Celebrating Cinco do Mayo and National Hoagie Day

Happy National Hoagie Day and Cinco de Mayo

with Jennifer Daskevich







What do National Hoagie Day, Cinco de Mayo, and World Sandwich Champ Jennifer Daskevich have in common – they are all celebrated on May 5.

May 5 is National Hoagie Day.  Cinco de Mayo is the date observed to commemorate the Mexican’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  (It is often mistaken for Mexican Independence day which is actually September 16).  Finally May 5, is also the day World Sandwich Champ Jennifer Daskevich was born.  Perhaps it was meant to be that the girl born on National Hoagie day would become the World Sandwich Champion.  J

Today we combine the three by making a Mexican Torta (hoagie).  What better way to celebrate this day.

The origin of the Torta or Mexican Sandwich is thought to have originated in Puebla where there was a strong Spanish/French Influence and the Bolillo bread is inspired by the French baguette and is often called a pan Francais meaning French bread.


Pulled Pork Torta


Bolillo – inspired by the French baguette but softer on the inside so it is great to soak up juice in this sandwich.  When constructing a sandwich be sure to think of all the flavor components and textures – sweet, spicy, salty, soft, crunchy.  This sandwich has it all, the rich pork with a sweet and spicy chipotle honey with some creamy avocado to cut the heat and some fresh cilantro and tangy cheese to balance out the sandwich.


Makes 2 sandwiches.


  • 2 Bolillo (or other hoagie rolls)
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • Kosher Salt
  • 16 ounces of your favorite pulled pork or carnitas
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons adobo from chipotle in Adobo
  • 2 tablespoons Mango Tequila
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons Pickled Onions (See recipe on sandwichamerica.com)
  • 2 tablespoons Fried Tortilla Strips (or crumbled tortilla chips) see recipe below for tortilla chips.
  • 1 Avocado from Mexico
  • 2 tablespoons Queso Fresco Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using one tablespoon per roll, Spread one on the inside and on top of each roll.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Toast in the oven until crispy.

In a mixing bowl combine the honey, adobo, water, and tequila.  Whisk to combine.  Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, zest of half the lime, and juice of half the lime.  Put pork in a saucepan over medium heat and break up or pull into smaller pieces.  As the pork heats, pour in the sauce and stir to coat the pork.  Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce and coat the pork.

On the toasted rolls pile half the pork on each bottom roll.  Top with tortilla strips, pickled onions, chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresca cheese, and avocado. Top with top half of roll.  Enjoy!!


Bacon and Blue Cheese Guacamole

Recipe Courtesy Jennifer Daskevich


Guacamole is a delicious and easy treat to make at home and what you buy in the story will NEVER compare.  Once you make your own you will never go back – step it up a notch with the addition of bacon and blue cheese for a truly special Cinco de Mayo Guac.  While you are at it fry up your own chips fresh and sprinkle with your own cumin salt combo.  You will be in heaven!


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Whole Lime
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ red onion minced
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ½ cup crumbled bacon


Put 2 of the avocados in a bowl and mash finely.  Add the third avocado and chop roughly with spoons.  This will give you a variety of textures with some smooth and some chunky avocado.  Sprinkle in ½ tablespoon kosher salt and stir to combine.  Add zest of ½ lime and juice of lime and stir to combine.  Add garlic, red onion, jalapeno, blue cheese, bacon, and cilantro using spoons to gently mix.  Taste and adjust salt and lime as needed.

Fresh Fried Tortilla Chips

Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Daskevich


Faster than you can go to the store to buy tortillas – you can make some up at home and boy are they delicious!!


10 corn tortillas cut in quarters

2 cups oil suitable for frying (our favorite is peanut oil)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon cumin


Heat oil to 350 degrees in a medium sauce pan.  Don’t go much hotter or your chips will cook up too fast and burn.  Drop in 10 chips at a time and fry until golden – it happens fast – don’t walk away.

Remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan and sprinkle immediately with cumin salt mixture.  Repeat until all chips are done.  Make up extra as they do go fast!

You can also cut a tortilla into strips and fry in this same manner for the Torta recipe above.


Mango Jalapeno Margarita

Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Daskevich www.gocoastalgrill.com


A combination of sweet and spicy is very popular today and this drinks is one of the best sellers at Coastal Grill and Bar, Jennifer’s restaurant in Kissimmee, FL.


Here are some quick and easy tips about cocktail making.


Sugar in its crystal form when used to make cocktails doesn’t easily combine and can leave your cocktails unbalanced and crystalized.  Turning sugar into a liquid form, simple syrup, is a quick easy way to up the game on your cocktail making and something you can have in the fridge for all kinds of yummy concoctions.


Simple syrup is super easy to make – combine equal parts sugar and water – from 1 cup to 1 gallon depending on your needs – and simmer until the sugar has dissolved into the water.  A good amount to have on hand at home is two cups.  Thus, you would simply take two cups water and two cups sugar and simmer to combine.  The margarita mix used in this recipe is equal parts simple syrup and fresh lime juice.  Don’t buy the processed stuff from the grocery store.   It so easy and so much better to make your own.


This recipe also has the added component of a jalapeno simple syrup which involves the same process but while the sugar water is simmering and bonding, add in 1 jalapeno sliced to add some heat to the syrup.  For a fun garnish remove the jalapeno and toss in sugar, slice the edge and put on your margarita.  Candied jalapenos are a super fun and delicious treat.


Makes two cocktails.


  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 ounces Patron Mango Tequila
  • 3 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce jalapeno simple syrup


On a small plate mix the salt, cayenne pepper, and lime zest.  Run a lime wedge around the edge of two high-ball or bucket glasses and coat the rim in the salt mixture.  Place the lime wedge and the candied jalapeno on the glass and fill the glasses with ice.


In a shaker, combine the tequila, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and jalapeno simple syrup.


Pour over the ice and enjoy!!


Happy Hoagie Day – Happy Cinco de Mayo – Happy Birthday Jennifer



About the Guest Chef Jennifer Daskevich:


As an award winning competitive cook, lawyer, restaurant owner, wine sommelier, award winning food photographer and budding foodie entrepreneur – Jennifer’s life is more than just “A Little Gourmet Every Day” – it’s a full sprint living buffet.

In addition to multiple TV appearances, including her winning role in FYI’s Original Series “World Food Championships”, Jennifer competes and wins major competitions regularly.  Jennifer is the 2013 World Sandwich Champion, the 2015 Chevron Game Day Chef of the Year crowned this year at the Rose Bowl, amongst many wins.  She recently co-founded Sandwich America – a platform celebrating all things sandwich.

Currently, Jennifer is partnered with USA 10Best to identify the top iconic sandwiches by state including favorites like Bagels and Lox in New York, the Cuban in Florida, and the BBQ Brisket in Texas.  For more about the top state sandwiches visit www.sandwichamerica.com and www.10best.com.  Socialize with Sandwich America on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter and check out the latest happenings at Sandwich America.



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