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Top Recipes To Celebrate Mexican Independence Day In Philadelphia

Much like the U.S. celebrates our Independence from England on the 4th of July, Mexico celebrates their separation from Spanish rule on September 16th. Many people love Mexican food, and considering that Texas was once part of Mexico we have a love for Mexican dishes here. If you want to celebrate the tastiness of Mexico, we have a few recipes from chefs from the Philadelphia area. You can learn to make a nice mole sauce, some salsa for a dip and two kinds of Sangria drinks to get your Mexican Independence day started; you may just need a siesta though afterwards.
Chef Jose Garces
217 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19106
(215) 625-2450

Chef Garces is most famous for being an Iron Chef, and if you have ever had his food, you know he is deserving of the title. His restaurant, Amada, has some of the best Latin flavors in the entire city and tops the list for many foodies. Amada also serves several different types of sangria to suit different tastes. If you are looking for something a little spicy to drink, try the Temporado. It combines two wines, both a spicier rose and port (dessert sweet wine) with cranberries to add tartness. If you prefer something milder, then you would prefer the Tinto. No party is complete without a salsa, and if you want to make your own (which is inevitably better than from a jar) you can do so fairly simply. According to Garces "This robust and spicy salsa is best made the day before so the rich flavors come together."

Sangria Tinto
  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 2 oranges
  • bottle of dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup spiced simple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup club soda (per serving)


  1. Cut up all 6 pieces of fruit into cubes.
  2. pour wine, syrup and liqueur into pitcher and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight
  3. ladle one part fruit mixture with one part wine mixture
  4. top with club soda
  5. pour Sangria into glasses full of ice
Sangria Temporado
  • Bottle of Rose Wine
  • 1/3 cup Orange liqueur
  • 1/3 cup Spanish Brandy
  • 3/4 cup Simple Syrup
  • 2 cups of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup club soda (per glass)


  1. Mix and Pour wine, liqueurs and syrup into pitcher and refrigerate
  2. ladle wine mixture over top of cranberry
  3. ladle one part fruit mixture with one part wine mixture
  4. top with club soda
  5. pour Sangria into glasses full of ice
Salsa Rojo
  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 small Onion
  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 dried chili
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro fresh
  • Adobe sauce canned chipotle chili
  1. Broil and char tomatoes, onion tomatillos and jalapeno for 5 minutes in a broiler
  2. Cook chili and canned in skillet for a few minutes
  3. Cool and combine in a blender until mostly smooth, add cilantro
  4. Chill for 30 minutes before serving
Chef Luz Jimenez
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria
951 Wolf St.
Philadelphia, PA 9148
(215) 551-1245

Chef Jimenez opened Los Gallos in 2010 and works with his family creating fresh, beautiful, authentic Mexican dishes daily. A popular Mexican dish many people like to duplicate at home for its richness, but ease of creating, is a "mole" dish. The mole is a sauce which typically is a combination of spices, peanut butter and chocolate and is usually put on top of a poultry, vegetables and rice. You can add your own spin on it, as according to Chef Jimenez "mole recipes will vary door to door as much as they can from region to region." Most conventional moles as just described can be done in an hour — whereas truly authentic dishes take several hours and use a variety of ingredients.

Related: Top Mexican Restaurants In Philadelphia

Mole Sauce
  • 1 onion
  • Roasted garlic bulb
  • Oil for cooking
  • 15 tomatillos
  • 2 serrano and4 poblano chilies
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 c toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 c toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 TBSP Fennel seeds, 1/2 TBSP Coriander Seeds (toast both of these as well)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Thyme, oregano, cloves, black pepper
  1. Cook and sweat your onions and garlic in oil
  2. Add Tomatillos, chilies and chicken stock to pan
  3. Puree sauce from pan along with remaining spices (in small batches if needed)
  4. Place back in pan and reconstitute for thickening and so flavors come together
  5. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Related: Top Fish Tacos In Philadelphia 

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here
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