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While some elements of Cinco de Mayo — the spicy salsas, spiked margaritas and too-green guacamole among them — may be no match for little ones and their picky palates, others like soft-shelled tacos, cheesy nachos and sweet churros are go-to bites that are practically made with kids’ appetites in mind. These dishes, although guaranteed kid-pleasers, are also some of the most-classic picks for traditional Mexican fare, so by serving them at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, you can be sure that grown-up guests will be happy to enjoy them, too. Whether you’re hosting a big-bash fiesta tomorrow or simply spending a quiet day at home, mark the fifth of May with a family-friendly spread of Mexican eats. Check out a few of FN Dish’s favorite tacos, nachos and churro recipes below, then browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo Central for more go-to recipes and entertaining tips.
Tyler’s top-rated Tacos Carne Asada is a must-try meal if you’re cooking for kids, because you can control the ingredients of the steak marinade and pico de gallo, making them as spicy or as mild as you want. Tyler opts for a jalapeno and a few garlic cloves in the mojo-style marinade and a serrano chile in the salsa, but little ones may appreciate less heat. After letting the meat marinate, grill it until juicy and tender, then serve it in warm tortillas. Let your kids assemble their own dream tacos by setting up a spread of traditional toppings like shredded lettuce, Jack cheese, white onion and fresh pico de gallo and inviting them to help themselves. Watch this video to see Tyler make this can-do recipe.
For the ultimate in nacho indulgence, look to Food Network Magazine’s Big Dish O’ Nachos (pictured right), a five-star recipe that can be made in only 40 minutes. Piled high with crunchy tortilla chips, prepared chili and black beans, these nachos are made richly satisfying thanks to a trio of cheeses: shredded cheddar and pepper Jack, plus a creamy cheddar sauce. The key to this recipe is making the cheese sauce from scratch, as it turns out far smoother than the store-bought stuff.
Ready to eat in just a half hour, Corn Muffin Churros from Food Network Magazine boast a light, fluffy texture and a traditional sweet taste, but they’re made conveniently, thanks to a starter base of boxed corn muffin mix. Once they’re fried, sprinkle these crispy orange-scented beauties with a classic combination of cinnamon and sugar, and serve them alongside warm chocolate sauce for easy, delicious dunking.
Visit Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo Central for more Mexican-inspired recipes.