Magazine article Sunset

Cinco De Mayo Fiesta!

Magazine article Sunset

Cinco De Mayo Fiesta!

Article excerpt

Cinco de Mayo mixed grill

Cheese Quesadillas and Radishes

Mexican Mixed Grill

Fresh Salsa (Chop Sauce)

Roasted-Poblano Cream

Pot Beans

Warm Corn Tortillas

Cinnamon-Scented Rice Milk (Horchata) and Beer

Three-Milk Cake (Pastel Tres Leches)

* In our enthusiasm for all things Mexican, we've made Cinco de Mayo an exuberant north-of-the-border holiday, with parades, festivals, and food. Often mislabeled Mexican Independence Day, May 5 is in fact the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, the Mexican army's (temporarily) successful stand against the French in 1862 and a rather minor holiday in Mexico today. Regardless, it's a wonderful time to celebrate our lively Mexican heritage here in the West with a fiesta.

Ruben and Leticia Salinas, owners of Los Caporales Restaurant in Ojai, California, provide the perfect menu, from Leticia's home state of Sonora, for a mixed grill party (parrillada). Guests fill warm tortillas with grilled meats and chilies, add chop sauce (a fresh salsa that doubles as a salad) and roasted-poblano cream, and wrap the bundle like a burrito or fold it taco-style. Pot beans (pinto beans) are the simple side dish, and another classic, pastel tres leches (three-milk cake), makes a rich, sweet ending.

Mexican Mixed Grill

Orange-Achiote Marinade

Red Chili Sauce

Roasted-Poblano Cream

Chop Sauce

Cinnamon-scented Rice Milk

Three-Milk Cake

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easy fundamentals

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* Cheese quesadillas. Spread about 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese over half of each of 5 or 6 flour tortillas (8 in. wide); fold bare halves over cheese. Grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level for only 2 to 3 seconds), turning once, for 2 minutes total. …

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