I didn’t grow up in Texas, but once I moved here I was quickly pulled into the celebrations of Mexican-American culture.
From learning how to make tamales from scratch to enjoying a molten-hot pork molcajete, I love learning about the culture (and food!) that has such strong ties to my adopted home state. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day as some believe (that’s September 16), but a day that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
While the victory did not prevent a French occupation of the country, the Mexican victory over the larger, better-equipped French army became a source of national pride for Mexicans and Latinos living in Mexico and the US. Today, Cinco de Mayo is a bigger holiday in the US than in Mexico and serves as a day to celebrate all aspects of Mexican culture. Even if you can’t claim any Mexican heritage, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect warm-up to the start of the grilling and patio-party season.
Why not try a few of our favorite recipes to set the stage for your fiesta?
No party is complete without dip! Grab some fresh-made tortilla chips and scoop up our Oaxaca-Style Guacamole opens in a new tab, Blackened Jalapeno and Avocado Guacamole opens in a new tab or Fresh Salsa opens in a new tab.
Are you a cheese lover? You can’t go wrong with this Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso opens in a new tab, served with soft tortillas or crispy chips.
Fajitas are perfect for a party. Put out bowls of toppings and let guests serve themselves. Our Skillet Fajitas with Jicama Salsa opens in a new tab can easily be doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd.
You can never go wrong with tacos. Perfectly portable, tacos have endless possibilities. Some of our favorites are Quick and Easy Pineapple and Pork Tacos opens in a new tab, Grilled Fish Tacos opens in a new tab, and Mushroom, Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos opens in a new tab.
Starting the celebration early? Go for Tofu Breakfast Tacos opens in a new tab or Chicken Breakfast Tacos with Sweet and Mild Salsa opens in a new tab.
Don’t forget the rice and beans! Try our Baked Mexican Brown Rice opens in a new tab, Chipotle-Orange Black Beans opens in a new tab, or go for a twist with Southwestern Couscous Salad opens in a new tab.
Finish off the night with Cinnamon Chile Chocolate Brownies opens in a new tab or Dairy-Free Rice Pudding opens in a new tab.
Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? What are you planning to make this year? Let me know in the comments.