Sesquicentennial = sesqui- (one and a half) centennial (100 years).
The 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) commemorates the anniversary of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Army in 1862.
As Wikipedia tells us:
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance in Mexico itself, the date is observed nationwide mostly in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. “Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexican holiday—it is an American Civil War holiday, created spontaneously by Mexicans and Latinos living in California who supported the fragile cause of defending freedom and democracy during the first years of that bloody war between the states.” Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
You can find more background on Cinco de Mayo at this website.
We enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo in our house. I believe one should never pass up a reason to celebrate, and Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse for eating delicious TexMex (although TexMex is so delicious and versatile, it makes any occasion special 😉 ). It’s also a good reason for me to make up some reduced-fat queso (cheese dip): In a medium-sized saucepan, mix together 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (UNDRAINED) with some reduced-fat (2%) Velveeta (or reduced-fat American or reduced-fat cheddar) and an assortment of other cheeses (you want to end up with a bit over a pound of cheese). Stir over medium heat until melted and smooth. Muy Bueno 🙂
Whenever Cinco de Mayo comes around, I view it as an excellent excuse to change my whole latitude 😉 and well and truly usher in Spring by splurging on some Corona Light (with lime, of course!) or maybe a Carb-Conscious (no-sugar-added) frozen lime margarita. (Try saying “Sesquicentennial” three times fast after you’ve had a Corona or a margarita or two! Go on, I dare ya!! It’ll be fun, you know it will!)
For Cinco de Mayo, I often like to make something that I don’t usually make — such as my own salsa, flour tortillas, charro beans (absolutely delicious!) — or try some kind of new recipe.
Given that this year, Cinco de Mayo is not only the Sesquicentennial but also on a Saturday, I figure we can do TexMex all day — perhaps start the day with some breakfast tacos or maybe some migas, some nachos or maybe quesadillas (essentially a Mexican grilled cheese) for lunch, and we’re thinking fajitas for supper (add that to my ever-growing lists of posts I have planned for y’all when my schedule best allows).
And weather-permitting, hubby and I will be spending much of the day on our back deck, passing the time playing Mexican Train dominoes. 🙂 As Wikipedia explains:
Mexican Train, also known as simply Trains, is a game played with dominoes. The object of the game is for a player to play all the dominoes from his or her hand onto one or more chains, or “trains”, emanating from a central hub or “station”. The game’s most popular name comes from a special optional train that belongs to all players. However, the game can be played without the Mexican Train; such variants are generally called “Private Trains” or “Domino Trains”. It is related to the game Chicken Foot.
In honor of the Sesquicentennial Cinco de Mayo, my post today is about Tostadas, which is a dish we made last week as our weekly meatless supper meal.
Tostadas, at least the way I generally make them and enjoy them, are essentially an open-faced taco. While some will say that they can be made with either corn or flour tortillas, to my mind, a tostada is made with a crispy corn tortilla, whereas a chalupa is made with a crispy flour tortilla.
While you can likely purchase tostada shells from the Hispanic section of your grocery store, they are easy enough to make at home and are a great way to use up the last of those corn tortillas. That’s one of the reasons we had tostadas for supper that night a couple of weeks ago, actually — I had 8 corn tortillas left and we wanted to make something else with them besides enchiladas.
To make your own tostada shells: You can lightly oil a non-stick skillet and fry the tortillas in a single layer, two or three at a time, until crisp, OR you can lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray or cooking oil and bake them in a single layer at high heat (400F to 425F), watching closely and turning once, until crisp. Given that our weather has already been on the warm side this year, I opted for crisping mine in the skillet as opposed to having the oven on such a high heat. When you use a non-stick skillet, you don’t need to include much oil, but you do need some — if you don’t have enough oil, the tostada shells will come out chewy instead of crunchy and crispy.
Dressing your tostadas is most of the fun. 🙂 Spreading some refried beans onto the shell as your base to “anchor” the tostada, you then dress it as you would like: shredded lettuce, guacamole or sliced avocado, reduced fat sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt, salsa or pico de gallo, diced tomato, sliced olives, sliced jalapeño — the sky’s the limit!
We made our tostadas meatless, but if you like, you can also top the refried beans with a meat layer of seasoned lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground or diced chicken, etc. Or, just to have things be a little different, you can still keep it vegetarian but top the refried beans with some “Soyrizo” or taco-seasoned vegetarian meat crumbles.
This is so quick and easy, and smells and tastes so yummy, you’ll be dancing in your kitchen as you sip your Corona Light or margarita 🙂
Tostadas (This one-dish meal adjusts fairly easily for the number of servings you want; generally speaking, figure on 2 or 3 tostadas per serving)
- Refried beans (Optional: also include taco-seasoned meat or vegetarian meat substitute)
- Tostada shells (Purchase pre-made or make as directed above)
- Desired toppings to “dress” your tostadas: lettuce, diced tomato, fresh cilantro, reduced-fat sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt, shredded reduced-fat cheese or reduced-fat queso, guacamole or sliced/diced avocado, salsa, etc.
- Spread tostada shell with refried beans. (The beans serve as an “anchor” for your other toppings.) (Seasoned meat or vegetarian meat substitute IN ADDITION to the refried beans is optional.)
- “Dress” (top) each individual serving of your tostada as desired.