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6 Easy Ways To Spice Up Your Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

May 5th, 2011 2 Comments

Cinco de Mayo always creeps up on me, and suddenly I realize there’s a reason to celebrate (aka overindulge on anything and everything Mexican).

As a Texan, it’s easy for me to throw together a little fiesta with a Mexican flare.  I’m not going to, but if I were, I would be creative with my drinks and dishes.  Here are 6 of my favorite ways to treat my guests to a Mexican feast.

MAKE YOUR OWN CHIPS

Even though this takes a long time, hand-made chips will be the talk of the party.  All you have to do is cut up tortillas into triangles and fry them in EVOO.  Fill a sauce pan, wait until the oil is hot, fry triangles in batches so they don’t overlap flipping a couple times, then put aside on paper towels to absorb the grease.  Season with salt.

Of course, you can bake them too, but they aren’t as good.

ADD GARLIC TO THE GUAC

Making guac from scratch is also labor intensive, but totally worth it.  Chop up avocados, tomatoes, and onions to your liking.  Maybe add some fresh jalapeno.  Squeeze in lemon or lime.  Salt and pepper.  To give it a little extra kick, add fresh minced garlic (very important it’s mince).

MOJITOS OVER MARGARITAS

Most people don’t realize that Mexicans also love mojitos because mint grows like wildfire down there.  Here’s an easy recipe.

If you are going to make ritas, squeeze fresh lime juice and use agave instead of sweet and sour mix.

SERVE GOOD TEQUILA OVER ICE

I guess people don’t like to drink straight tequila because they’ve only been drinking Patron Silver.  I don’t like solo either. Yuck!  You should know there are plenty of super smooth tequilas out there that are pleasant to sip on.  Don Julio Repasado and Clase Azul Repasado are two affordable favorites of mine.  However, the fool-proof favorite is Corralejos.  It’s sweet and has a honey aftertaste. No one will debate you it’s delicious.  And thankfully easy to find.  Buy the bottle below and serve over ice with a wedge of lime.

MOLE WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Fajitas are simple and do the job of satisfying a large group, but it you really want to impress your guests, serve up chicken mole.  If you’ve had mole in the States, you’ve probably never laid your lips on the real deal because it takes a long list of ingredients and days to make.

Here are two recipes – one from Bon Appetit and Kitchen Daily – that cut back on both the ingredients and time.  If there is a specialty store in your neighborhood, you can also buy it for a quick fix.  Either way, the chocolate and salty flavor is delicious and most importantly unexpected.

DON’T FORGET THE SWEETS

I’ve never been to a restaurant in Mexico that serves prailines, but in Houston, 9 out of 10 Mexican joints do.  After a heavy and salty meal, the little pecan sugar cookie tastes AMAZING. I’ve never made them myself, but considering Paula Dean is the expert on everything made with butter, I’ll bet her recipe is spot on.

Ok, I think you’re all set.  Viva La Mexico!

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  • To make guacamole a little less labor intensive, I’ll actually use the food processor to pulse the tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, etc. before adding it to the avocado. Doing so eliminates all that tedious chopping!

    • Great to hear from you girl!

      I do that with the onions, but chop the tomatoes by hand because I like them chunky and firm.