, sauced up with a little chopped onions, garlic, and smoked paprika, then topped with cotija cheese, cilantro, and chopped avocado . . . a nice starter. Our main course was a tribute to the region of Oaxaca, a savory mole. My version combines sauteed onions, garlic, a little tomato sauce, a handful of golden raisins, and just a touch of peanut butter along with ancho chili powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a little dark unsweetened chocolate. Meld these flavors together with chicken broth, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Then add cut-up chicken pieces (my family prefers ranchero style (cut up bone-in pieces) rather than cubed, boneless pieces), stir to cover with sauce, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, adding more broth as needed. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!
So how did you celebrate 16th de Septiembre? If you missed it this year, there’s always next year to celebrate with Mexico! Next up, Oktoberfest. I can almost smell the brats and taste the beer now . . .
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