by Gaby Dalkin in Holidays, April 29th, 2013
by Jonathan Milder in Books, Holidays, April 27th, 2013
It’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.
by Gaby Dalkin in Drinks, Holidays, May 4th, 2012
A 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.
Get my recommendations
by Lauren Miyashiro in Holidays, Recipes, May 3rd, 2012
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.
Get my variations
by Jill Novatt in Holidays, Recipes, May 1st, 2012
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:
by Marisa McClellan in Holidays, Recipes, April 27th, 2012
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
by Michelle Buffardi in Community, May 6th, 2011
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:
by FN Dish Editor in Holidays, May 5th, 2011
We asked our Facebook fans to share photos of the Mexican dishes they cooked up for Cinco de Mayo yesterday and we were overwhelmed with the number of delicious-looking enchiladas, nachos, chili, guacamole and Mexican desserts our fans shared. All of the dishes looked to be fit for a proper fiesta and there’s no way we could pick one favorite, so here’s a selection of the amazing dishes our fans prepared — plus some Food Network recipes so you can make your own versions.
Lynn Dickson Ross made: Mexican Brownies with Dulche de Leche Ice Cream (pictured above)
You can make: Aaron Sanchez’s Mexican Brownies
by FN Dish Editor in Recipes, May 5th, 2011
Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but you’re short on time to prepare a full fiesta? Marcela Valladolid of Food Network’s Mexican Made Easy is sharing her five simple tips to throw a quick Cinco de Mayo party at home with your family and friends.
1. Instead of making a sit-down dinner, try serving a cocktail spread with just two or three small bites.
Try these recipes, which can all be cooked in under 30 minutes:
Mexican Squash with Yogurt Dip, Sweet and Spicy Drumettes, Mexico City-Style Tacos and Shrimp-Stuffed Chiles
2. Come up with one signature cocktail, that way you don’t have to stock a full bar.
Try one of these recipes:
Watermelon and Mint “Agua Fresca” (non-alcoholic), Baja-Style Limeade (non-alcoholic), Mexican Cucumber Martinis or Chocolate Margaritas
More tips on music and home decor after the jump »
by FN Dish Editor in Recipes, May 4th, 2011
Plain ol’ supreme nachos get a feisty kick from Rachael with the help of jalapenos, chili powder, cayenne pepper and hot sauce — a fresh Pico de Gallo salsa will help cool down the heat. Make these a part of your Cinco de Mayo fiesta tonight!
Get the recipe: Super Nachos
Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.
Choose your favorite meat or use a combination of shrimp, chicken or steak as you cook up this sizzling dish paired with tortillas and toppings like salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
Get the recipe: Gold Medal Sizzling Fajitas
Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.