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Menudo for a Fiesta (Menudo para una Fiesta) (1976)

May 5, 2014
Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book (1976) by Ella Toy López. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book (1976) by Ella Toy López. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Toy López, Ella. Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book. La Puente, Calif.: Sunburst Enterprises, c1976. [TX715.2 .S69 L848 1976]

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Although regionally celebrated in Mexico, this commemoration of Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla (1862) has become widely embraced by Mexican-Americans as a celebration of Mexican heritage more broadly.  As such, it seems appropriate to mark the day with  a Mexican-American cookbook celebrating that heritage: Ella Toy López’ Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book.

In the 1960s and 70s, certain sectors of the Mexican-American civil rights movement embraced the term “Chicano” as a self-descriptor emphasizing their cultural pride. Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book was published in 1976 by Ella Toy López, a San Antonio native then residing in La Puente, California.

In the Introduction, the author’s husband José A López’ emphasizes healthy and economical food as a key part of Chicano heritage, drawing connections back to the Aztec women whose stews, tortillas, and tamales were observed by Hernan Cortés and the Toltecs, who “have been described as some of the greatest agriculturalists of the past on this continent” and may well have been responsible for the development of chiles and other vegetables in use today.

Make Mine Menudo… includes chapters on Meat Preparations; Home Made Tortillas and Preparations; Sauces, Dips,Pastas, and Rice Dishes; Vegetable Preparations; Fruit and Vegetable Salads; Miscellaneous Preparations; Glossary; Useful Information; and an index of recipes.

And in case you are looking for a recipe for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, Toy López’ Meat Preparations chapter has just the thing:

Menudo for a Fiesta (Menudo para una Fiesta) (6)

  • 20 lbs. tripe (cut in pieces larger than bite-size
  • 4 gallons water
  • 4 lbs. pigs feet (cut in halves)
  • 3 cans (28 oz.) red chile sauce
  • 6 cans (29 oz.) white or yellow hominy
  • 1 large onion (cut in quarters)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 pkg. menudo mix or 1/2 cup oregano (finely crushed)
  • 5 lemons
  • Cilantro or peppermint as needed
  • 5 cups chopped green onions (include tops)
  • Salt to taste

A large 33 quart pot is needed to cook this great amount of menudo or if not available divide into equal portions and use two large pots. Fill pot with water, add lemons (2 cut in halves), pigs feet, tripe, quartered onion and garlic. Allow to cook 3-3 1/2 hours until tripe is chewy and tender. Skim top occasionally. Add menudo mix or oregano, salt to taste, chile sauce and drained hominy to tripe mixture and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Serve menudo sprinkled with fresh cilantro or peppermint. Garnish with green onions. Cut the other 3 lemons in wedges. Lemon juice squeezed over menudo adds zest. 

Serves 24-26.

*Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas
*Serve with warm bolillos.
*Serve at breakfast time but can be served at any hour of the day
*Can be served as a complete meal
*Serve as entrée in small portions. 
*Do not refrigerate menudo while hot.
*Refrigerate unused portion or it will sour as readily as milk.
*Dash of Tabasco sauce will give extra zest.
*Crushed red hot chiles will give “hot” results.

Note: **Highly recommended as hangover cure in barrio folklore and culture
Note: ** highly recommended before beer or cocktail party. 

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