Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quick & Easy Cinco de Mayo Recipes

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  Or, for you gringos out there, Happy Fifth of May!

If you're looking for some quick and easy Mexican recipes to make today for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, here are some that I've posted in the past:

Lemony Jalapeno Guacamole:  Premade grocery store guacamole is a travesty, in my not-so-humble opinion. Good guac is ridiculously easy to make at home (and much more economical than buying the premade stuff). If you want an alternative to everyday basic guacamole, try my zesty version shown on the left. Whether you dip your homemade tortilla chips (keep reading) in it or serve it as an accompaniment to other Mexican favorites, I bet you'll love it.

Avocado Soup: Cool and creamy, avocado soup is a great way to soothe your tongue and tame the fire in your mouth if you're indulging in lots of fiery hot sauce or spicy salsa. You can make it vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth, too.

Homemade Tortilla Chips: Making tortilla chips at home is easier than you think, and a lot healthier than buying chips at the supermarket because my crispy, crunchy homemade tortilla chips are baked, not deep-fried, and you control how much salt and which seasonings (if any) to add. Trust me, you won't miss the fat or the artificial ingredients found in commercial brands!

Crock Pot Chicken Mole:  Make sure to start this recipe in the morning so that it will be done in time for dinner or your party. Mole sauce is a robust, complex, multidimensional sauce made with unusual ingredients like cocoa powder (see photo below on left), and with infinite variations depending on the region of Mexico.

Spicy Beef Chimichangas: These hearty, filling fried burritos (that's what a chimichanga is, after all) are a thrifty meat recipe -- in fact, you can substitute ground venison for the beef. If you don't eat red meat, ground turkey or "ground meatless" (TVP or soy-based substitute that's appropriate for vegetarians and vegans) can certainly be used instead of ground meat.

Cinco de Mayo Pepper Skillet Bread: This colorful, pepper-studded quick bread takes very little time or effort to prepare because there's no rising time (it doesn't use yeast as leavening) or kneading involved. You can make it as spicy -- or not -- as you want by selecting which kinds of peppers to use in the recipe. And if you leave out the cheese, it's a healthy, low fat bread that's guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Frozen Mexican Mocha Latte:  Instead of -- or along with -- dessert, serve this cool, eye-opening frozen coffee drink after your meal. You can even spike it with Kahlua or another complementary liqueur of your choice. And if you realize on "Seis of Mayo" (May 6th) that you overindulged in margaritas or cerveza the night before, you can serve my Frozen Mexican Mocha Latte as a pick-me-up to help you start your day.

Zestfully yours,

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