Election 2016: Where Do We Go From Here?

tj

I usually don’t get too political here, because I consider Latinaish to be a “niche” blog with a focus on Latinx and Latin American culture, bilingual/bicultural life, language, and language acquisition. This is my happy place, and I like to wipe my feet before entering so as not to track any dirt in here.

But if you know me personally and/or follow my personal Twitter account, you know that I’m very vocal and passionate when it comes to current events, politics, human rights, and other less cheerful topics. (I contain multitudes, as we all do.) Usually Twitter is the perfect platform for me to be involved and have my say, but today I need to say something much longer than 140 characters, and I also feel that it’s important enough to break with my self-imposed rule of covering only very specific topics, because in the end it affects this community. It affects the readers of this blog who are mostly Latinx, or married into the Latinx community. It especially impacts those of us without papers, DREAMers, and DACA recipients, but also our loved ones regardless of legal status, our family and friends — all of us.

I know that most of us here voted for Hillary, and felt sucker punched on election night. Since then, many of us have gone through various stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression. The last stage of grief is acceptance, but this is a stage we cannot enter, at least not in a traditional sense. If we are to reach acceptance, it must be an acceptance with conditions. It must be “I accept this is our situation, but I will fight it every day and in every way I can.”

Some people like to say those who have not accepted the results of this election are not respecting democracy, (or in less eloquent words, that they are “liberal cry babies.”) This is not true. This would be true if this had been a normal election, and if Donald Trump was a normal candidate. Not accepting the results of an election corrupted by FBI and foreign government involvement is exactly what we should be doing in a democratic society. Not accepting the presidency of an incompetent, dangerous demagogue who daily threatens Constitutional rights is our duty and responsibility to prevent the destruction of our country.

So drowned out the voices of the ignorant, emboldened trolls and hatemongers. Despite what they want you to think, thankfully, they are in the minority. My advice is to not waste your breath, time, or energy, arguing with them. There are bigger things to do.

As most of you know, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald Trump has won more electoral votes. This is why many have turned their attention and hopes to the electoral college who will vote on December 19th, 2016. It is these electors who actually hold the power under the Constitution to select the president. Regardless of why the electoral college was created by our founding fathers, (there is some disagreement on that), and if we should abolish it, the fact is it exists today, and it is a tool that can be used.

And so there has been a movement to contact electors and convince them to become “faithless electors” – to vote their conscience — which is to say, they should not vote for Donald Trump even if their state went red during the election. There is another movement called Hamilton Electors, which is somewhat less popular with those who supported Hillary Clinton because it calls on all electors, even those in blue states, to unite behind a “reasonable Republican candidate.”

Some find it unconscionable that electors in blue states would cast their vote for a Republican, but I ask those of you who are having a hard time with this to take a deep breath, and listen for a moment.

You will never get enough Republican electors to back Hillary Clinton. Let’s just be realistic and clear-headed here. If the vote then goes to the House of Representatives with Hillary as the candidate electors backed, the House of Representatives will simply revert back to Trump. All your efforts will have been pointless.

Choosing a Republican alternative is the only option that has an ice cube’s chance in hell of working. If the vote goes to the House of Representatives in January with a sensible Republican alternative to Trump, that would be very tempting to many at the House of Representatives who have already voiced their concern that Trump is not fit for office. (There are more than 40 Republicans in the House of Representatives who reportedly feel this way.) States only get one vote, so those states with multiple representatives must come to a consensus. A president is elected with a 26 state majority — So this scenario isn’t impossible.

Those who say electors need to vote Hillary because she won the popular vote — in an ideal world, yes — but this is a numbers game, this is not a time to fantasize about what could have been. You will not get Republican electors to vote Hillary – it just will not happen. We must compromise. For those refusing to support Hamilton Electors, you are showing your privilege. Not all of us can afford to be so idealistic. We are in damage control mode. We are in anyone-but-Trump mode, because we fear for our Constitutional rights. We fear he will do the things he has promised. We fear for our freedom of speech, freedom of the press. We fear for our rights as women, our safety as Muslims and Jews, as members of the LGBTQIA community, as POC, as immigrants and refugees. We fear for future generations and the future of this planet when climate change isn’t taken seriously. So much is at risk. We can’t afford to be idealistic.

Whether we agree on this point or not, in the meantime, I encourage you to be active and vocal. None of us can not afford to sit idle and hope the electoral college will save us.

What else can you do?

