Recipes for Cinco de Mayo
Fresh Guacamole and Chips
This fresh, zesty guac is loaded with avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapenos and plenty of fresh lime juice. If you're feeling adventurous (or just plain feisty), try adding a shot of tequila to the mix, too.
Ultimate Veggie Skillet Nachos
Nachos are an easy dish to make, but it's amazing how many restaurants and bars just don't get it right. The key to success? Good quality ingredients, and tortilla chips that are layered with attention to their respective cheese-to-topping ratio. These ultimate skillet nachos are covered in lots of fresh toppings after they've emerged from the oven, which give them a great contrast of hot and cold.
Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
Commonly sold by food vendors in the streets of Mexico, this is an utterly addictive way to prepare corn on the cob, roasted over charcoal until charred and smothered in creamy, cheesy goodness. Totally indulgent and simple to prepare, these babies go perfectly with an ice cold beer (and plenty of napkins).
Jalapeño Basil Lime Frozen Margarita
What makes a margarita really great? Beyond enjoying them with friends while basking in plenty of sunshine, the answer is pretty obvious: fresh citrus, quality spirits, and a special complimentary flavor to mix things up. Add a nicely salted rim, and you've got yourself a great cocktail! It's all about that fine balance between sweet, sour and salty, so why not take it a bit further and throw some heat in the mix?
Spicy Turkey and Veggie Tacos
A taco bar is the ultimate casual meal for guests. It's the best of both worlds, if you think about it. You get to prepare an impressive spread of food with very little effort involved, and your guests get to indulge while picking and choosing how they want to dress up their plate. There's way less fuss and worry about covering all your guests personal tastes and preferences, and bonus—tacos just seem to make people happy.
Roasted Mango Salsa Salad
This is a wonderful salad to make at the end of Cinco de Mayo because it will likely clean out your crisper in one fell swoop. You'll love the unexpected sweet-spicy combo of mango and jalapenos here that transform this dish completely when roasted.
Deconstructed nachos were the inspiration behind this fun pizza. Made with chili-spiced black-bean puree, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce and low-fat Jack cheese on a whole-wheat crust, the pie also gets a little low-fat sour cream (that nacho staple) on top.
Bayless's Queso Fundido al Tequila
Chef Rick Bayless is renowned for cookbooks featuring elaborate Mexican recipes. Here, however, he shares a simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion and a hit of tequila. It's just the thing to satisfy a sudden craving for something warm, salty and gooey.
Guacamole with Charred Jalapeño and Scallions
Grace Parisi shares a simple, smoky guacamole.
At New York City's Dos Toros, brothers Leo and Oliver Kremer offer amazing San Francisco-style tacos, burritos and quesadillas—simple, fresh and sustainable.
Adam Seger claims that the margarita is the cocktail world's aphrodisiac. This version combines passion fruit and pomegranate, commonly associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
Crisp on the outside and soft within, these savory corn cakes are a great base for all types of toppings, from pulled pork to shredded chicken. For a more luscious gordita, fry the dough in lard or butter instead of oil.
Pico de Gallo
The pico de gallo can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.
Red Chile-Chicken Enchiladas
Grace Parisi makes a slightly spicy red sauce for these enchiladas with smoky guajillo chiles and fruity ancho chiles.
Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas
To create this Southwestern-inspired dish, Melissa Rubel Jacobson tosses shrimp with chipotle chile powder (made from dried, smoked jalapeños), grills them, then layers them on top of crunchy fried corn tortillas and crisp, citrusy slaw.
Grilled Corn with Queso Fresco and Lime-Tarragon Butter
This recipe is based on typical street food in Oaxaca, Mexico, where Michelle Bernstein once lived. The corn is typically smothered in mayonnaise, dipped in cheese and then covered with a spicy chile powder. Here, Bernstein adds a little melted butter for an American accent. She uses a powdered-sugar shaker to apply an even coating of the chile powder.
Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas
"Pressure cooking is great for braises," says Modernist Cuisine co-author Maxime Bilet. "You can make pork shoulder tender in 35 minutes." Thanks to the rapid cooking time, this dish is a realistic weeknight meal.
Mixologist Jeff Berry's this cooler is great for Cinco de Mayo parties. Multiply each ingredient by the number of guests you're expecting, mix everything except the ginger beer and garnishes in a punch bowl and chill. Add a large block of ice (or ice cubes) and the ginger beer just before serving.
Scott Morrison's mixologist friend Cyrus Keyhari created this recipe for Socialista, a trendy Havana-themed restaurant and nightclub in Manhattan's West Village. The name of this margarita-like cocktail means "the point of grapefruit," referring to Keyhari's belief that citrus-based cocktails have an affinity for spicy food.
Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries
Many versions of this dessert, made by soaking sponge cake in condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream, are too sweet and wet. This one from chef Soledad Correa of Casa Silva is perfect, with just a hint of cinnamon.
Melon Granita Trio
In Mexico, fruit often gets sprinkled with salt and chile powder and eaten as a snack. Michel Algazi and Roni Goldbert, the founders of Palapa Azul, a company that sells fruit bars, sorbet and ice cream, grew up eating these spicy-sweet treats. Their watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe granitas, accented with cinnamon and cayenne, recall that childhood favorite.