Tag Archives: tortilla

Cinco de Mayo – The most popular celebration not celebrated in Mexico…

3 May

Ever since I lived in Chicago a few years ago, where there is a huge Mexican population, I learned that Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated in September. I remember people riding outside their car windows carrying huge Mexican flags, parading themselves with pride.

So, if this is celebrated every year in September… why does every gringo I know believes Mexican Independence day falls on Cinco de Mayo?  My belief on the popularity of Cinco de Mayo is for several reasons (and I am just speculating here):

  • It’s simple to pronounce even if your main language is English. Try saying “dieciséis de septiembre”!!!! Rolling those “r’s” can be a challenge to many.
  • May more or less signifies the beginning of warmer weather so gives people an excuse to party in shorts
  • I truly believe a beer company started this as a promotional scheme to start selling beer in May rather than waiting until June/July when it’s actually hot.


Cinco de Mayo is not really an important holiday or celebration in Mexico. I am “friends” on Facebook with Chef Marcela Valladolid. And this is her perspective, as a Mexican, on Cinco de Mayo:

Chef Marcela - Cinco de Mayo

In reality, Cinco de Mayo is the date when the Mexican army drove away the French army at a great battle in Puebla. The Mexicans were never ever expected to win and they did. And for that… we celebrate!!!!

Nonetheless, for whatever reason Cinco de Mayo got popularized in the US, we use it as an excuse to celebrate everything Mexican. I wish I had a recipe for Mole Poblano in my blog to share with you all, but in the meantime, here are a few recipes that celebrate Mexico, France and combine a little bit of both…

French Quesadilla

Cordon Bleu Quesadilla

(In México, these are called sincronizadas because they’re made on Wheat Tortilla.  True Quesadillas are made on corn tortillas)

Fried Quesadillas with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Poblano Pepper Rajas

Chopped Avocado Dressing

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Mexican Lasagna



Quesadilla Caprese

7 Feb

I love Caprese salads… fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Mmmmm!!! So when Rachael Ray proposed in one of her shows to make quesadillas with an Italian twist, I was all eyes and ears.   

I tried this one night I wanted a quick dinner…  this Quesadilla Caprese works great alone or accompanied with a salad.  As an appetizer or as lunch or light supper.  The fresh mozzarella is very watery and oozes a bit when you’re making it, but the flavor is amazing.



1 whole wheat tortilla
4-5 fresh mozzarella slices
3 tomato slices
4-5 fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brush some olive oil. 
  2.  oiling-the-pan.jpg
  3. Place whole wheat tortilla to warm up.  Flip over to the other side.
  4. Place 1/2 of the mozzarella slices, tomatoes, sprinkle salt and pepper, place basil leaves and the remaining mozzarella slices.  You need cheese next to the tortilla side to act as the “glue” that will keep the quesadilla closed and together.


 5.  Press down with a spatula.  Some of the moisture of the cheese will ooze out.  Don’t worry, keep the skillet warm enough and the tortilla will not wilt.  Actually it helps to build some crust on the outside rim.  Flip it a few times to get the cheese well melted on both sides.

6.  Dress with a additional drizzle of olive oil.

Try it… it’s awesome.

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