For those of you who regularly read this blog, you might remember the other day when I was
whining lamenting the fact that we’ve entered a holiday dead zone, now that Easter is over and the next big and gaudy holiday isn’t until Halloween?
Well, there is one special occasion that I completely (and shamefully!) forgot about:
Cinco de Mayo!
… And now I’ll bet about 75% of you are thinking… so?
It’s the 5th of May. What’s so great about Cinco de Mayo? Isn’t that only a thing in Mexico?
I always wondered the exact same thing, back when I was younger and living on the east coast. We were lucky we even remember it was a holiday, and if by some far-fetched chance we did, we’d “celebrate it” by having Mexican food that night. That’s all Cinco de Mayo meant to me: a chance to eat a different type of food, and most likely it was food I didn’t really care for because it was too hot or red or too tangy or whatever other excuses I could come up with so I could whine about not having my typical dinner of macaroni and cheese with hotdogs.
You might also remember me saying I was kind of a jerk about food when I was younger.
But now that I’m older and call the southwest my home, everything’s changed. Cinco de Mayo does means something to me these days, and it’s very close to my heart:
A chance to eat a different type of food!
Except now, I love Mexican food.
Living in the southwest US (and closer to Mexico) means that authentic Mexican cuisine is about as common to me as country homestyle cooking used to be back in rural Virginia. And when something becomes commonplace, you get so many more opportunities to try and embrace it, and I eventually finally found my favorite foods within it.
And my absolute favorite?
Moles and salsas.
Because you might also remember that I am obsessed with appetizers, so of course this is what I like best.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there is much more to Cinco de Mayo than the food. There will be plenty of events and festivals going on around Phoenix the first week of May, and the spirit and enthusiasm of them is amazing.
I don’t go out as much as I used to, though, so these days I typically celebrate in the comfort of my own home… and this year, I’ll be celebrating in style with this tasty mango shrimp salsa recipe and some churro popcorn.
Mango Shrimp Salsa
In a small saucepan, add shrimp, water, salt, garlic, and onion. Squeeze the lemon juice into pot, then drop the lemon in. Bring to a boil over medium heat. If using raw shrimp, cook until the bodies are pink, about 2-5 minutes. If using frozen shrimp, let shrimp boil for 1-3 minutes.
Drain shrimp and remove lemon and onion. Transfer shrimp and garlic to a serving bowl.
Add mango, tomato, corn, cilantro, lime juice, and adobo sauce to the serving bowl with the shrimp, then stir to mix and coat.
Serve mango shrimp salsa immediately with corn chips for dipping.