CINCO DE MAYO AT HOME

I love Mexican food. When I was working 60-80 hours a week, Mexican was often one of our default dinners out during the week. It was inexpensive, fast and relatively decent. We all had our favorites and it was a no-brainer meal when I just didn’t have the energy to pull dinner together myself. Since we likely would have ended up eating out at least once more, one of the meals needed to be cheap. And if you order correctly, it can also be healthy. My boys have always been good eaters. My little one, she is 4 and a half now, is not. She thinks that Mexican food means quesadillas. On top of that, she then proceeds to pick the melted cheese out of the tortilla. Basically, she just wants to eat melted cheese. Anyway, this year, we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo at home. I can’t bring myself to eat out very often since I am not working and I definitely don’t see the need to go out for Mexican when I can make a great Mexican meal at home. The menu for our Cinco de Mayo celebration includes steak tacos with home-made tortillas, guacamole, and slaw with a little lime and cilantro (I sometimes add grated cheese and extra hot sauce), a side salad, horchata and mango-lime ice cream for dessert.

This is delicious stuff and easy too. Enjoy!

Horchata:
1 box rice milk (4 cups) – I cheat on this since we drink rice milk at home anyway, but you can find plenty of recipes online to make your own rice milk if you want to go through the effort
1/2 cup sugar (I used caster so that it would disolve easily)
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. ground cinnamon

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and whaz for a few minutes until you can see that the cinnamon has been thoroughly mixed in. Put into a pitcher and chill. When ready to serve, stir to remix as it will separate and then pour over ice. The kids LOVE this drink.

Steak Tacos:
1 large flank steak
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 t. red chile flakes
2 large cloves garlic, smashed

Put the flank steak into a resealable bag and add all the other ingredients and seal. Bang on the bag with your fist for a bit and lay flat in the fridge for a couple of hours (overnight is better), flipping at least once. Preheat your grill pan or BBQ. This should take about 7 minutes per side to be medium well, but test for temperature and cook to your liking. Allow meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Be sure to cut across the grain. Serve immediately.

Home-made Tortillas:
3 cups AP flour
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup warm water
1 t. salt

Dissolve salt into warm water and set aside. Mix the oil into the flour with a fork until it resembles sand. Using your hand, mix the salt water into the flour until it comes together in a somewhat sticky ball. On a clean surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky – this should take about 3-5 minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a towel and set in a warm place for 30 minutes (you can allow it to rest for up to 2 hours, but cover with plastic wrap instead). Once ready to cook, divide the dough into 2 equal balls. Roll the dough in your hands into round balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until fairly thin. I do not recommend rolling these out until you are ready to cook them as they get very sticky, but if you do, place waxed paper in between them.

Preheat your skillet over medium heat. Place your tortillas in the hot dry pan, and cook until they begin to bubble then flip, repeating on the second side. Each side should take about a minute. If you do not eat these all at once, they can be stored in a resealable bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Mango-Lime Ice Cream
6 egg yolks
1 lime – zest and juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 mangos – skinned and cubed
1 cup whipping cream

In the bowl of a mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until light a frothy. In a heavy sauce pan, heat the milk until scalding then slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain the milk and egg mixture back into the pan and place it over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (should coat the back of a spoon). Set aside to cool.

In a blender, place the mango cubes, the juice and zest of one lime. Whaz until the pulp is smooth like baby food. Strain the cooled custard into a clean bowl and whisk in the cream. Beat in the mango puree until fully combined. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn until frozen (alternatively, you can place in a glass container and mix periodically with a fork to break up the ice crystals). Allow to freeze for several hours before serving.

Enjoy!

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