To mark Cinco de Mayo, we’re talking about Mexican cuisine. Technically, the day marks Mexico's victory over France in 1862, but these days Cinco de Mayo is often about eating and drinking. Ryan Warner talks to food blogger Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack. She brought together recipes from her grandmother, mother, and sister in the new cookbook “Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor.” It includes traditional dishes like chicken mole, and ones with a twist like a michelada. See recipes below or click here for more. 

[Photo: Jeanine Thurston]

MICHELADAS 

"Some are made with lime juice and assorted sauces, spices, peppers, and tomato juice, but I like to keep mine simple and make more of a Chelada." -- Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ice

Mexican beer (recommend: Dos XX or Tecate)

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Sal Limón or coarse salt

Directions:

Moisten rim of glass with a lime and coat with Sal Limón or salt. Add ice and lime juice. Add beer, and drink before the ice melts.

 

CHICKEN MOLE

Ingredients:

CHICKEN

4½ cups water 2 teaspoons salt

1 small white onion, quartered

1-2 pounds chicken breasts

1 bay leaf

MOLE SAUCE

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ bolillo or small French roll, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced

2 California red chile pods, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 large or 2 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

3¾ cups chicken broth (reserved from boiled chicken) divided

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1½ ounces Mexican chocolate, such as Nestle Abuelita, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons mole paste, such as Doña Maria brand, available in groceries

2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Prepare the chicken: In a large pot, heat water, salt, onion, chicken and bay leaf. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate to cool, then shred by hand. Discard bay leaf. Reserve broth and onion.

Make mole sauce: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bread, chiles, tomatillos, tomato and sesame seeds. Sauté for 10 minutes until soft.

Pour half the broth and boiled onion into a blender and add half the sautéed ingredients. Add peanut butter, chocolate, cocoa, mole paste and salt and blend until very smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet.

Pour the other half of the broth and sautéed ingredients into the blender. Puree and add to the mixture in the large skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add 2 cups of the shredded chicken and stir until chicken is covered with the sauce.

Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to keep it from sticking to the pan.

Plate some mole on a serving plate and garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.