With Texas as our home base, Mexican food is near and dear to our heart. And with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, we’d be totally remiss if we didn’t take an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and its unique contributions to our society — especially the cuisine.
Mexican cuisine is packed with vibrancy and warmth. Whether you have familial roots in Mexico or not, spend Cinco de Mayo celebrating the wonderful impact Mexican culture has had on the world.
What better way to celebrate than by harvesting fresh goodness from your garden and cooking with loved ones?
Here are 4 classic Mexican recipes that use your garden-fresh eats to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style.
1. FROZEN CILANTRO LEMON MARGARITA
Start off the party right with a flavor-filled frozen drink. The margarita is arguably the best invention to come from Mexico, and this recipe honors the traditional version while adding a fun twist — perfect to surprise your guests with. Cheers to May weather!
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice- 3 oz tequila
- 2 oz orange liqueur
- 2 Tbsp liquid sugar
- Sugar and lemon slices, for garnish
In a blender, blend all ingredients with ice cubes until smooth. Transfer to a chilled glass, and garnish with a lemon round. Enjoy!
2. TRADITIONAL GUACAMOLE
Guacamole is an absolute must for a Cinco de Mayo party. It’s a huge crowd pleaser and the perfect appetizer. In this recipe, the freshly-harvested cilantro cinches the deal, lending a fresh citrusy kick to your favorite dip.
Pull out your tortilla chips and dip the night away!
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp to ¼ cup of thinly sliced green onion
- 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed & minced
- 2 Tbsp cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
- Dash of freshly grated black pepper
- ½ ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed & chopped
- Cut the avocados in half and remove seed. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a bowl. Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don’t over-mash! Guacamole should be a little chunky.)
- Sprinkle with salt and lime juice. Add chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chiles. Start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole as your taste buds desire.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, add the chopped tomatoes (chilling tomatoes reduces their flavor!)
3. CHICKEN ENCHILADAS VERDE
Chicken Enchiladas Verde. Is there a more quintessential Mexican food? This delicious recipe is the traditional version, and we love how thefresh tomatillos shine in this flavor-packed sauce. It’s a delicious dish for entertaining friends and the perfect entree to this Cinco de Mayo meal.
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Adobo seasoning, to taste
- 1½ white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 lb tomatillos, husked
- 1½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 serrano chile pepper, minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 cups of water
- 12 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ½ white onion, diced
- 1 cup queso fresco or 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
- Season chicken with Adobo seasoning, to taste.
- Place chicken, onion, and garlic in a saucepan, with enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let the chicken continue to cook in the broth. Shred chicken meat—approximately 4 cups. Mix with the sour cream and set aside.
- Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt. Pour in water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft—about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.
- Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil until it starts to smoke. Add tomatillo sauce and cook, stirring constantly. When sauce begins to bubble, lower heat, and cook for 5 minutes until noticeably darker and thicker.
- Season sauce with 1 tsp Adobo seasoning. This makes about 3 cups of sauce. If needed, stir in chicken broth.
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Using your fingers, dip each tortilla briefly in the sauce, covering both sides and place on a plate. Spread on a large spoonful of chicken filling and roll up tortilla.
- Place seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat for each enchilada.
- Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, cover with foil, and heat in the preheated oven until enchiladas are heated through—about 10 minutes. Top with sour cream, onions, and cheese.
- Serve immediately.
4. CHURROS & CHOCOLATE
Churros & chocolate are the classic Mexican dessert that’ll end your Cinco de Mayo meal with a bang. They’re casual and incredibly tasty, somehow emitting both childlike elation and pastry sophistication. These sweet pastries will steal the show!
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup butter (or margarine)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Chocolate for dunking:
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups of milk
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup of sugar
- Combine 1 cup of water, the butter (or margarine), and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in flour using a wooden spoon. Then, reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball — about 1 minute.
- Remove the dough from the heat and gradually beat the eggs into the dough, stirring constantly.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 cup of milk and set aside. Combine chocolate with a remaining cup of milk in a saucepan.
- Melt the chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Whisk sugar and dissolved cornstarch into the melted chocolate mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened — about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t start to thicken after 5 minutes, add more cornstarch.)
- Remove pan from the heat and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a high-sided pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 360° F. Mix sugar with the cinnamon on a plate and set aside.
- Spoon churro dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Squeeze a 4- inch strip of dough into the hot oil. Repeat 3 times. Fry the churros, turning them once, until golden brown — about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cooked churros to a plate lined with paper towels and let drain.
- When the churros are cool enough to handle, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar. Then, pour chocolate into individual bowls or cups. Serve the warm churros with the chocolate dip.
These recipes are a great start for your Cinco de Mayo party, but don’t stop there! Let us know what your Cinco de Mayo menu looks like. @gardenuity