• Join Flippable.org to get daily and weekly action items. For those intimidated or confused by contacting congresspeople, Flippable makes it simple to know who to contact and what to contact them about. [Updated 12/5/2016 to add another great one to join: Wall Of Us.]

• Sign petitions from organizations such as Change.org, and MoveOn.

• Get involved with Hamilton Electors. (There’s an event happening nationwide on December 19th, as well as other actions you can take.)

• We have midterm elections to win in 2018, you have representatives at the state and local level you should be contacting regularly. Call them, tweet them, write them, email them.

• Denounce each disagreeable Cabinet pick Trump makes via social media, signing petitions, calls and emails to relevant government officials.

• Stay vigilant and call Trump out on social media every time he tramples our Constitutional rights.

• Follow The DJT Resistance on Twitter.

• Protest his “victory tour” rallies if they come to a city near you.

• Show up to the Women’s March on Washington.

• Join the #GrabYourWallet movement and contact companies you’re boycotting because they carry Trump merchandise.

• Donate to and volunteer for organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matters, #NoDAPL, We Need Diverse Books, Immigration Reform for America, CAIR, Greenpeace, American Association of People with Disabilities, and MALDEF.

• Subscribe to responsible news outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, donate to NPR. Call out irresponsible reporting.

• Download the Signal app for double encrypted texting. This protects your messages from government spying or from being otherwise intercepted.

• Prepare for the worst by arming yourself with knowledge of your rights and resources. It is better to be prepared than not to be.

• Ask your mayor if he/she will declare your city as a Sanctuary City.

• If you see racist or anti-Semitic graffiti then grab a paint brush and cover it up. Do not allow hate symbols and speech to be normalized.

• If you see someone being mistreated or discriminated against then take action to stop it.

• Resist, resist, resist.

• Share this post on your social media channels. Spread the word.

Our work is not nearly finished, it’s only just begun.

Additional Reading:

5 Concrete Ways You Can Act Now in the Face of a Trump Presidency

Cantinflas Marathon

cantinflas_marathon-image-spanish

Cine Sony Television will have a four-day Thanksgiving weekend Cantinflas movie marathon. From November 24th to November 27th. Starting at 7 am ET, you will be able to watch over 30 Cantinflas films commercial free.

A few of the popular Cantinflas films airing during the marathon include:

• El Analfabeto (The Illiterate One)
• A Volar Joven (To the Skies Young Man)
• Los Tres Mosqueteros (The Three Musketeers)
• El Padrecito (The Good Priest)
• El Bolero De Raquel (Raquel’s Shoeshiner)
• Ni Sangre Ni Arena (Neither Blood Nor Sand)
• El Barrendero (The Sweeper)
• Su Excelencia (Your Excellency)
• Si Yo Fuera Diputado (If I Were A Deputy)
• El Bombero Atomico (The Atomic Fireman)
• Don Quijote Cabalga de Nuevo (Don Quijote Rides Again)
• El Ministro y Yo (The Minister and I)

If you’re not familiar with Mario Moreno (1911-1993) who was professionally known as Cantinflas, you should take this opportunity to get acquainted. Moreno was not just a Mexican Golden Globe-winning comic film actor, but a producer, and screenwriter who was regarded as “the Charlie Chaplin of Mexico” for his onscreen persona of the underdog who overcame all odds. (Chaplin, by the way, upon seeing “Ni Sangre Ni Arena”, declared Cantinflas to be the greatest comedian alive.) In his life off the screen, Moreno was an activist and philanthropist who became a symbol of hope for the downtrodden and impoverished.

As a linguaphile, one of my favorite things about Moreno is how he became a verb.

“Cantinflas is so popular, he even changed the Spanish language. There’s a verb in Spanish: cantinflear. It means to talk in so many circles and puns that everyone ends up completely confused. It was the character’s signature move when caught in a tight spot.” – [JASMINE GARSD/NPR]

The impact Cantinflas had and continues to have, can not be overstated. His films span decades and served not only as entertainment, but as political commentary which is just as relevant today as it was then — commentary which extends well beyond the borders of Mexico.

Links worth checking out:

Cantinflas, With His Puns And Satire, Is Back (And Still Relevant)

Cantinflas on Wikipedia

Not sure if you have Cine Sony? Click here to find the channel

Hojuelas Salvadoreñas

hojuelas salvadoreñas

Hojuelas (pronounced oh-hway-las) are a sweet, fried treat eaten in El Salvador on November 2nd for Día de los Difuntos. You can often see women cooking them and selling them on the street.

