I know I’m a day late but, Happy Cinco de Mayo!

arugula salad and quesadilla tacos tres leches

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!  I know I’m a day late, but that’s beside the point.  Before I get into talking about recipes, I would like to give a little historical background on this holiday which many celebrate in the U.S.   In the state of Puebla, Mexico, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s surprising victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  Cinco de Mayo should not be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16th.  Now that little history lesson is out of the way, here is the menu I put together to celebrate this holiday.


  • Black bean and arugula salad
  • Goat cheese and black bean quesadillas
  • Slow cooker pork tacos
  • Fish tacos with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo sauce
  • Tres Leches


Timing is very important when putting together a large meal.  I started with the slow cooker pork tacos, then the tres leches, all the sides, and then did the fish tacos last.  So I’m going to write the recipes in order of preparation.




Slow Cooker Pork Tacos


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • ½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 3 ¾ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 lbs pork chopped into chunks
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon




In a food processor, combine the garlic, chipotles, onion, 2 tbsps olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and oregano.  Puree until smooth.  In a deep pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high.  Add the chile sauce and stir until thick and fragrant.  Add the broth and reduce until thickened.  Add the ground cinnamon.


Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.  Add the bay leaves and pour the chile sauce over.  Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about five hours.  Discard the bay leaves and shred the pork.  Serve with warm tortillas and toppings.




Tres Leches


  • One box super moist yellow cake mix
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup and 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Toasted flaked coconut for garnish (*optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray with non-stick cooking spray the bottom of a 9X13 inch glass baking pan.


In a stand mix, add the cake mix, 1 cup evaporated milk, the vegetable oil and eggs.  Beat on low for 30 seconds, and medium for 2 minutes.  Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool.


In a bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, remaining evaporated milk, and ¼ cup heavy cream.  Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake.  Pour the milk mixture evenly over the cooled cake.  Place the cake into the refrigerator for at least an hour and chill.


When you are ready to serve, using the stand mix with the whisk attachment, whip 1 cup heavy cream with the vanilla until peaks form.  Serve the cake with a dollop of cream and the toasted coconut if desired.




Fish Tacos


  • 2 lbs cod fillets cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Tempura batter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the tempura batter according to directions on box.  In a deep frying pan, pour enough vegetable oil to cover 1 inch up the sides of the pan.  Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper to taste.   Dredge the fish in the batter and shake off excess.  Once the oil is hot carefully add the fish and fry until golden brown.  Once cooked, let oil drip off on a paper towel lined plate.




Cabbage Slaw


  • ½ small head of cabbage sliced thinly
  • Juice of  1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste




In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients together.




Black Bean and Arugula Salad


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 mangoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 avocadoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 package baby arugula
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsps white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large salad bowl, toss the black beans, yellow corn, onion, red pepper, mangoes, avocadoes and arugula.  In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lime juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad.




Goat Cheese and Black Bean Quesadilla


  • 1 can black beans
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • ½ small yellow onion chopped finely
  • 6 large flour tortillas




In a food processor, puree the black beans.  Transfer to the beans to a bowl and combine with the goat cheese and onion.  Spread the bean and cheese mixture over three tortillas and cover with remaining three tortillas.  Heat Panini grill and cook each quesadilla until cheese is melted and tortilla has grill marks.




Chipotle Mayo Sauce


  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream


In a food processor, combine all three ingredients.




I also served the tacos with optional toppings of pico de gallo and an onion and cilantro mix.








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