Tag: cinco de mayo

How to Make the Ultimate Margarita, Plus New Twists on the Classic

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 4th, 2013

Classic MargaritasForget the super-sweet margaritas that are served in oversized tumblers at your local Mexican dive bar. The ultimate margarita is something simpler, far less heavy and indeed more like a cocktail than a dessert. All you need to make it is just a few liquors, a cocktail shaker and perhaps a blender, depending on how you answer the question: Frozen or on the rocks? Check out a few of FN Dish’s favorite margarita recipes below, a roundup of traditional and deliciously unusual offerings alike, then browse Food Network’s 10 Cinco de Mayo Margaritas for more cocktail inspiration, just in time for tomorrow’s Cinco celebration.

In its recipe for a Classic Margarita, Food Network Magazine shows how simple it can be to make this Cinco de Mayo staple, ready to enjoy in just 10 quick minutes. Start with your favorite tequila and add to it fresh lime juice and just a splash of orange liqueur. Although no one wants a margarita that’s more akin to a sweet treat than a cocktail, it’s best to add a pinch of superfine sugar, as well — it will help balance the tartness of the citrus without overpowering the drink. Shake the mixture, pour it into salt-rimmed glasses with ice and serve it with lime wedges for easy cheersing. The beauty of this adults-only cocktail is that it makes enough to serve four people; by making cocktails in bulk like this, you’ll be able to enjoy your Cinco bash with your guests and not have to play bartender all night.

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Tacos, Nachos and Churros: Go-To Recipes for a Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo

by in Family, Holidays, May 4th, 2013

Tacos Carne AsadaWhile 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.

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Best 5 Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 2nd, 2013

Tortilla SoupEnchiladas, burritos and tacos may be traditional fare on Cinco de Mayo, but when it comes to feeding a crowd this weekend, look to big batches of warm chicken tortilla soup to make entertaining a cinch. A no-fuss favorite that will impress your guests, tortilla soups are packed with bold spices and hearty ingredients like beans and vegetables; plus they become an all-in-one-meal when made with moist, juicy chicken. Check out Food Network’s top-five chicken tortilla soup recipes below to find the ultimate roundup of flavor-packed favorites from chefs like Guy, Rachael, Trisha and the Pioneer Woman, then browse Food Network’s entire collection of Cinco de Mayo eats and drinks.

5. Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup With Tequila Crema — After marinating chicken thighs in a mixture of garlic, cumin and chili powder, Guy grills and shreds them, then tops the chicken with a jalapeno-laced broth, fried tortilla strips and cool sour cream spiked with tequila. Click the play button on the video after the jump below to watch him make it.

4. Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup — Rachael brings all of the flavors and textures you look for in classic fajitas to a satisfying soup by simmering chicken tenders with onions, peppers and jalapenos in a tomato broth and serving each bowl with crunchy tortilla chips, shredded cheese and creamy avocado.

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Cinco de Mayo Across the Country — On the Road

by in Holidays, April 30th, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Across the Countryby Amanda Marsteller

Satisfy your Cinco de Mayo cravings at Food Network-approved Mexican eateries across the country. These savory and spicy stops will perk up your palate, from poblano-style cemita sandwiches in Chicago to Guerrero-style fish tacos in San Diego. Grab a margarita and celebrate Mexico’s rich culinary heritage stateside.

1. Avila’s – Dallas
This Tex-Mex menu showcases specialties like chile relleno, pollo con calabaza — a Mexican chicken stew with squash and corn — and brisket tacos that Guy raved about on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Stop and savor the brisket, slow-cooked in red wine, garlic and onions until tender and juicy.

2. Cemitas Puebla — Chicago
At the Windy City’s only restaurant serving cemitas, you’ll find authentic poblano sandwiches on sesame rolls slathered with avocado and adobo, then stuffed with meaty fillings like breaded pork chops or more adventurous options like pata, aka cow foot. No wonder they sell 300 cemitas a day.

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5 Tips to Create the Ultimate Guacamole, Plus Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

by in Holidays, April 29th, 2013

Gaby Dalkin's Guacamole for Cinco de MayoIt’s that time of the year again when eating massive amounts of guacamole and enjoying a margarita is 100 percent acceptable. Yes, that’s right: Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.

This year’s Cinco festival is even more exciting than usual because my first cookbook, Absolutely Avocados, is out and about, and being sold all across the country. It has a little bit of everything from breakfast to dessert  — and it’s all about avocados.

If you’re set to make the ultimate guacamole this upcoming weekend, keep my five rules, or guidelines, in mind:

1. Avocados: There’s nothing worse than spending a few bucks on avocados at the market and then getting home only to realize they are overripe and brown on the inside, right? The trick to buying perfect avocados each and every time is looking for an avocado that is just the slightest bit tender. It shouldn’t be mushy, and it shouldn’t be rock hard. Rather, give it a gentle squeeze; if it gives the slightest bit, then you’re good to go.

