Sunday, May 3, 2009

Charro Beans for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is coming up. Last year Jim and I hosted a "drinko de mayo" party in the back yard. The big hit were these stick on mustaches - I think the girls look great!

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry respectively.

Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, including César Chávez.

A successful cinco de mayo party must have plenty of mexican beer and margaritas. Cascarones are a Mexican tradition for Easter as well as other holidays. A cascaron is an egg that is decorated much like an Easter egg and then filled with confetti. Cascarones are broken over the head for good luck. You can make your own cascarones at home with simple supplies that you probably already have lying around.

Lucky for your I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD and I have some of my favorite Mexican recipes to share with you. These are simple to follow so you can treat your guests and family to a festive cinco de mayo celebration of your own.

Fish Tacos and Salsa Veracruz

Charro beans are a wonderful side dish to serve with mexican food, especially fajitas. I recently made my "white girl" version of charro beans for a bbq with friends - they were really great. Let me show you what I did.

These are the ingredients for a double recipe: 2 sausage links, 5 slices bacon, 1 onion, 2 T garlic, 4 chopped tomatoes, 6 cans trappy pinto beans with jalapeno, 2 ribs celery, 2 jalapenos, 1/2 T bouillon, 1/2 T cumin, 4 T bloody mary mix, 1 can water.

Begin by prepping the bacon and sausage links. Dice and slice them up into bite size pieces.

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, saute the bacon and sausage until the bacon is almost done, but not crispy yet.

Dice the onion.

Add the onion to the sausage and bacon.

Add the minced garlic and stir to combine. It should be smelling REALLY good about now.

Chop the tomatoes into manageable pieces and add to the stock pot.

Stir to combine.

Now add all but one can of pinto beans.

Beans and bean juice - add it all.

Stir to combine, lower heat to medium low.

With the last can of pinto beans, throw that into a cuisinart or blender.

Split the two jalapenos open and pull out the seeds.

Then add those to the cuisinart along with two ribs of celery that have been washed and sliced.

Pulse just a few times to blend.

Adding this to the stock pot will thicken and flavor the beans. Charro beans are more like a "stoup" than beans on a plate, it's best served in a bowl or cup so you can taste all the juices/sauce.

Now, I add more flavor by throwing in 1/2 Tablespoon of chicken bouillon and 1/2 Tablespoon cumin. I added more liquid to the pot by filling a bean can with water, and then adding about 4 Tablespoons of bloody mary mix, but adding more tomatoes or maybe even V-8 would have worked here too.

Let this simmer for an hour, stirring often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Uno, Dos, Tres, Charro Beans! Made by a white girl to boot!


  1. Oh wow Mandy, I love this bean recipe! Looks like it was my kind of party! ;)

  2. Drinko de Mayo! :) LOVE it! Those beans look fabulous!!!

  3. the doggie stash!!!

  4. That party looked like a lot of fun. Love the pup picture.


Your comments mean a lot to me, I love hearing from you!