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Favorite dishes for Cinco de Mayo

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Cinco de Mayo is an important Mexican national holiday recognizing the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. This May 5 celebration is growing in popularity across North America with parades, festivals and food.

Among the traditional Cinco de Mayo dishes: Steak and Pepper Fajitas and Chicken Tomatillo Enchiladas. The fajitas are made with boneless beef sirloin steak, pepper strips and sliced red onion. The enchiladas are flavored with cream cheese, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and canned tomatillos.If desired, you can grill the steak for the fajitas. Grill on lightly oiled grill rack over medium-hot coals to desired doneness (allow 15 minutes for medium), turning once and brushing often with 1/3 cup picante sauce. Proceed as directed in the recipe.

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RECIPES

STEAK AND PEPPER FAJITAS

1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak, 3/4-inch thick

1 cup bottled picante sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 medium green or red peppers, cut into strips (about 3 cups)

1 medium red onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

8 flour tortillas (6-inch)

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Place steak on rack in broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat to desired doneness (allow 15 minutes for medium), turning once and brushing often with 1/3 cup of the picante sauce.

In medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add peppers and onions; cook until tender-crisp. Add remaining picante sauce and cilantro; heat through.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Slice each steak into thin strips and place down center of each tortilla. Top with pepper mixture and cheese. Roll up. Serve with additional picante sauce. Serves 4.

CHICKEN TOMATILLO ENCHILADAS

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 3/4 cups bottled picante sauce

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)

12 corn tortillas (6-inch)

1 cup tomato puree

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/8 tablespoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced

11-ounce can tomatillos, drained and chopped

Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Stir cream cheese until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup of the picante sauce, the chicken and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in 3-quart shallow baking dish.

Mix remaining picante sauce, tomato puree, chopped cilantro, garlic powder and tomatillos. Pour over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until hot. Uncover. Top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 6.