Every year I always look forward to Cinco de Mayo. It’s a time for fun, festivities, and best of all, delicious food in honor of Mexico and its culture.
So what is Cinco de Mayo?
It may come as a surprise, but Cinco de Mayo (May 5 in Spanish) isn’t really celebrated that much in Mexico. It’s also not Mexican Independence Day. Here is September 16. Cinco de Mayo is a day that celebrates Mexico’s surprise victory over the French at the Battle of Pueblo on May 5, 1862.
At the time, Mexico was in debt to France. France under Napoleon III decided to use the financial weakness of Mexico as an opportunity to create an empire in Mexico, which was called the Second Mexican Empire.
According to UCLA’s Center for the Study of Hispanic Health and Culture, Cinco de Mayo celebrations began when Mexican miners in California heard that Mexico had defeated the French at the Battle of Pueblo. They were “so overjoyed at the news that they spontaneously fired rifles and fireworks, sang patriotic songs and made impromptu speeches.”
Author David Hayes-Bautista writes, “Cinco de Mayo was made in America by Latin Americans who proudly carried the US and Mexican flags to show their support for the Union and its values, and for Mexico’s victory over the French, who sought to undermine those values.”
And so began Cinco de Mayo.
Why is Cinco de Mayo important?
Historian Justo Sierra wrote in The Political Evolution of the Mexican People that if Mexico had not defeated the French on May 5, 1862, France would have gone to the aid of the Confederates during the American Civil War. Today, the history of the United States would likely look very different.
Also, since the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo, no country in the Americas has been invaded again by any European military force.
How do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
This year for Cinco de Mayo, we plan to invite family and friends over to celebrate Mexico and its culture. I love to decorate in festive and beautiful Mexican colors. Playing Mexican music for my guests is one of my favorite ways to really get everyone in the holiday spirit. If you need Mexican music for your next fiesta but don’t know where to get it, try Pandora. They have a Mexican radio station with different artists and music styles. Last but not least, this Cinco de Mayo we’ll be serving up lots of delicious Mexican-style food.
When there is something to celebrate, food is always central to my mind. This is what really brings people together. And Mexican food is something I just can’t get enough of. Fresh flavors like cilantro, lots of spices and who can forget all the …cheese!!! What’s not to love?
In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo and the Mexican-American tradition, I decided to make these Mini Chicken & Poblano Enchilada Boats. We headed to our local Walmart to get this recipe Old El Paso Taco boats serves as a shell.
These old mini taco boats in El Paso are very versatile and make the perfect vessel for anything from tacos to salads and even ice cream and desserts.
Although traditional Mexican enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, these flour tortillas allow guests to grab them with their hands and eat them like tacos. No fork required. There is no way you can eat a version of a corn tortilla that way.
Now there are two kinds of people in this world. Some people like their enchiladas green and some people like them red. In my house, we are big on green. But if you’re having guests over and you think some of your guests might like red enchilada boats instead, it’s easy to make half red and half green.
We used Old El Paso Enchilada Sauces for this quick party recipe. You can always make your own, of course.
For this recipe, we simply take a grilled chicken, shred the meat, and mix it with roasted garlic, poblano peppers, cheese, and sour cream.
Spoon a little in Old Taco Boats in El Paso with enchilada sauce, shredded Mexican cheeses and garnished with fresh diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. Simple and delicious!
When you’re serving them at your next holiday party, make a selection of Mexican hot sauces for guests who like the heat.
Easy and delicious, these Mini Green Chicken & Poblano Enchilada Boats will be your next favorite!
Get the recipe!
Mini Green Chicken & Poblano Enchilada Boats
These easy and delicious Old El Paso Fiesta Enchilada Boats are the perfect appetizer for your Cinco De Mayo celebration. We used green enchilada sauce in this recipe, but you can easily use red if you prefer.
- 12 Old Taco Boats in El Paso
- 2 10 oz cans enchilada sauce, green or red
- 2 glasses, dividing in half shredded cheese, we used a Mexican blend of Monterey Jack, Asadero, Queso Quesadilla and Cheddar
- 1 big poblano pepper, about 1 cup chopped
- 3 carnations garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken, about 2 breasts from the rotisserie
- 1/2 a cup sour cream or Mexican cream
- 4 oz cream cheese
- salt to taste
- sour cream or Mexican cream
- diced tomato
- cilantro, chopped
To assemble the Enchilada boats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with oil and place the boats on the baking sheet.
Sauté the sliced poblano peppers over medium heat for about 7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and then add the butter to melt into the mixture. Stir.
Add the shredded chicken, sour cream, cream cheese, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the skillet. Stir to combine. The mixture should be thick and creamy. If it seems a little dry, add a little chicken stock or water to rehydrate. Add salt if necessary.
Fill the bottom of each boat with 1 tablespoon of the green enchilada sauce, followed by 2 tablespoons of the chicken poblano mixture. Top with another tablespoon of green enchilada sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over boats (about a heaping tablespoon per boat).
Bake the boats in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is well melted and the boats are browned on the edges.
Submit: Garnish each enchilada boat with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomato, and chopped cilantro.
MORE CINCO DE MAYO RECIPES!
15 EASY CINCO DE MAYO RECIPES
FISH TACOS IN BAHA STEEL
SPICY JALAPENU MARGARITA
REAL TACOS DE ASADA (STEAK TACOS)
Mexican Style Street Vendor Corn (Elote)