Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Menu: Entrees

Cinco de Mayo (The Fifth of May) is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. Puebla's signature dish is Mole Poblano--a Chocolate spicy stew.

Chocolate and chiles are a part of many Mexican dishes, so I’ve put together my own chocolate ‘menu’ for Cinco de Mayo. Some things you can buy, some you can make. Whatever you decide, you’ll get your fill of chocolate on Cinco de Mayo.

Today: Snacks and entrée and drinks. Tomorrow: Desserts, Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Tortilla Chips: To purchase.
Food Should Taste Good makes a great Chocolate Tortilla Chip—good balance of the salt and sweet. They’re available in many markets and online. Another choice for Chocolate Tortilla Chips are the Vosges Red Fire Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips. They’re sweeter, but delicious. They are nicely salted chips drenched in milk chocolate and dusted with ancho and chipotle chilies.

Chicken Mole,
my favorite Mexican chocolate main dish, can be very complicated to make. I always order it when it’s on the menu, and I was thrilled to find that Paula Deen has a quick Chicken Mole recipe. o.k. it's not all that quick, but faster than the traditional recipes.

Paula Deen’s Quick Chicken Mole

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
1 (10-ounce) can chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 (5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish
White rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and spices and continue to saute to toast and develop flavor. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, chipotles, broth, peanut butter, and chocolate. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and puree until smooth.

Sear the chicken in a heavy bottomed hot saute pan over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Add to casserole dish, cover with sauce and braise the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Garnish with pepitas and serve with white rice.

You can also use this mole dish in Enchiladas!
Here’s another “Main Dish”—I know it’s really a dessert, but they’re tamales, after all, so I’m counting them as a main dish.

This recipe for Chocolate Tamales for Cinco de Mayo is from Diana's Recipe Book. The tamales are easy to make and delicious.

1 cup milk
1 pound melted chocolate
1 pound butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 pounds corn flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
24 corn husks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

Boil the milk and add the chocolate. Stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted. Add the butter and the sugar. Mix until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Mix the corn flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix by hand for 10 minutes. Grease 2 (12 cup) muffin pans and line with corn husks. Fill with chocolate tamale mixture and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 24 Chocolate Tamales.

And what is more traditional to drink than Tequila? This would be my drink of choice, and Tanteo has a 100% Weber blue agave blanco tequila infused with cocoa beans and jalapeno. Not too sweet and has a kick!

Tomorrow: Dessert--Mexican Chipotle Brownies, Spicy Hot Drinking Chocolate and great peppery Chocolate Bars.

1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo Janet. Excellent Menu!!! What a GREAT idea. I'm leaning toward the Chocolate Tamales, interesting:)

BTW: Did you see the cookbook give-away I'm having?