Marcela Valladolid Hosts Cinco de Mayo Week

A lot of gringos assume that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican equivalent of America’s Fourth of July Celebration but it is not Mexico’s Independence Day.  In fact, it is not much of a holiday in Mexico.  It is simply a remembrance of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Mexican Independence Day is known as Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”) and is celebrated on September 16th.  Cinco de Mayo was chosen because it flows better than Décimosexto de Septiembre.  But Cinco de Mayo as we celebrate it here in the US is  born from the same place as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – the boardroom of some Manhattan marketing firm.  Where the goal with the other three is to sell cards and flowers here it has been an attempt to create another St. Patrick’s Day.   Like St. Paddy’s, Cinco de Mayo is designed to sell two things, alcohol and food.

Marcela ValladolidThat’s why the Food Network has Mexican Made Easy’s Marcela Valladolid hosting a week of Cinco de Mayo themed programming.  They’ll be running virtually every Mexican-themed Throwdown Bobby Flay has ever done and the same goes for Guy’s Triple D visits to Mexican restaurants.  Also part of the fiesta is the premiere of the newest season of Mexican Made Easy in which Marcela is joined by none other than Eva Longoria.

To help get you into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo Marcela (author of Fresh Mexico available at amazon) has sent over a few recipes.  I’ll post a few throughout the week so be sure to check back daily right HERE.  Also check the Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo HQ for recipes and tips from the whole FN gang including Aaron’s Celebration Picks, Bobby’s Taco Bash and 50 different nacho recipes.  50!  Now for Marcela’s Mexico City-Style Tacos.

: Mexico City-Style Tacos

Recipe by Marcela Valladolid

  • 3 tomatoes, cored
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups fideo or angel hair pasta, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or mild feta cheese
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a heavy medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the fideo or pasta and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  3. Place the cooked tomatoes, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet and cook the fideo or pasta on low heat, without stirring, until tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Fill the tortillas with the fideo filling. Drizzle the tacos with crema and sprinkle with cheese.

Preparation time:

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 10 – 12

Culinary tradition: Mexican


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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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