Salvadoran hojuelas are the same thing as Mexican buñuelos, but what some Latin American countries call buñuelos, El Salvador also calls nuégados. Sufficiently mixed up? Me too.

Anyway, while I was researching and trying to sort all that out, I found a couple relevant dichos to share.

“Miel sobre hojuelas” is a dicho which is similar in meaning to the English saying “icing on the cake” and “No todo es miel sobre hojuelas” is similar in meaning to the English saying “It’s not all fun and games.” I searched online newspapers and found the dichos were both used in Mexican newspapers, but I don’t think the dichos are used in El Salvador, or at least Carlos said he isn’t familiar with them.

Anyway, if you’re an hermano lejano*, or just otherwise not anywhere you can buy hojuelas, below is a recipe to make your own!

[*”Hermano lejano” is an endearing term meaning “faraway brother” which is used by Salvadorans in El Salvador to refer to Salvadorans who live abroad.]

Hojuelas Salvadoreñas

2 1/2 cups pre-sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% milk

oil for cooking
miel de panela (recipe here), or sugar for sprinkling
extra flour for rolling out the dough

1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, and salt.

2. Add the flour little by little, alternating with the milk, until the dough forms. The dough should not be sticky – if it is, add a little more flour.

3. Turn the dough onto a flat, floured surface, and divide into 16 balls.

Tip: I originally separated the dough into 8 balls, but soon realized that once rolled out these hojuelas (while traditionally sold on the street this large), would be too big to properly fry in my frying pan. So please, in the next step when you roll them out, make sure you’re not making them too big to fit in the frying pan you plan to use.

4. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball until very thin. (Ideally the dough should be rolled out thinner than a flour tortilla. It’s okay if it’s not perfectly circular, and it’s okay if the dough tears a little. They don’t have to be perfect!)

Tip: Keep your rolled out hojuelas from sticking to each other by separating them with parchment paper.

5. Over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. The oil should be at least a 1/4 inch deep. (Deeper is better, but I personally hate wasting so much cooking oil.)

6. Carefully fry the hojuelas one-by-one until nicely browned on each side, flipping with tongs as necessary.

7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil. If sprinkling with sugar instead of serving with miel, sprinkle them while still hot.

8. Serve drizzled with miel de panela, or sprinkled with sugar.

Celebrating Día de Muertos Without Appropriating

Image source: David Seibold

Image source: David Seibold

First, to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s clearly define what is Día de muertos and what is cultural appropriation?

What is Día de muertos?

Día de muertos, also known as Día de los muertos or Day of the Dead, is a sacred celebration of Pre-Hispanic origin, to honor loved ones who have passed. The celebration, which used to start around the beginning of August and last an entire month, now takes place from midnight on October 31st to November 2nd; most often associated with Mexico, it is celebrated in many Latin American countries such as Guatemala, and Bolivia, and by people around the world with ancestry traced to those countries. Each country has unique ways of celebrating; in El Salvador where the celebration is known as Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased), families go to the cemetery to pray, sing, lay flowers, and pay to have gravestones of departed family members repainted; at the cemetery you can buy foods such as tamales and hojuelas con miel. Ecuador also refers to the celebration as Día de los Difuntos.

But it is the traditions of Mexico which are most well-known in the United States, and which have gained popularity among Latinxs of all backgrounds, and non-Latinxs as well. Sugar skulls, and catrinas can be found on everything from party napkins to pajamas this time of year, and setting up ofrendas (altars) or baking pan de muerto are fast becoming beloved traditions among people who maybe 10 years ago, hadn’t even heard of Día de muertos. And, why not? Día de muertos is so pretty, so colorful, and the idea of celebrating our deceased loved ones rather than forever mourning them in a more Puritanically traditional way is appealing, (and psychologically, much healthier.)

However, this is where we run into the problem of cultural appropriation.

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation is the “borrowing” of one culture by another culture, particularly when elements of a minority culture are used by a majority culture. Often times it is done unintentionally and/or without intended malice, but even when done with appreciation or admiration, it can be exploitative, offensive and/or feel oppressive to the minority culture who feel something is being stolen from them. Cultural appropriation is especially offensive when something sacred is taken out of context and redefined by a majority culture. (An example of this relevant to this post: When a non-Latinx person dresses as La Catrina for Halloween.)

While many Latinxs may not find it offensive when non-Latinxs folks embrace these traditions, there are some Latinxs who do. So, what steps can you take to ensure you’re respecting Día de muertos as the sacred celebration that it is?