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Quatro for Cinco — Cookbooks

by in Books, Holidays, April 27th, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Cookbook RecommendationsA quick history lesson: Cinco de Mayo was born on the fifth day of the fifth month of the year 1862, when General Ignacio Zaragoza, with the support of local civilians and Zacapoaxtla Indians, led 2,000 poorly equipped Mexican soldiers to victory over 6,000 French cavalry and infantrymen at the Battle of Puebla. Though Zaragoza’s success was short-lived — the following year, French forces swept through Puebla en route to Mexico City, where they managed to overthrow the still-young Mexican Republic — his victory lives on in Mexico, where Cinco de Mayo is a minor national holiday, primarily observed in Puebla and Mexico City. And also more obscurely but perhaps more passionately, in the United States, where in recent decades Cinco de Mayo has morphed into a major festival of Chicano culture.

It’s with this latter, domestic incarnation in mind that, for this month’s cookbook recommendations, I have plucked some choice morsels detailing the remarkable contributions of Mexican-Americans to regional cooking in the United States. So, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, here is a virtual tour of Mexican-influenced border cooking — from Tex-Mex to Cal-Mex, with a stop along the way in Santa Fe, N.M. — in four cookbooks that beautifully sketch the cultural wellsprings from which these regional cuisines were born.

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A Cinco de Mayo Simple Soirée

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 4th, 2012

margarita and sangria for cinco de mayo
Cinco de Mayo is my favorite food holiday. I know I probably say that for every food-related holiday, but let’s be honest — Cinco de Mayo really is the best.

Growing up in Arizona meant a few things. The most important one is that you absolutely must throw a giant Cinco de Mayo party every single year regardless of what day of the week the holiday falls on. We Arizonans take our Cinco de Mayo parties pretty seriously, too. There is never a shortage of freshly made margaritas or sangria and there is always guacamole.

This year I’m going to be in Los Angeles for the holiday and while L.A. is all well and good, there is really nothing like being home in Tucson for a fun fiesta. But never fear, I’m still going all out for Cinco de Mayo this year. These two cocktails will be making an appearance for my fiesta and you should absolutely make them, too. Based loosely on two cocktail recipes from a few of my favorite Food Network stars, I’ll be whipping up a jalapeno-infused margarita and a strawberry raspberry sangria.

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Bobby’s Chips and Guacamole — The New Girl

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 3rd, 2012

bobby flay chips and guacamole
While guacamole is an obvious choice for Cinco de Mayo, it’s also a tasty one. It’s simple to prepare, fresh in flavor and loved by all. Sure, it’s the safe choice, but ultimately you want to make something that your guests will enjoy, not fear.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to guacamole — because avocados are naturally creamy and indulgent, simpler is better in my book. Bobby’s recipe is foolproof and includes only four extra ingredients: red onion, fresh jalapeño, lime and cilantro. Just chop, mash, squeeze and in 10 minutes, you’ve got the perfect party dip. The diced onion adds texture to the velvety avocado and the jalapeño brings a touch of heat and warmth. The MVI (Most Valuable Ingredient) of the dish, however, is the lime. It makes each bite refreshing and bright and will keep your guests digging in for more.

Tips to consider before making these recipes:

Reinvented: Salsa 5 Ways for Cinco de Mayo

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 1st, 2012

salsa 5 different ways
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

Sometimes a basic pico de gallo isn’t enough. Check out these four spins on the classic.

Click here for salsa recipes

Fish Tacos — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 27th, 2012

fish tacos
I have a dear friend who loves to perfect recipes. While I’m content to try something once and then move on to the next cooking project, Cindy will make a dish over and over again until she’s absolutely nailed it. Her pursuit of excellent food has benefited me many times over in the years I’ve known her, because I’ve often been one of her food testers.

There was a spaghetti Bolognese year, a winter of beef stew and a six-month stint during which she served a lot of cioppino. My very favorite was the summer when she was trying to make the perfect fish taco.

My sister and I were at her house the night she declared the winning fish taco. Served in warm corn tortillas, the fish was lightly breaded and fried and topped with a quick coleslaw and a spicy, creamy sauce. There were slivers of avocados for garnish and limes for a hint of acid. Whenever I eat fish tacos, I remember that warm night in her back garden.

Though I love fish tacos, I rarely end up making them at home, because of the frying step. My kitchen has no range hood, just a feeble exhaust fan that helps spread greasy splatter all over my cabinets. Recently, someone pointed me to Bobby Flay’s recipe for Fish Tacos, which has you grill the fish instead of frying it. I had to try it.

Before you marinate the fish, here are a few things you should know: