April 28, 2017

Green, White, Red: Viva Mexico!

by Marjan
As an immigrant to the United States at the age of six, and now a citizen of a country I have call home for over forty years, I sympathize with my Mexican compadres as we wonder what will be the state of our affairs. As I scratch my head in the irony of truths and 'alternative facts', I'm stumped with our celebration of Cinco de Mayo, since this event has nothing to do with American/Mexican history. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Pueblo. I believe the reason for celebrating Mexico's victory here in American has more to do with ideals of separation of church and state along with freedom of religion (which was a pivotal strife for our Founding Fathers and Constitution). Mexico's Reform War was a civil war which pitted Liberals who believed in separation of church and state against the Conservatives who favored a bond with the Roman Catholic Church. When I questioned memorizing all the dates, wars, battles and treaties, my teacher assured me of the significance for studying history. Apparently, studying history enlightens us of the past, so that we may learn and make better decisions for our future. Unfortunately today, many places here and around the world, we have yet to learn from our past history or that of our neighbors down south.
.... Oh, yes! Cinco de May! Viva Mexico!


....I'm back on track! Ready to celebrate separation of church and state...I mean, Cinco de Mayo!
Any chance I get to enjoy Mexican food, I go for it. This year, I plan to serve Mexcan inspired dishes to my family and friends for Cinco de Mayo. You can count I'll be serving margaritas, freshly prepared tomatillo and avocado salsa, tortillas, and other fun bites. Since my expertise in making authentic Mexican food leaves much to be desired, I'm improvising with my heart and creating an appetizer dish designed to capture the colors of Mexico: green, white, and red; along with Mexico's staple grain, corn!
I'm using cornmeal to make a cornbread cake flavored with jalapeños, cheese, chorizo, and sour cream. Beautifully decorated with green cilantro, red jalapeños, and white cream, this appetizer captures my essence for celebrating Mexican flavors familiar to this Iranian/American Savorychick in love with Mexican food and culture. Creamy, sweet cornbread flavored with a little spice and rich chorizo, battles and wins my hunger for Mexican food. Easy to make a head of time, serve this cake for your co-workers and bring a little fiesta to your day!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico! Viva Planet Earth! Peace!

Serves 10-12
Ingredients
1 ½ cups cornmeal
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 can (14 ¾ oz) cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
½ cup melted butter
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
3 green Jalapeño peppers- seeded and finely chopped
1/2 pound chorizo; sautéd in a skilled for 10 minutes and drained of oil
9 inch round baking dish

Garnish and Decorate
2 cups sour cream
1 red bell pepper
1 red jalapeño
2 Persian cucumbers
cilantro leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together eggs, corn, sour cream and cooled melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Do not over mix! Fold in cheese, jalapenos, and chorizo. Transfer to a greased 9 inch baking pan.

3. Bake at 350° F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick near the center comes out clean. Cool and transfer to serving platter.

4. Once cake is completely cold, spread sour cream over cake to cover all surfaces and decorate. Using cilantro leaves, decorate walls of cake. Using Red bell pepper, chop 1/4" off top with stem for top of cake and the rest chop into squares and juliann. Slice Persian cucumbers into thin circles and using a potato peeler, peel 4 strands of cucumber lengthwise. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro as confetti.  Using picture below, decorate to duplicate decoration:



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