It’s kind of amazing, the DNA mix that runs in my children’s blood. Fau comes from an elite line of Charros on the Gallardo side (Mexico’s version of the rodeo) with generals of the Mexican war on my father’s side and pioneers in the Tijuana settlement era on my mother’s side. The little ones though, David and Anna Karina… they get a shout out today because of the blood they share with their grandfather.
Dr. Robert Button, Philip’s ADORABLE father, was a flight commander for the USAF Presidential Honor Guard under President Eisenhower, as well as a squadron commander. He spent 3 years on active duty in the Airforce in Washington during the Kennedy presidency, where his function was to be present at all events for visiting dignitaries, as well as to assist the Secret Service in protecting President Kennedy when he departed from and returned to Andrews Airforce Base. He was honorably discharged in in 1962, receiving the Airforce Commendation Medal for Outstanding Service from the Secretary of the Airforce in that same year. He’s even told us stories about his conversations with First Lady Jackie Kennedy. In short, we are in awe of this man’s life story, his service to our country, and his dedication to his family. Philip is one of the most honest, reliable, disciplined, and straight-laced men I’ve ever met, and I’m sure a lot of that has to do with what he learned from his father and his service in the military.
Of course, on Mexican Independence Day, I’ll give a shout out and short history of my family’s participation in the Mexican military… but I couldn’t help but to find myself thinking about how the mix of heritage in my family is just so spectacular, if I do say so myself. I’ve mentioned time and again how important I feel it is to recognize, understand, and celebrate where you come from. That’s why it’s so important to Philip and me, as parents, to continuously remind the kids where they come from, and that this wonderful mix in stories created the family that I’m enormously proud to call my own.
I was inspired by that mix when I created this menu for your 4th of July barbecue, packed with that Mexican punch. It’s time to celebrate what makes this country the best country on earth today – our diverse backgrounds and rich heritage – with Classic Micheladas, Tacobab Al Pastor and a Mango Whipped Berry Trifle. So, so good. Have fun, be safe, celebrate, take pictures, and, for Pedro’s sake, tag me. Happy 4th of July, my friends. Headed to Cabo with the familia and will be blogging from there.
Tajin chili powder
1 lime, sliced into wedges
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, for each drink
Mexican hot sauce, (Valentina brand recommended) to taste
6 Mexican-style lager beer, ice cold
Chill 6 beer mugs until very cold. Add some salt and tajin to a shallow dish. Moisten the rims with a lime wedge and coat with salt chili mix. Add ice and 2 tablespoons lime juice to each mug. Add 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Hot sauce is up to taste, depending on how spicy you want the michelada. Pour in the beer and stir with a skewer. Drink before the ice melts and enjoy!
Tacobab al Pastor
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 red onion, cut into 24 squares
1 cup ½-inch cubed pineapple
Lime wedges, for serving
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water to prevent burning
Avocado Cilantro Crema
1 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 cup Mexican crema
½ avocado, peeled and pitted
½ fresh jalapeño chile, stemmed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Season the pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the adobo sauce, making sure the pork is completely coated. Let marinate for 1 hour.
Place the olive oil in a medium bowl and coat each tortilla square lightly. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil.
Meanwhile, thread the skewers, alternating with 4 pieces of pork, 2 pieces of onion, 2 tortilla squares and 2 pieces of pineapple per skewer. Grill the skewers in the grill pan until the pork is cooked and the skewer are lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately with the Avocado Crema and lime wedges.
For the Avocado Crema:
Combine the cilantro, Mexican crema, avocado, jalapeño and lime juice in a blender and process until smooth. Add the water and blend for 10 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mango Whipped Cream Berry TrifleServes 4
1 ripe mango, peeled, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar, plus 2 more tablespoons
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 cups cubed pound cake
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
Mint, for garnish
4 16 oz. glass jars
In a food processor or blender add mango, 2 tablespoons sugar and lime juice. Blend until ingredients are combined. In a stand in mixer with metal whisk attachment, add heavy whipping cream and remaining sugar. Whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks start to form, for about 2 minutes. Add mango puree and continue to whisk until ingredients are combined. Do not over beat whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for later.
In a mason jar, add about 1/2 cup of pound cake cubes to bottom of jar. Drizzle a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk on top of pound cake. Add slices of strawberries and blueberries. Top with enough mango whipped cream to cover berries. Repeat layering process, and finish with berries. Layer remaining jars. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Top with a mint leaf and enjoy!