Fresco y Verde

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 5, 2010

in Mexican/Latin, pork, simple recipe

¡Feliz cinco de mayo!

How many of you know the story behind the celebration that is cinco de mayo? I see a few hands raised out there, but contrary to popular belief, it is NOT Mexican Independence Day! That’s September 16. Cinco de mayo commemorates the win of a small army in the town of Puebla during the Mexican war for independence against the French in the 1860s. It’s not a huge celebration in Mexican communities in the United States, but rather a day that’s an excuse to celebrate. It’s also not a large celebration anywhere but in the town of Puebla in Mexico!

There you have it. Your Spanish culture lesson for the day. And now for a bit of grammar: you may notice that I only capitalized the “F” in my greeting above rather than writing it Feliz Cinco de Mayo as we would in English. This is because in Spanish, only the first letters of holidays are capitalized, and days and months are never capitalized unless they begin a sentence.

Ok, ok, I’ll take my Spanish teacher “hat” off now.

You all knew that the foodie Spanish teacher blogger would make Mexican food for dinner tonight. You could’ve seen it a mile away, right? Well, you’re right! I had a few things brewing in my head over the last few days, and they came together tonight in a lovely harmony.

First, I made some homemade salsa verde (or green salsa, for you gringos out there).

salsa verde

Roast at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes:

* 2 large poblano peppers, whole

* 2 jalapeño peppers whole with stems removed

* 1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed

* 2 cloves garlic

Then process in a food processor or blender with:

* 1 onion

* 1 clove garlic

* 1/4 c. cilantro

* juice of 2 limes

* salt

Chill and enjoy!


What did I enjoy with my salsa verde? I roasted a lovely pork tenderloin in a chili-lime marinade (I would’ve preferred to grill, but our gas grill is acting funny and won’t go above 350 degrees!) and also made a friend’s recipe for Mexican rice. I’ll post that recipe as soon as I get her clearance to…and if I don’t get permission, sorry! It’s her family recipe! I made myself a platter that I’m sure I’ll be dreaming about in days to come.

cinco de mayo

Chile-lime pork tenderloin

salsa verde


sour cream (fat free of course)


Mexican rice

Tortillas on the side


I think I need a miniature ice cream, or perhaps a cake in a bowl… Cake in a bowl makes me miss Ericka, which makes me miss Portland, which makes me think of Andrea and Mama Pea… oh word association…when I go there, it’s definitely time for rest.

¡Que tengan una noche buena, y una mañana fantástica! (I hope you have a great evening, and a fantastic tomorrow!) It just sounds better in Spanish, doesn’t it?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren May 5, 2010 at 6:52 PM

I knew that!!! Only because I just googled it though. :)

Happy Cinco De Mayo darling! :)
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..The 5th of May aka Cinco De Mayo! =-.


Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well May 5, 2010 at 6:56 PM

I’m so glad you told the real story behind Cinco de Mayo! Though I’m not Mexican, it has always bugged me that folks are not better informed about the true meaning of this holiday, especially because we celebrate it here in the USA with gusto!

Anywho, that dinner looks fantastic! I soooo want some of that salsa verde!
.-= Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well´s last blog ..The $25 Shopping Cart, version 7.0 =-.


Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well May 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM

And yes, I know I capitalized the entire holiday, but I am feeling extraordinarily gringa right now. ;)
.-= Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well´s last blog ..The $25 Shopping Cart, version 7.0 =-.


Veronica May 5, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Mara – The rice looks fantastic and PERFECT! I’m so proud of my little student!How did it taste?


Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

It’s SO FREAKING GOOD!!! I did use long-grain brown rice and upped the liquid a bit, but I love the flavors in it… definitely a keeper!


