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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Melissa’s Produce adds flavor to your Cinco de Mayo menu + recipes from OC Food Diva

Cinco de Mayo (fifth of May) has been celebrated in California since 1863. Originally, it was to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla. In the 1940s, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage across the United States.

To get your festivities in gear, try some of these products from Melissa’s Produce:

Don Enrique Jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers) are a great way to add a beautiful purple hue and sweet flavor to drinks. Make a hibiscus simple syrup to add to lemonade, aguas fresca, or cocktails.

Hibiscus Simple Syrup by OC Food Diva
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Don Enrique Jamaica

  1. Add water, sugar, and Jamaica to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved and remove from heat.
  3. Strain out hibiscus flowers.
  4. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  5. Add to your favorite drink to your taste and color preference.

Don Enrique Pasta Para Duros are a popular Mexican snack food made of puffed wheat. Normally seen sold by street vendors and in some Mexican restaurants, they are normally topped with some lime juice, chile powder, and shaken until coated. Normally deep-fried, you can also make them in the microwave. If you have a microwave with a turntable, place the pasta para duros in a circular design on turntable plate (see slideshow photos), leaving one inch between “wheels”. Microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until “wheels” have puffed up. Remove from turntable plate and serve. One of the best ways to eat it is with Melissa’s Hot Hatch Salsa. As you dip the pasta para duros in the salsa, you will hear little popping noises. It will remind you of that childhood rice cereal and milk sound.

Tamales, normally made around the Christmas holiday, can be made anytime with Melissa’s Authentic Tamale Kit. Hatch Chile Spicy Shredded Beef filling is a great way to make it a meal.

Hatch Chile Spicy Shredded Beef Tamales by OC Food Diva

  1. Season beef chuck roast with salt, black pepper, and hatch chile powder.
  2. Add beef, garlic, and red onion into stock pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and simmer for two hours.
  4. Remove beef from stock (reserve liquid for steaming tamales) and let cool slightly.
  5. With two forks, shred beef. Add more salt, pepper, hatch chile powder, and/or garlic powder to taste.
  6. Prepare tamale kit according to package directions.
  7. Take a sliver from the side of each husk to use as a tie. Set aside.
  8. Place two tablespoons of masa into the center of the corn, leaving one to two inches from the edges of the husk.
  9. Place one to two ounces of filling into the center of the masa.
  10. Fold over the sides of the corn husks. Fold the bottom up to close the packet. (The bottom is the narrow part of the husk.)
  11. Use the husk sliver to tie the bottom fold to the tamale. It will hold it together in the steaming process and also makes a nice presentation.
  12. Stack the tamales upright in the steam basket so the masa does not leak out.
  13. Cover and steam for one hour.
  14. Cool slightly and serve.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

For more information:
Melissa’s Produce

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