When May 5th finally rolls around in Portland, OR, we couldn't be more ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. With winter finally behind us and summer just ahead, all the vibrant food and drinks associated with Cinco de Mayo signify afternoon barbecues and cold drinks in the warm sun.
On a deeper level, Cinco de Mayo also represents an incredible story of the underdog, when a vastly outnumbered, ragtag group of loyal indigenous Mexicans defended the town of Puebla de los Angeles from an invading French army twice its size. Damn! Who doesn't love an underdog story?!
So gather your troops, pour some drinks, and toss together the recipes below for a festive, and stress-free, Cinco de Mayo partay. What are your favorite ways to celebrate?
Everyone loves a GOOD margarita. You know, the kind that is a little boozy, not too sweet, with an emphasis on refreshing. Enter this perfect recipe from Bon Appetit. No Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without enjoying a margarita with friends.
While the margarita takes the limelight when it comes to Mexican cocktails, let's not forget about the margarita's refreshing bff. One of Mexico's most popular cocktails, the Paloma is the perfect combo of sweet and tart with grapefruit, lime and salt. Warning, you WILL want more than one.
Baked Chicken Quesadillas
These quesadillas are truly a must-have in any woman's recipe box, whether it's Cinco de Mayo or just your average Wednesday. Brought to you by Natalie and Holly, the two women and moms behind Modern Proper, this recipe for Baked Chicken Quesadillas highlights their philosophy of hosting loved ones while eating beautiful food. Picture a platter full of warm, stuffed triangles of goodness that will satisfy both little eaters and those with sophisticated palates. You can follow the recipe exactly as is, or cook each quesadilla in a frying pan with just the tiniest splash of oil for a crispier shell and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until you're ready to serve. Either way I promise everyone will go back for seconds. Side note- if you have spice sensitive little ones, simply set aside some of the filling mix before mixing in the adobe peppers for a few spice-free quesadillas.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
This recipe is live and direct from our friend and artist Lauren Schwab in Denver, CO. Wife, mama of two, and a friend to many, Schwab is the QUEEN of throwing together a meal for the masses. This Mexican Street Corn Salad is the ultimate side dish, full of bright, smoky flavor, and worthy of planning an entire meal around. Liked most seasoned cooks, Schwab doesn't usually follow a recipe, but she wrote this out for us in general terms so we can whip it up in 20 minutes. Feel free to adjust quantities as needed, and when in doubt just follow Schwab's motto- More Is Better.
- 3 bags frozen corn
- 2 bunches cilantro, chopped with a little set aside for garnish
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
- 6 limes
- 1 cup grated parmesan, set aside a little for garnish
- 1 large red onion, grated
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped
- 2 cups mayo
- chili powder, cayenne, honey, salt
Defrost corn in a strainer and let dry completely as water will ruin consistency and flavor. If you have time and want a slightly charred corn taste, heat corn in a skillet to brown the edges. Squeeze limes and set juice aside. In a large bowl, add mayo, lime juice, a drizzle of honey, and spices and whisk together. Add cilantro, garlic, red onion, green onion and parmesan and give it a good stir. When corn is thoroughly defrosted toss into bowl and stir until mixed. Set in fridge for an hour minimum. The longer it sits, the better the salad. When ready to serve, give it another stir and add extra parmesan if it seems a little watery. This will thicken it just right. Garnish with cilantro and parmesan. Pro tip- if you want to score extra points for presentation, serve in individual serving cups.