Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and we want to make sure you’re fully inspired to celebrate with great Mexican food and drink. Cinco de Mayo – not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16 – commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. Despite Cinco de Mayo not being a nationwide celebration in Mexico, many regions in the United States with large Mexican-American populations celebrate Mexican culture and heritage every 5th of May.

The best way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is enjoying your favorite Mexican dishes and drinks with friends and relatives. We put together some great, basic recipes that you can add your own twist to. Here’s what’s on the menu…

  1. Tomatillo Salsa Verde
  2. Best Guacamole Ever
  3. Also Best Margaritas Ever
  4. Chicken Enchiladas
  5. Agua Fresca Yum

1. Tomatillo Salsa Verde

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 serrano chile peppers, minced (if you don’t like serrano, use a jalapeno)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 juiced lime
  • Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water and add juiced lime. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After simmering, use a blender and carefully puree the tomatillos mixture until smooth. Serve it up with your favorite chip or as a side to your mexican dish. Refridgerate the leftovers!

2. Guacamole

  • 6 avocados – pitted and scooped out
  • 2 limes
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • few pinches of pepper
  • 2 tomatoes – seeded and diced
  • optional – diced red onion

Scoop your avocados into a bowl and juice the two limes over the avocado. Add your salt to the mixture and toss the avocado, lime, and salt together – don’t shy from adding more salt! Use a masher or fork to mash your avocado. Depending on how smooth you want it, mash less to have a chunky guac and mash more for a smooth guac.

Stir in your garlic, pepper, tomatoes and optional onion. Serve or cover your guac and keep it refrigerated. If you want to make less or more, just remember a good ratio is for every three avocados, use 1 glove of garlic, 1 tomato, 1 lime and several pinches of salt. You can’t go wrong with this recipe!

3. Margaritas

  • 1 to 2 parts 100% agave tequila
  • 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
  • 1 part triple sec
  • coarse kosher or sea salt
  • lime for garnish
  • optional – crushed or whole ice

4. Chicken Enchiladas

  • 12 green chilies
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • chicken breast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • pinch of cumin
  • sour cream
  • favorite shredded cheese

The Sauce (and onions)
Grill 12 green chilies on each side for 5 minutes or until the skin is black and blistered. Place roasted chilies in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off the blackened skin. Break and remove the seeds and stem. In a blender, combine chiles, two tablespoons of flour and 1 quart buttermilk until creamy. Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to medium-low heat. Add the remaining half of the buttermilk and stir. Add 2 tsp of salt. If you’re sauce is too spicy, stir in 1/4 cup cream or sour cream. If the sauce is too thick, add water to get your desired consistency. While your sauce is simmering, sauté your onions in olive oil with salt, pepper, and some cumin.

In a pot with enough water can boil 1 pound (453.5 g) of chicken breast without skin or bone for 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Once it’s drained and cool, shred the chicken.

Soft tortillas
Heat up some olive oil on the stove and quickly fry your tortilla on both sides – place them in paper towels, like you would cooked bacon, to drain the oil. Individually dip your fried tortillas in the enchilada sauce. Place in a baking tray and add a layer of cooked chicken, shredded cheese of choice and your sautéed onions. Roll up the tortilla and place them in your baking pan, seam down, in a row.

Pour sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 350 degree for about 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of cream cheese and some cilantro.

5. Agua Fresca

Make a delicious, refreshing drink buy adding your favorite fruits, seeds, and flowers. Favorites include lime water, hibiscus-flavored water, and tamarind water.

Puree your favorite fruit – try guava, cantaloupe, or mango – with a pinch of sugar. Strain the juice into a jug of water and finish it off with a squeeze of lime.

What are you doing for Cinco de Mayo? Share your favorite traditions and recipes below!

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