It has been strange weather recently. There are torrential downpours one minute, lovely warm sunshine…
Today is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May which is a party day in Mexico and the United States. It commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla and you will often find parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals going on to celebrate it. It is a great excuse to create some Mexican party food which would be perfect to serve at Summer barbecues. Santa Maria, who create a great range of herbs and spices, sent me some recipes to try out along with some of their spices.
First I tried a Mexican twist on hot dogs, hotdogureos, which originate from Sonora in North West Mexico. First you need to cook your sausages. I used pork sausages from our local butcher for added flavour. The sausages are then wrapped in warm Santa Maria Soft Plain tortillas. A range of toppings is then added, choose from crushed pinto beans, chopped onions, mustard, mayonnaise, guacamole and top with Santa Maria Salsa or sour cream. I added fried onions and home made corn salsa to my hotdogureos which made them really tasty. These would be great fun at a barbecue and everyone could add the toppings they wanted.
Everyone knows how to make coleslaw. My mum always let me chop the white cabbage and grate the carrots when we were having salad. Add some salad cream or mayonnaise and you have a perfect side dish. To spice it up and make it more Mexican I added a grated apple and some Santa Maria Chipotle paste. This added a lovely smoky spicy kick which made it more exciting. It was the ideal side to serve with the hotdogueros.
I have been experimenting recently with salsa. A while ago I made cucumber, tomato and lime salsa. Recently I have been trying tomato and spring onions. I discovered if you chop the tomatoes and spring onions finely, add some rosemary and a little rock salt and then sprinkle over some lime juice you get a really tasty salsa. For a more Mexican feel I jazzed up the salsa with some sweetcorn before adding it to the hotdogueros. It worked perfectly.
Read more: Simple beef nachos
Crisps and dips
Every party should have crisps and dips and among the spices I was sent I found some cheese dip seasoning mix and some guacamole dip seasoning mix. All I needed to add was some sour cream, and for the guacamole some avocado.
The cheese dip was simple to make, I just stirred the seasoning mix into sour cream for a really tasty dip. The guacamole required a couple of avocados to be mashed up with some sour cream and then the seasoning mix added. Both were really quick and easy to make and were great side dishes.
Santa Maria’s Herbs and Spices range is available in Tesco. The Mexican range is available in all major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. Are you going to be making any Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo?
I was sent the Santa Maria spices to try out some recipes, the opinions and photos are my own.