Today is National Buffalo Soldier Day. In 1992 Congress set this day aside to commemorate the formation of the first regular Army regiments of African American soldiers in 1866. Following the Civil War, Congress passed the Army Organization Act, creating six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments. It was the first such creation during peacetime.
In 2005, the nation’s oldest living Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews, died at the age of 111 in Washington, D.C. He was given a full military funeral and laid to rest at Arlington.
After the Civil War, these all-black regiments were sent west, tasked with controlling the Native Americans of the plains, capturing cattle rustlers, and protecting settlers along the Western Front. During the Spanish-American war of 1898 in the face blatant racism and enduring brutal weather conditions, Buffalo Soldiers earned a reputation of serving their county courageously.
While we may never know why, the men of the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were dubbed “Buffalo Soldiers” by the Cheyenne they encountered. One theory claims that the name arose because the soldiers’ dark, curly hair resembled the fur of a buffalo. Yet there is evidence that the name was more than just a reference to their hair. The Indians saw these soldiers as valiant and fierce opponents, and revered them as they did the mighty buffalo. Over time, any regiment of all-black soldiers became known as Buffalo Soldiers.
It wasn’t until 1948 under the Truman Administration, that racial segregation in the military ended with Executive Order 9981. The last all-black units were disbanded by the 1950s.
By then, Buffalo Soldiers had earned the reputation of unwavering dedication and commitments to their regiment with a strong sense of duty to country. Being a Buffalo Soldier, even in the face of discrimination, was a source of honor and pride.
Today is also Tijuana Tuesday in my house. And we all know what that means – something delicious to have with a margarita or three. Are you ready for some delicious eats? Me, too. Now if this doesn’t get your Tuesday Night off to a great start, I don’t know what will.
Tijuana Taco Lasagna
1 small Yellow Onion
2 Jalapeno Peppers or to taste
2 Fresno Peppers or to taste
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 can Black Beans
1 (10 oz) can Mexican Corn with Peppers
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
6 (8-inch) Flour Tortillas
1 can Refried Beans
3 cups Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.
Peel and dice onion, set aside. Stem, seed and dice the peppers, set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté until soft and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and chorizo meats, break up with a wooden spoon. Cook for another 6 minutes, or until it is no longer pink. Add the water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes.
While the meat mixture cooks, drain and rinse the black beans, set aside. Drain corn, set aside.
Stir in the black beans, corn and fire-roasted tomatoes. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes, until thickened, then remove skillet from the heat.
While the taco mixture cooks, empty refried beans in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and warm in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm and easy to spread.
Place 2 tortillas in the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the refried beans and half of the taco mixture over the tortillas and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat to make another layer of tortillas, beans, taco mixture and cheese, then top with remaining 2 tortillas and 1 cup cheese.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the lasagna is warmed through and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
2 Plum Tomatoes
2 Green Onions
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Chop the tomatoes and green onions, set aside. To finish the lasagna, turn oven to broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove from oven.
Dollop the center with a little sour cream, top with a few tomatoes and green onions. Slice like any lasagna. Pass remaining garnishings around the table.
This Tijuana Lasagna deserve a wonderful avocado salad, tall glasses of Lemonade for the children and a pitcher of Margaritas for the old folks. Oh yeah, here’s to a delicious Tuesday!