5 Steps to Celebrating Día de Muertos Respectfully

#1. You may choose not to celebrate it, but instead observe the celebration. There are festivals, museum exhibits, documentaries, and other ways you can enjoy the holiday without actually adopting it.

#2. You can educate yourself. If you choose to celebrate by setting up an altar, for example, do the proper research into the history and significance of the ofrenda and the traditional items that are placed on it.

#3. Question your intentions. Are you painting your face as a sugar skull because it’ll look super cool and get you plenty of likes on Instagram? Then strongly reconsider your actions. These traditions are not “just for fun” or to bring yourself attention on social media — they are sacred. Respect that. If you’re the Donald Trump type who would eat a taco and declare you “love Mexicans” while supporting the deportation of the people who made it for you – don’t even think about it. It should go without saying, cherry picking a culture while not respecting the people it originated from is completely unacceptable.

#4. Shop responsibly. Avoid purchasing Día de muertos themed merchandise which is not made by Latinxs or Latin American artisans. These beliefs and traditions originated with indigenous people, and indigenous communities in Latin America are disproportionately affected by poverty. In Guatemala 86.6% of indigenous people are poor, and in Mexico 80.6% are poor. [source] The least you can do is not buy those cute Day of the Dead paper plates at Target which were Made in China. Instead, seek out fair trade products which give back to the people who deserve it.

#5. Understand that even if you have thoroughly educated yourself on the celebration and feel a special connection to it, you may still come under scrutiny. Should someone confront you on why they think you have no right to celebrate Día de muertos, consider their words and feelings. There’s a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, and not everyone agrees where that line is. Try to do better.

Learn more:

GoMexico.About.com – Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead – Wikipedia

The Book of Life

5 Día De Los Muertos Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask – Huffington Post

What is Cultural Appropriation and Why Is It Wrong? – RaceRelations.About.com

Cultural Appropriation – Wikipedia

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cultural Appropriation – The Atlantic

Mamá the Alien

MAMA_THE_ALIEN_cover

Some of you may remember I interviewed Salvadoran children’s author René Colato Laínez here before, and today I’m excited to not only share his newest book with you, but to offer you the opportunity to win a copy of it in the giveaway below!

Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara is a bilingual book in both English and Spanish, which is something I always appreciated finding when my boys were little. I love owning books that I can read to them in either language and which are accessible to everyone in the house. I also found books like this to be an invaluable tool (for myself, and for the kids), to learn new vocabulary by comparing the two texts.

Mamá the Alien tells the story of a little girl named Sofia who discovers her mother’s “Resident Alien” card and then begins to wonder what sort of alien her mother is. Is her mother trilingual? Does she speak English, Spanish, and… Alien? The concept of this book is great because it really is a confusing concept for young children to hear this word “alien” in the media to refer to people who have come from other countries when their only frame of reference is the sci-fi outer space definition of the word.

alien-mama-page

The fun, colorful illustrations and the anticipation of wondering what Sofia will discover about her mother will be sure to keep kids interested while teaching them something new, and reassuring those who may be struggling with similar questions about a family member’s or his/her own identity.

Want to win a copy? Enter the giveaway below!

===GIVEAWAY CLOSED! CONGRATS TO Paola R!===

Giveaway Details

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a copy of the book MAMA THE ALIEN by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara.

How to enter: Just leave a comment below!

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the person responsible for prize fulfillment for that purpose. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid email address in the email address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between August 19th, 2016 through August 24th, 2016. Entries received after August 24th, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte / Good luck!

Fiesta ensalada de pollo salvadoreña para sándwiches

Sandwich de pollo salvadoreno

Divulgación: Latinaish.com se ha asociado con McCormick para llevarse recetas utilizando productos McCormick. Como siempre, todas las opiniones son mías.

Puede sorprender a algunos saber que la ensalada de pollo es popular en muchos países del mundo, a pesar de sus ingredientes varían de lo que nosotros en los Estados Unidos consideramos comunes. Unas variaciones que conozco:

