Feliz Cinco de Mayo
Yesterday we celebrated Miles' cousin Kate's 2nd birthday, and because it was Cinco de Mayo there was a Mexican theme. Becca, my cousin-in-law, made a ton of yummy Mexican food - spicy chicken and beef fillings for tacos, beans, salsas, chips, corn salad, fruit, and a guacamole that I helped smash containing about 20 avocados. Let's just say that I should work out because my arm was sore after all that mashing.
Miles had a good time playing with his cousins, crawling to try to keep up with them as they ran around. The party took place near their pool, and Miles was dying to get in the water. Time to sign up for swim classes this summer! Later, after all the playing and present opening, there were cupcakes and churros for dessert.
Becca asked me to make horchata - a Mexican cinnamon rice drink. If you live in a place with a lot of Mexican food then I'm sure you've had it. If you've never tried it, think about it next time you have Mexican food. It's milky sweetness is a perfect contrast to the spice found in many Mexican dishes.
I referred to my trusty Paletas cookbook by Fany Gerson and I adapted the horchata recipe that I found in there. This book is great if you want to make a variety of Mexican style frozen treats and she also includes a section on aguas frescas, hence the horchata recipe. This recipe is the basic way to make horchata - rice, cinnamon, sugar, but some recipes also call for almonds.
1 1/3 cup medium or long grain rice
6 cups warm water
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
6 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pulverize rice in batches in coffee or spice grinder until the texture is like sand. Whisk the rice powder and cinnamon sticks with the water in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Place entire mixture in blender (including cinnamon sticks) and blend until as smooth as possible. This may take a few minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth set over colander into a large bowl or pitcher. Press on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Whisk in milk and sugar. Adjust according to your taste adding more sugar if you like it sweeter, more milk if you like it thicker or more water if you want to thin it out. Keep cold until ready to serve. Serve over lots of ice with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.
Makes 3 quarts.