As people of all backgrounds come together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, they are doing so with a sense of appreciation for the culture’s rich culinary history and finding ways to tie trends into traditions.
So one brand rooted in the country’s staple ingredients and flavors, Cacique, tapped a panel of culinary experts to help uncover which of the top Mexican food trends are breaking through in 2021.
Martita Jara-Ferrer, a first-generation, mostly self-taught Mexican American cook who honed her culinary skills after years of cooking her mother’s authentic dishes and dedicating part of her career to her family’s restaurants, was one of the panelists who worked with Cacique to look at those trends.
“People are looking for comfort food — the foods that I grew up with — like enchiladas, tacos and sopa de fideo,” Jara-Ferrer said. “They’re also looking for staple ingredients like pork chorizo, queso fresco and crema Mexicana, and they’re interested in learning the history behind beloved dishes.”
In working with Cacique, the former “Food Network Star” contestant said the two recipes below are a couple of of her all-time favorites to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo
Top Mexican food trend takeaways
Nearly two-thirds of Mexican cuisine fans are reaching for traditional Mexican staples like dried beans and masa — also known as masa de maíz, which is a dough made of ground nixtamalized corn to make the dough for corn tortillas and tamales — along with traditional Mexican cheeses, creams and meats.
Around 72% of Mexican cuisine fans are interested in preparing “homemade” style Mexican comfort foods this year, and 67% of those who enjoy cooking Mexican food express a greater desire to learn the history behind beloved dishes.
Authentic, trend-inspired Cinco de Mayo recipes
Enchiladas are a traditional Mexican street food, and this variation of the dish, popularized in Puebla and Oaxaca, is smothered in a savory mole sauce for a rich, comforting dish.
1/2 package (6 oz.) Ranchero Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 package regular or soy chorizo
1/4 cup Cacique Crema Mexicana
12 ounces mole (purchase concentrated, prepared mole and follow instructions, or make your favorite authentic recipe)
1 small potato, scrubbed but unpeeled, diced small
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 can pinto beans, drained
1/2 of an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 can ( 4.5 ounces) green chilies chopped
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
8 corn tortillas
Sesame seeds for garnish
In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo according to instructions (varies for soy vs. fresh pork), add potatoes and sauté 10 minutes over medium heat. Add onions, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add beans, green onions and tomato sauce. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
Prepare mole by following package instructions or according to recipe if making from scratch.
Heat the corn tortillas on a griddle one by one until pliable. Carefully dip each tortilla into mole sauce. Use spatula to place dipped tortilla on a work surface. Fill with chorizo mixture and roll tortilla, then carefully place on the serving platter seam down. Repeat with all tortillas.
To serve: Spoon extra mole sauce over enchiladas, drizzle crema Mexicana and top with crumbled queso fresco and sesame seeds.
Fideos with shrimp and queso fresco
This simple Mexican noodle dish is made with a few staple Mexican ingredients and comes together in just 25 minutes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound fideos (or vermicelli or other thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 10-ounce package Cacique Queso Fresco Ranchero
Fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large stewpot over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions, and cook until softened and slightly golden, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the fideos or spaghetti pieces and the cumin. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp, and stir to distribute. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon the fideos onto a serving platter and sprinkle with queso fresco and chopped fresh cilantro.