Goi Ga de Vietnam cuenta con repollo, salsa de pescado, chiles picantes, y hierbabuena.
Dak-Nangchae de Corea se come en verano e incorpora un montón de verduras coloridas.
• En México mucha gente comen ensalada de pollo con galletas saladas.
Coronación ensalada de pollo de Inglaterra cuenta con curry en polvo y chutney de mango, y se hizo por primera vez en 1953 para el almuerzo de la coronación de la reina Isabel II.
• Hablando de reinas, «palta a la reina» en Perú y Chile es una ensalada de pollo servida encima de la mitad de un aguacate.
Salpicão de Frango de Brasil incluye manzana, zanahoria, pasas y aceitunas.
• Y luego está «Olivie ensalada» que se cree que es el origen de las ensaladas de pollo y ensaladas rusas. También conocida como Olivier ensalada o ensalada Olivier, hoy en día por lo general es una combinación de pollo, papas, huevo, chícharos y mayonesa con infinitas variaciones, pero cuando fue inventada en la década de 1860 por un chef llamado Lucien Olivier en Rusia, estaba hecha con ingredientes más finos, como el urogallo, alcaparras, caviar y pato ahumado en un aderezo que era un secreto muy bien guardado. Las versiones modernas de esta ensalada son muy populares en toda Europa del Este, así como en Irán, Israel, Pakistán, Mongolia, y más allá.

Con todos estos diferentes tipos de ensalada de pollo en todo el mundo no me debería haber sorprendido cuando Carlos me dijo que la ensalada de pollo es también muy popular en El Salvador, específicamente en las fiestas de cumpleaños infantiles.

Salvadoran Birthday Party Chicken Sandwich

Carlos recuerda asistir muchas fiestas de cumpleaños en su barrio cuando era un niño pequeño y con ganas de recibir un sándwich de ensalada de pollo envuelto en una servilleta de papel blanco, en el momento que entraba por la puerta. Cuando Carlos compartió este recuerdo conmigo, decidí tratar de recrear los sándwiches de su infancia. Con sus sugerencias, esta es la receta que he desarrollado y él dice que sabe a la perfección!

El uso de pechugas de pollo de calidad, cocinadas a fuego lento con verduras frescas garantiza que la carne salga jugosa y sabrosa. Desmenuzado y mezclado con McCormick Mayonesa con jugo de limón que añade sabor tradicional, especias, y algunos toques de salsa Worcestershire – esta ensalada de pollo sabe mejor fría y comida al día siguiente, pero será difícil esperar. Deliciosa en suaves rebanadas de pan blanco, puedes quitar las cortezas, si quieres. Pero no importa cómo decidas comerla, esta ensalada de pollo al estilo salvadoreño es bastante exquisita para servir en fiestas de cumpleaños, pero es bastante fácil que no tienes que esperar una ocasión especial; puedes hacerla cualquier día y disfrutar con tu familia.

salv-chicken-salad-pot

salv-chicken-mayo-close-up

Cumpleaños Ensalada de Pollo

Fiesta ensalada de pollo salvadoreña para sándwiches

Ingredientes:

3 pechugas grandes de pollo, sin piel, sin hueso
1 cebolla mediana, cortado en cuartos
1 chile verde mediano, sin semillas y cortado en trozos grandes
1 tomate Roma, cortado en cuartos
1 cucharada de ajo picado
1 cucharadita de sal
1 cucharadita de McCormick pimienta negra molida

2 tazas de McCormick Mayonesa con jugo de limón
1 cucharadita de mostaza amarilla
¼ cucharadita de McCormick pimienta negra molida
½ cucharadita de McCormick ajo en polvo
½ cucharadita de McCormick cebolla en polvo
½ cucharadita de salsa Worcestershire

Método:

1. Añadir los primeros siete ingredientes en una olla grande a fuego medio-alto con agua suficiente para cubrir. Poner a hervir y luego reducir el fuego a fuego lento. Cubrir la olla ligeramente con la tapa. Ajustar el fuego si es necesario para mantenerlo a fuego lento hasta que el pollo esté bien cocido.

Consejo: Evite hervir o cocinar el pollo demasiado tiempo ya que esto hará que la carne esté muy seca. Cocer a fuego lento mantiene la carne húmeda. Tienes poco tiempo? Utilice pechugas de pollo delgadas o «chicken tenders» – se cocinan más rápido!

2. Retirar el pollo y poner en un plato para enfriar. Una vez frío, desmenuzar con la mano en trozos pequeños y colóquelos en un recipiente grande.

3. Mezclar la mayonesa, la mostaza, la pimienta, el ajo en polvo, cebolla en polvo, y la salsa Worcestershire hasta que estén bien combinados en un recipiente mediano.

4. En el recipiente grande mezclar la mezcla de mayonesa poco a poco con el pollo hasta que consigas la cremosidad deseada. En mi opinión es mejor usar aproximadamente 1/3 taza de la mezcla de mayonesa por cada 1 taza de pollo desmenuzado.

