recipes & how tos | sep. 13, 2021

Celebrating & Honoring Mexican Independence Day

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day. Celebrated by Mexicans all around the globe, this patriotic day commemorates the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in Mexico resulting from the Cry of Dolores” delivered by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla calling for redistribution of land and racial equality. This day is celebrated with decorations and parades, the sights, sounds, and colors of vibrant Mexico. To commemorate such an historic day we reached out to a few friends of ours to find out what Mexican Independence Day looked like as they were growing up in Mexico, the ways they celebrated, and how we can honor the anniversary today.


Rodo Fregoso, Patrón Perfectionist Finalist from Guadalajara, Mexico in 2019, shared this overview:


Every year … thousands of people gather to celebrate Independence Day.

From a balcony of the Government Palace, the president waves the Mexican flag, gives a speech about history, mentions the characters that were part of it, while he screams Viva México” and is about to ring a bell alluding to the beginning of the battle against the Spanish crown, who kept us under his mandate just over 200 years ago.

Grito” means scream” in spanish, and we call it like that because the president screams Viva México” a lot of times.”

En Español:

Cada año en el Zócalo de la Ciudad de México, se reúnen miles de personas para celebrar el día de la Independencia.

Desde un balcón del Palacio de Gobierno el presidente ondea la bandera mexicana, da un discurso sobre la historia, menciona a los personajes que fueron parte de ella mientras grita Viva México” y se dispone a sonar una campana en alusión al inicio de la batalla contra la corona española, quién nos mantenía bajo su mandato hace poco más de 200 años.

Lo conocemos como Grito” porque el presidente grita Viva México” en repetidas ocasiones.”

Q&A with Rodo Fregoso, Bartender at Makal // Patrón Perfectionist Finalist // Guadalajara, Mexico 2019



Tell us about what Mexican Independence Day means to you:

September 16 is the most patriotic day in our country, even more important than May 5th. We celebrate (according to history) the beginning of the war for the liberation of the government to which the Spanish subjected us for many years, and that we achieved independence as a country.


Do you do something to recognize it?

From childhood in school they teach you who were the most representative characters of that achievement. And we decorate the classrooms with the colors of our flag, representative images, and even perform plays or simply disguise ourselves as the main characters of said confrontation. Also in the streets, or in public squares, activities such as parades are carried out, we decorate the most important buildings in the city, allegorical cars.


How is Mexican Independence Day traditionally recognized or celebrated in Mexico? Does that vary by region?

The peak moment of our celebration is at 00:00 hours on September 16th, in which we all gather outside our mayor’s office or government palace, while the president or governor, waves the Mexican flag, while he shouts Viva México” We answer Viva”, and it mentions the heroes” of Independence saying Viva Miguel Hidalgo” (who was one of the most important characters, and we answer Viva” and so on with various characters). A bell is also rung symbolizing the beginning of the battle, in which Miguel Hidalgo rang the bells of his cathedral to wake up all the citizens and thus rise up in arms against the Spaniards.


Are there any traditional foods or drinks associated with Mexican Independence Day?

Traditionally they eat antojitos” which are basically gorditas, tacos dorados, sopes, pozole, tostadas and tamales. They drink fresh waters, tequila, and hot drinks such as atole and champurrado.

In some regions it is very traditional to eat chiles en nogada”, a typical Mexican dish that consists of poblano chili, cream, walnuts, pomegranate, and stuffed with meat or other elements.


Q&A with Pepe” aka José Luis Gutiérrez Ibarra // Brand Ambassador Tequila Patrón LAC // Bacardí México



Tell us about the significance of Mexican Independence Day to you.

For me this is not just a day, but a full month with a lot of Mexican heritage and nationalism around it. I like this month because it makes me celebrate my heritage even more and of course I feel even more Mexican than ever. I grab my tequila bottle, listen to traditional Mexican music. I like when I see my friends and family feel great and celebrate their way. We celebrate this land, the history, and the traditions we have, is basically the start of the best part of the year September, October, November, and December.


