We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.
Tag: cinco de mayo
While it may be a Monday, it’s also Cinco de Mayo, which means that as you’re indulging in a platter of tacos or a bowl of creamy, cool guacamole, it’s only fitting to mix up a refreshing cocktail to pair with it. Margaritas often steal the show come Cinco de Mayo — and for good reason, given that they’re endlessly versatile — but there are surely other sippers to celebrate the day. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite adults-only cocktails worthy of Cinco de Mayo below; each is easy to prepare and guaranteed to impress your friends at tonight’s fiesta.
Whether you like it on the rocks or chilled and frosty, the margarita with a base of tequila is a Mexican must-have. Most traditional recipes, including that for the Classic Margaritas featured above from Food Network Magazine, showcase a base of tequila and plenty of fresh lime juice, but the cocktail can be dressed up with other fruit juices or blended to become a frozen concoction. Browse photos of 10 Cinco de Mayo Margaritas to find more inspiration and get the how-tos for making them at home.
While you could indeed drink your margarita, there’s also the option of eating it — in the form of a gelatin shot. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Lime-Shaped Margarita Gelatin Shots are bright-green party bites that use hollowed-out limes as a mold for an extra-special presentation.
While Mexican-inspired meals, like tacos, quesadillas and tortilla soup, may be in frequent dinner rotation in your home, there’s perhaps no better day of the year to cook them up than today, Cinco de Mayo. Celebrate the event with an impromptu fiesta complete with an inspired spread featuring rich refried beans, Rachael’s fresh guacamole and Alton’s tres leches cake for dessert. As a main course, skip such meaty dishes as fajitas and burritos and instead focus on chiles rellenos; showcasing peppers and cheese, these over-the-top indulgences are often naturally vegetarian.
Food Network Kitchen’s top-rated Chiles Rellenos (pictured above) is a fan-favorite recipe packed with the bold flavors of poblano peppers and tomato sauce spiced with a serrano chile. After charring the poblanos, stuff them with Mexican string cheese and dunk them in flour and a cumin beer batter to create the light coating ideal for deep-frying. The key to making these chiles lies in the stuffing process; after filling them with cheese, it’s important to seal the openings shut with a toothpick so the cheese doesn’t seep out into the oil. Serve these crispy, golden-brown beauties atop the smooth tomato sauce for an impressive plate worthy of Cinco de Mayo.
This morning’s episode of The Kitchen was largely dedicated to Cinco de Mayo — plus mayonnaise at times — so the co-hosts came together to host a celebratory fiesta complete with warm, sweet churros, more than 50 types of tacos and a colorful pinata. While on the set of the show recently, FN Dish caught up with Marcela Valladolid to get her take on Cinco ahead of Monday’s holiday. Read on below to learn her tips for pulling off a Mexican-themed bash at home, and find out how she puts her signature spin on traditional eats and drinks, then check out her top-rated recipe for Tres Leches Cake (pictured above).
How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your home?
Marcela Valladolid: I don’t. … Nobody in all of Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo. … Many folks on this side of the border confuse it with Mexican independence day, which is actually Sept. 16. … I didn’t really start getting into the holiday until I moved to the U.S. about five years ago, to San Diego. ‘Cause in downtown San Diego, it’s huge. It’s margaritas all over the place. Growing up in Mexico, I was like, it’s so crazy that they’re even celebrating, but now I like to embrace the fact that they’re just celebrating Mexican culture, and there’s such wonderful beauty about that.
We have friends who host an annual Cinco de Mayo party. Because of my book tour schedule, we’re not going to be able to make the hour plus drive out for the festivities this year. I’m sad to miss the chance to catch up with them and to dig in to the exceptionally good spread of food they always cook up.
Since we’re missing out on carne asada and the largest bowl of guacamole I’ve ever seen, I’ve been plotting a substitute meal. It won’t be as festive and community-oriented as our gathering of friends, but it will calm the worst of the Tex Mex cravings.
As my starting place, I’m using Ree Drummond’s recipe for Brisket Tostadas. She has you marinate and then braise a large hunk of brisket until it’s tender and shred-able. Once the meat is ready, layer it on toasted corn tortillas with cheese, black beans, salsa and cubed avocado. Perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration and your very next Weekender.
It’s one of the few meals out there associated with a sound. The gratifying sizzzzle of a piping-hot skillet loaded with tortilla-ready add-ins signifies the arrival of one of our favorite hands-on dishes: fajitas. Lay out grilled veggies, cheese, pico de gallo and more on the table, and let your guests assemble the taco of their dreams. Along with salt-rimmed margaritas, bowls of guac and more, there is no better headliner for your Cinco de Mayo menu.
It’s not too soon to start planning for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. And this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week will help you prepare a sure-hit dessert. Aarón’s brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequin chile powder. If you can’t find pequin, just substitute cayenne pepper.
For more spring-season recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Spring board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Aarón’s Mexican Brownies
Forget 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.
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.
Enchiladas, 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.