5. Enfriar en el refrigerador al menos una hora o durante la noche para permitir que los sabores se combinan. Servir la ensalada de pollo entre rebanadas de pan blanco.

Opcional: Agregar rebanadas de pepino, una hoja de lechuga romana, o cualquier ingrediente que te gusta en el sándwich. Algunas personas también les gusta cortar las cortezas del pan y envolver cada sándwich en una servilleta para servir en las fiestas.

Rinde aproximadamente 6 tazas de ensalada de pollo.

¿Quiere más recetas así? Visita www.McCormick.com/espanol!

Want this recipe in English? Click here.

Salvadoran Chicken Salad Birthday Party Sandwiches

Sandwich de pollo salvadoreno

Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with McCormick to bring you recipes using McCormick products. As always, all opinions are my own.

It may surprise some to know that chicken salad is popular in many countries throughout the world, although its ingredients vary from what those of us in the United States consider the norm. A few variations I know of:

Goi Ga from Vietnam features cabbage, fish sauce, spicy chilies, and mint.
Dak-Nangchae from Korea is eaten in the summer and incorporates plenty of colorful vegetables.
Ensalada de Pollo from Mexico is often eaten on Saltine crackers.
Coronation chicken salad from England features curry powder and mango chutney, and was first made in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation lunch.
Peruvian and Chilean “palta a la reina” is chicken salad served atop an avocado half.
Salpicão de Frango from Brazil includes apple, carrot, raisins, and olives.
• And then there’s Salad Olivie, which is believed to be the origin of chicken salads and Russian salads. Also known as Salad Olivier or Olivier Salad, these days it’s usually a combination of chicken, potato, egg, green peas, and mayonnaise with endless variations, but when it was invented in the 1860’s by a restaurant chef named Lucien Olivier in Russia, it was made with fancier ingredients such as grouse, capers, caviar, and smoked duck in a dressing which was a closely guarded secret. Modern versions of this salad are popular throughout Eastern Europe, as well as in Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Mongolia, and beyond.

With all these different types of chicken salad from around the world I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Carlos first told me that chicken salad is also popular in El Salvador, specifically at children’s birthday parties.

Salvadoran Birthday Party Chicken Sandwich

Carlos remembers attending many birthday parties in his neighborhood as a little boy and looking forward to being handed a chicken salad sandwich wrapped in a white paper napkin when he walked through the door. When he shared this memory with me, I decided to try to recreate the birthday party sandwiches of his childhood. With his input, this is the recipe I developed and he says it tastes just right!

Using quality chicken breasts which are slow-simmered with fresh vegetables ensures the meat is moist and flavorful. Shredded and mixed with McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice which adds traditional sabor, spices, and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce – this chicken salad tastes even better chilled and eaten the next day, but it’ll be difficult to wait. Spoon it onto slices of soft, white bread and cut off the crusts if you like. However you eat it, this Salvadoran-style chicken salad is yummy enough to serve at birthday parties, but easy enough that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whip up a batch for your family.

salv-chicken-salad-pot

salv-chicken-mayo-close-up

Cumpleaños Ensalada de Pollo

(Want this recipe en español? Click here.)

Salvadoran Chicken Salad Birthday Party Sandwiches

Ingredients:

3 large chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut in large pieces
1 Roma tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon McCormick black pepper

2 cups McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon McCormick black pepper
½ teaspoon McCormick garlic powder
½ teaspoon McCormick onion powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Method:

1. Add first seven ingredients to a large pot over medium high heat with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it’s at a slow simmer. Cover loosely. Adjust heat lower if needed to keep it at a simmer until chicken is cooked through.

Tip: Avoid boiling or over-cooking the chicken as this will result in the meat being dry. Simmering keeps the meat moister. Short on time? Use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts – they cook faster!

2. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Once cool, shred by hand into small bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl.

3. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined in a medium-sized bowl.

4. In the large bowl mix the mayonnaise mixture a little at a time into shredded chicken until desired creaminess is achieved. I found it tastes best to use about 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture for every 1 cup shredded chicken.

5. Chill for at least one hour or overnight to allow flavors to combine. Serve chicken salad between slices of white bread.

Optional: Add slices of cucumber, a leaf of romaine lettuce, or whatever toppings you like to the sandwich. Some people also like to cut off the crusts and wrap each sandwich in a napkin when serving at parties.

Yields approximately 6 cups chicken salad.

For more recipes like this, visit www.McCormick.com/Espanol!