Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Edited note: the information provided below is based on this article; please read comments for some corrections provided by other sources.


On the morning of May 5, 1862, twelve years after Mexico declared it's independence from Spain, four thousand Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitorous Mexican army of 8,000 men at Puebla Mexico.

Five months before, the French came to Mexico, along with Spanish and English troops, to collect Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President Benito Juarez. After the English and Spanish made their deals and left, however, the French, under Napoleon III, remained to provide support to the American Confederacy during the Civil War.

The French attacked Mexico City and were defeated by the Mexican army under General Zaragosa--a victory that prevented Napoleon III from supplying the confederacy for another year, allowing the Union to build up their army. The battle of Gettysburg was fought 14 months later, which was the key battle leading to the end the Civil War.

Union forces were then able to come to Mexico's aid to eject the French occupation. In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans joined the U.S. armed forces to fight in WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Although Cinco de Mayo isn't widely celebrated in Mexico, it is an opportunity for Americans and Mexicans alike to remember that we are friends and neighbors; an occasion to remember freedom and liberty.

In that light, Mr.W and I had our own small celebration this evening--a dinner of tostadas.

serves 2 to 3 generously

6 corn tortillas
oil for deep frying

1/2 pound ground beef, browned and seasoned with salt and pepper

refried beans, or mashed beans of choice

salsa or taco sauce

thinned sour cream

chopped lettuce or baby spinach

shredded cheese (we used colby jack, a soft, mild cheese)

other toppings as desired

Fry corn tortillas until lightly golden brown to make a tostada shell; drain on paper towels. Top crispy tostada shells with refried beans, ground beef, and remaining toppings as desired.


Historical information found and paraphrased from this source.


Mary said...

Wow thanks for the information. I had no idea about Cinco de Mayo! And your tostadas look fantastic.

Oh and did you see the Japanese Iron Chef is coming to the Fine Living Chanel?

Amanda said...

Before researching this for this post, neither did I. I found it really very interesting.

The tostadas really are delish. I ate them at a friend's home about two years ago and have been enjoying them every since. It's also a very economical dish.

I had not seen that Fine Living will be showing Iron Chef--I'll be watching for it, now!

chemcookit said...

How interesting, I didn't know about this either. And your celebratory tostada dinner is such a nice idea :)
Btw- I just tagged you for a meme!

Ben said...

I don't wanna sound like I am lecturing but I am a nerd and I just want to point out two things. One, Mexico declare independence from Spain in 1810 (that makes it 52 years before the French invasion), and two, the French were defeated in Puebla city not Mexico city :-p Sorry about being such a dork but I thought it was worth mentioning.

In the other hand, I love those tostadas and I am impressed that you deep fried your tortillas. Most people, including me, buy tostadas ready to use and don't bother to fry them. Way to go!

Amanda said...

Hey, Ben--I'm sure you would know better than I would on the subject. I'm certainly open to learning in this area. I only know what I've read, which admittedly isn't much on this particular subject. It's not something we ever learned in school.

In my area it is impossible to find pre-made tostada shells. I prefer to fry them myself, anyway--a much fresher taste!

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