Veronica May 5, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Long grain brown rice? Hmmm…I may have to try that next time I make it. The liquid is a bit tricky – sometimes I add some in the end depending on how fluffy the rice gets.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Mexican Friend (lol)


Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 5, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Yup! I think it was riceland brand…maybe Lundberg. The only thing I think I’d change for next time is use half broth and half water… as it sits its a bit salty for me, but I’m super sensitive to salt! Thank you again for sharing the recipe :)


Christina May 5, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Wow, Mara that looks so delicious and the picture is absolutely jaw-dropping!! I think the pork sounds great – I have some thawing right now and hope you get the clearance for the rice!
.-= Christina´s last blog ..Sushi Style Ham Rolls =-.


Anne May 5, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Thats looks terrific! I can’t wait to try.


Biz May 5, 2010 at 7:52 PM

That salsa verde looks amazing Mara! Love your dinner!
.-= Biz´s last blog ..Keeping the Eye on the Prize =-.


Deanna - The Unnatural Mother May 5, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Man on man that looks GREAT!!!! All it needs is a margarita!!


Ann @ Appalachian Appetites May 5, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Your plate presentation looks awesome! Yummy!
.-= Ann @ Appalachian Appetites´s last blog ..Parkway Trails =-.


axor May 5, 2010 at 8:40 PM

donde est las tres leches?


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 5, 2010 at 9:33 PM

When can I come for dinner??
.-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Afternoon Delight: Insane Yogurt Bowl. =-.


MarathonVal May 5, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Feliz Cinco de Mayo a mi profesora favorita de espanol!


Marianne May 5, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I may be a gringo, but I know what salsa verde means! :D Great looking dinner.
.-= Marianne´s last blog ..Media Muffin Contest Recap =-.


Jenn ( May 6, 2010 at 12:52 AM

OMG, Mara! We’re having the SAME exact problem with our gas grill; it won’t go above 300-350F, and it’s brand new!! We just bought it from Sears last month. What the heck? It’s horrible for grilling because it’s not getting hot enough, and basically baking the food. Ugh! Frustrating. :(

Your dinner looks amazing. Thanks for sharing that Spanish history with us. Cindo de mayo is a special day for me because it’s my wedding anniversary. :D

.-= Jenn (´s last blog ..Hold The Pasta =-.


Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 6, 2010 at 7:43 AM

Ours is about 2 years old and a hand-me-down, but it drives me NUTS! Let me know if you figure it out…


Ashley May 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Gaaah, I want that yellow ramekin from c+b!!! It’s adorable! Great colors on the 2nd photo…did you set up a light box? looooking goooood chica!!!
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..cinco de delicious =-.


amanda May 6, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Wow that meal looks delicious! Can you come cook for me? :)
.-= amanda´s last blog ..Eating my way around a city =-.


Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary May 6, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I love love love chile verde! I’ve gotta getme some tomatillos!! Greta history lesson.. I actually read it to my hubby just now… ;)
.-= Mary @ What’s Cookin’ with Mary´s last blog ..Cilantro Lime Shrimp =-.


Hallie May 6, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Everything is SO much prettier-sounding in Spanish. I miss my Spanish-speaking days! That salsa looks incredible, btw.
.-= Hallie´s last blog ..Half Marathon Training Week 3 =-.


Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly May 6, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Awesome!!! Thanks for the history lesson…it was so interesting!! :) And your meal looked amazing, as usual! You never dissappoint!


Autumn May 6, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Wow!!! This looks great! The pork tenderloin sounds fantastic!
.-= Autumn´s last blog ..Mmmmm….veggies! =-.


Quix May 7, 2010 at 4:41 PM

That looks SO much better than the restaurant chicken fajitas I had on Wed! That is so droolworthy. I love fresh made salsa and spicy pork! :)
.-= Quix´s last blog ..An Eater’s Manifesto =-.


laura May 7, 2010 at 11:55 PM

.-= laura´s last blog ..How To Create Your Own Photo Header (giveaway post too) =-.


Tanya May 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Ooh yes this is exactly how I’m going to jazz up next week’s pork loin dinner. Thanks :-)
.-= Tanya´s last blog ..Lentil and Vegetable Curry =-.


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