By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

One of the best ways to experience an ethnic holiday is to taste it.

Eating the food of another culture gives people the chance to understand it in a way that reading about it cannot do.

It's even better if you're lucky enough to be in the kitchen while the aromas of an impending meal tease your palate.

Smith River Cinco de Mayo festival director Hilda Yepes-Contreras asked the cooks to share some of their recipes.

Please enjoy con mucho gusto, and check our Website,, for more yummy recipes.

White rice with Jalapeos

From the kitchen

of Alejandra Pea

2 cups rice

2 tsp. butter

8 fresh jalapeo peppers

8 slices American cheese

2 cloves garlic

4 cups water

2 tsp. Knorr suiza chicken boullion

Add the butter to the pan, then add the rice and stir until it's golden.

Add the garlic and onion, then the water and Knorr suiza.

Broil the jalapeos until their skins are black, cool and put into a plastic bag so they sweat for about five minutes.

Remove, peel, slit the sides and remove the seeds and stuff them with cheese.

Add the peppers to the rice during the last five minutes of cooking, then add the rest of the cheese, cover and turn the stove off.

?Shrimp tacos

From the kitchen of Lucia Leal

1 cup cooked medium shrimp

1/4 cup dried shrimp

2 mexican cheeses

12 guajillo chiles (seeded)

10 arbol chiles

15 tomatillos

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

25 corn tortillas

1/4 cup oil

Fry the chiles in a litt oil, then boil them with the husked tomatillos and dried shrimp. After it's blended, saute the sauce. Fry the tortillas for a minute or two, then dip in the sauce. roll with onion and cheese, top with shredded lettuse, sliced radishes and the cooked shrimp.

? Pork loin tosatadas

From the kitchen of Graciela Cherison


2 lbs. pork lin

1tsp. garlic

1/2 tsp. black pepper


shredded cabbage

sour cream

sliced cooked potatoes

sliced tomatoes


2 tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

Chop in blender, salt to taste

Cook the pork, then slice in thin strips.

Buy pre-made tostadas

Spread tostada with refried beans, sour cream, pork, shredded cabbage and salsa.


From the kitchen of Hilda Yepes Contreras

Corn tortillas


15-20 dried New Mexico or California peppers

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 cloves garlic

dash of salt

1/2-1 cup water


5 unpeeled potatoes

5 peeled carrots

1 Tblsp. oil


1/2 cup ranchero cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1 head shredded cabbage (or lettuce)

For added flavor, squeeze lemon and salt on the cabbage.

8 oz. container of sour cream (whipped for smoother consistency)

For the sauce:

Seed the chile pods, rinse

Cover pods with hot water, soak until soft.

In blender put 1/2 cup water, oregano, chile pods and garlic.

Add water as needed to make a smooth sauce, salt to taste and put into bowl.


Boil the potatoes and carrots. When cooked, peel the potatoes and cut in cubes with the carrots. Add 1 Tblsp. oil to skillet, toss the vegetables and salt to taste.


Dip corn tortillas in chile sauce, then fry in oil 1-2 minutes per side. After making a stack of tortillas, add the fill with onions and cheese.

Wrap them, add a dollop of whipped sour cream, sprinkle with cheese, onion and cabbage topping.

(Cook's note: andquot;It doesn't get better than this!)


From the kitchen of Norma Pea

1 cup masa

water enough to make dough

refried beans

Cotija cheese

1/4 cup oil


2-3 tomatoes

5-6 serrano chiles

1 clove garlic

salt to tast

Put in blender, then pour in bowl and salt to taste.

To assemble:

Make small tortillas, cook, and when done pinch them while hot so they'll hold the toppings.

Heat oil in a pan and pass the tortillas through the hot oil for about 30 seconds.

Put sope on a plate, spread with beans, cheese, onions and salsa.