Do you do anything to recognize it?

Well, normally in Mexico we have parades in every city, and you know, we remember the history and the heroes that give us freedom from the Spanish people. But what I like to do is celebrate being Mexican. We have many things that other countries would like to have, and I’m talking of course about the food, the drinks, the celebrations (Dia de Muertos, Dia de la Indepencia, the fiestas before Christmas, etc…) Once again, I like to celebrate my Mexican heritage with a nice bottle of tequila, food, family and friends.


How is it traditionally recognized or celebrated in Mexico? Does that vary by region?

Again, normally in Mexico we have parades in every city, and you know, we remember the history and the heroes that give us freedom from the Spanish people. It doesn’t have a variation depending on the region, but it has a variation depending on the people. Some just attend the parades and have a small reunion, but some others (like me) organize a party with food, tequila and music, because, like I mentioned before, Mexicans look for the excuse to celebrate, any time.”


Is there any traditional food or beverage associated with Mexican Independence Day?

Oh yea, of course I think during September we have a lot of recipes that are traditional for this. One of the most famous one is the chiles en nogada. This dish was created in Pueba but these days you can find it in every state of Mexico. It is the most popular dish for this season.


Recipe: Chiles en Nogada

Recipe provided by Rodo, while Pepe offered this recipe (click for link) as another option.


Ingredients:


2 tablespoons lard
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
300 grams of ground beef
300 grams of ground pork
1 tablespoon of salt
12 teaspoon ground black pepper
7 Tomatoes without seeds and cut into small cubes
14 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 teaspoon ground nutmeg
14 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch of cloves powder
1 panic apple cut into cubes (or regular apple)
1 pear cut into cubes
2 creole peaches cut into cubes (or regular peaches)
12 banana cut into cubes
14 cup of shelled and chopped almonds
14 cup pink pine nuts
14 cup raisins
8 poblano peppers roasted, peeled and seeded
1 package of cream cheese at room temperature (190 g)
50 grams of goat cheese
2 cups walnuts
4 tablespoons sugar
500 milliliters of sour cream
1 12 cups milk
14 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 cup sherry
12 teaspoon salt
1 pomegranate (seeds) to decorate
14 cup of fresh parsley leaves washed and finely chopped


Preparation:


For the filling, heat the butter and fry the onion until it is transparent; add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the beef and pork with 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, apple, pear, peach, banana, almonds, pine nuts, raisins and acitron, mix and cook for 5 more minutes; fill the chiles and reserve.


For the nogada, blend the cream cheese with the goat cheese, the walnut, the sugar, the cream, the milk, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, the sherry and ½ teaspoon of salt.


Serve the chilies bathing with the nogada, decorate with the pomegranate and parsley.




Recipe: Pozole (In English & En Español)

Recipe generously shared by La Casona Chef Daniel Nuñez Mercado




For the corn:

2kg of corn for pozole

70gr of lime (cal de construcción)


Protein:

500gr Leg of pork

500gr of pork backbone

½ head of pig


Adobo:

100gr guajillo chili

1 onion

1 head garlic

1 liter of water

For cooking:

1 onion

6 piece clove

8 whole black peppercorns

1 head garlic

5 bay leaves

6 liters of water

Salt to taste

Arbol chili sauce:

200gr chile de arbol without cape

2 tomatoes

6 cloves of garlic

1 small onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce (less spicy option):

500gr of tomato

1 piece of onion

4 tomato cloves

1 pinch of dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste


Accompaniments:

Chopped onion

Sliced radish

Lettuce or cabbage cut into chiffonade

Lemon in thirds

Corn tostadas

Spicy arbol chili sauce

Less spicy sauce



TO PREPARE:

Let’s prepare the corn.

