Cinco de Mayo is the perfect time to plan a Mexican-inspired fiesta at your restaurant or bar. This holiday is great excuse to spice up your restaurant or bar with some lively mariachi music; colorful red, white and green decorations; and offer a special menu with some Mexican-inspired drinks, starters and entrées. Below are a few simple recipe ideas that would great options for anyone who wants to try something fun, delicious and easy.
To properly celebrate America's favorite south-of-the-border holiday, we suggest mixing a variety of cocktails made from Mexico's most popular beverage: tequila. This smooth liquor, made from the juice of the agave plant, is quite versatile and tastes fantastic with everything from fruit juice to soda and even beer. Below is a recipe for a poloma, which combines smooth aged tequila with tangy grapefruit soda.
La Paloma Suprema
1 ½ ounces golden-colored tequila
4 ouces grapefruit soda
Lime wedge garnish
Combine the tequila and grapefruit soda in a salt-rimmed, ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Tortilla chips served with salsas, queso dips and guacamole are all easy options to serve as yummy starters at your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Nachos are a versatile dish that can be ordered as an appetizer to share or as an entrée for one. Below is a recipe for some hearty nachos that feature ground beef, beans, fresh jalapenos and a blend of zesty cheeses.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 can (14-5 Ounce) Pinto Beans, Chili Beans, Or Ranch Style Beans
1/2 cup Hot Water
1-1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
6 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Diced Finely
1/2 bunch Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
Juice Of 1 Lime
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 whole Avocado (pitted And Diced)
Sour Cream (optional)
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it's totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beans and hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
To make the pico de gallo, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir it together and set it aside.
To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with a layer of the beef/bean mixture, then all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add another layer of chips, another layer of the beef/bean mixture, and the Monterey Jack cheese. Add a final small layer of chips, then a small layer of beef and beans, then a final sprinkling of cheddar.
Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it's heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.)
Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.
Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there!
Serves 8 Appetizer portions.
Mexican culture offers countless appetizing ways to celebrate the country's patriotism and heritage. Tacos, enchiladas and burritos are classic Mexican dishes that will go over well with any crowd. Below is a recipe for a grilled and seasoned flank steak that is perfect on its own, or would make a great filling for tacos or fajitas.
Flank Steak with Corn and Red Pepper Quesadillas
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/4 lb. beef flank steak
3 ears corn, husks and silks removed
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Plain fat-free Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (optional)
Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling over medium heat.
From lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1 teaspoon juice. In small bowl, combine lime peel and juice, chili powder, cumin, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Rub steak with chili powder mixture to season both sides.
Place steak, corn, and pepper on hot grill rack. Cover grill and cook steak and vegetables 12 to 15 minutes or until corn is browned in spots, pepper is lightly charred and tender (turning vegetables occasionally), and steak is medium-rare or desired doneness (turning steak over once).
As vegetables are done, transfer to cutting board. Transfer steak to another cutting board; let stand 10 minutes to allow juices to set for easier slicing.
When vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and coarsely chop pepper. Place tortillas on work surface. Evenly divide cheese, green onions, corn, and peppers on half of each tortilla. Fold each tortilla over filling to make 4 quesadillas. Grill quesadillas about 2 minutes or until browned on both sides, carefully turning over once.
Thinly slice steak and serve with quesadillas and yogurt/sour cream.