We will start by soaking the corn for pozole for 24 hours. After this time, the soaking water is thrown away and again we cover it with cold water, add lime and let it rest for ten minutes, (for each kg of corn add a tablespoon) after the ten minutes, the corn is boiled until the grain releases its first skin. Then it is washed, making sure to remove all the skin that the corn releases.

It should be dried and frozen for 24 hours (it is recommended to freeze small portions of corn, freezing the corn helps the grain to pop more easily.)

*If you use precooked corn or canned corn, this process will be omitted.

Dressing:

Boil all the ingredients with a liter of water until well cooked, blend and strain and reserve. Season to taste.

Let’s start our pozole.

Boil the water, then add the meat together with the spices (in a mona). Add salt to taste and when it is half cooked (the meat), add the frozen corn and it should be boiled until the grain bursts and is soft just like meat.

We enhance our pozole with the marinade that we previously prepared, adjusting the seasoning and ensuring that the meat and grains are soft.

For the hot sauce:

Toast the chilies in a little butter, bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil and incorporate the previously toasted chilies, blend, season to taste and reserve to serve.


Tomato sauce:

Bring all the ingredients to a boil when they are soft, blend and season, add a little more oregano.




En Español


Pozole

2kg de maíz para pozole

70gr de cal

Proteinas

500gr pierna de cerdo

500gr de espinazo de cerdo

½ cabeza de cerdo

Adobo

100gr chile guajillo

1 pieza cebolla

1 cabeza ajo

1 litro de agua

Para la cocción

1 pieza cebolla

6 pieza clavo de olor

8 pieza pimienta negra entera

1 cabeza ajo

5 hojas laurel

6 litros de agua

Sal al gusto

Salsa de chile de árbol

200gr chile de árbol sin cabo

2 pieza de jitomate

6 dientes de ajo

1 cebolla chica

Sal y pimienta al gusto

Salsa sin picante

500gr de jitomate

1 pieza de cebolla

4 dientes de jitomate

1 pizca de orégano seco

Sal y pimienta al gusto



Acompañantes

Cebolla picada

Rabano en rodajas

Lechuga o col cortada en chifonade

Limón en tercios

Tostadas de maiz

Salsa de chile de árbol picante

Salsa sin picantes

Preparemos el maíz.


Empezaremos poniendo el maíz para pozole a remojar durante 24 horas trascurrido este tiempo.


Se tira el agua de remojo y nuevamente lo cubrimos con agua fría agregamos cal y dejamos reposar durante diez minutos, (por cada kg de maíz agrega una cucharada sopera) trascurridos los diez minutos Se pone a hervir hasta que el grano suelte su primera piel, después se lava asegurando retirar toda la piel que suelte el maíz.

se estila y se congela durante 24 horas (se recomienda poner a congelar en pociones pequeñas de maíz, congelar el maíz ayuda a que el grano reviente con mayor facilidad.

Si utilizas maíz precocido o maíz de lata este proceso se omite.

Adobo

Poner a hervir todos los ingredientes con un litro de agua hasta que esté bien cocido, licuamos y colamos y reservamos. se pinta con una adobo y se sazona al gusto.

Comencemos nuestro pozole.

Se pone a hervir el agua, la carne junto con las especies (en una mona) agregamos sal al gusto y cuando este a media cocción (la carne) se agrega el maíz congelado y se debe dejar hervir hasta que el grano reviente y este suave al igual que la carne.

Pintamos nuestro pozole con el adobo que previamente preparamos rectificamos el sazón y verificamos que la carne y el grano este suave.

Para la salsa picante.

Tostar los chiles en poca manteca, poner el resto de los ingredientes a hervir e incorporar los chiles previamente tostados, licuar, sazonar al gusto y reservar para servir.



Salsa de jitomate

Poner todos los ingredientes a hervir cuando estén suaves licuar y sazonar agregar un poco más de orégano




Thanks again to Chef Daniel Nuñez Mercado for the Pozole recipe!