Cinco de Mayo: Perfect Party Food

Hi Friends!  I hope you’re having a great day.  Cinco de Mayo is this weekend and I don’t know about you, but I love an excuse to gather with friends and share great food.  We adore Mexican food in our house, and my mom was also a huge fan of Mexican cuisine.  I am fortunate to have some of her great recipes, as well as a few that I have created, and some I’ve collected from family and friends.   I decided that I’d put them all in one place, even though I have shared some in the past.  My hope is that this will make it super easy for you to get ready for your festive event!  Now let’s get cooking!!

First up, salsa!  This is a fabulous salsa recipe that I was lucky enough to get many years ago.  I have made it countless times and it is a serious hit.  It is fresh, delicious, and super easy.  The heat can be altered to your liking as well. Feel free to leave out the jalapeño and it will still have a kick from the Rotel.

Deb’s Simple Salsa:

salsa photo2 Medium tomatoes (small grape or cherry tomatoes can be used easily, just approximate the amount to equal two medium tomatoes)
1 Can original Rotel (adjust your heat level by using mild, or hot instead)
Juice of one large lemon
1 Full bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
1 Bunch green onion, chopped
1 Jalapeño pepper seeds removed and finely chopped, optional (you can use serrano or habanero if you prefer)
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Shake of cumin, optional

Add your can of Rotel, cilantro, green onions, jalapeño, and lemon juice to your food processor. Pulse several times to begin to break down the ingredients. Once it is chopped and reduced somewhat in volume, add in the tomatoes, garlic salt, and cumin, if using. Process it all together until it is your desired consistency. I like mine very finely processed, but whatever you prefer is just great. Taste and adjust garlic salt level if more is needed. Now pull out those chips and dig in!!

*Recipe add on: You can also make this recipe with fresh, sweet peaches. Keep the other ingredients mostly the same, but add in the peeled, diced flesh of two sweet, ripe peaches. Increase the cilantro by another half bunch, and adjust your garlic salt according to taste. My oldest son actually prefers the peach version!

Deb’s Perfect Guacamole:

IMG_2184 4 Large ripe avocados, smashed
Juice of one small lime
2 Large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp of shredded sweet yellow onion, with moisture squeezed out
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp kosher salt
½ jalapeño fined diced, optional

Scoop the avocado flesh from the skin. Squeeze in the lime juice. Smash the avocado and lime juice with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl until desired consistency. Shred the onion and press out all of the moisture either in a fine mesh sieve or squeeze it in a paper towel. Add the shredded onion, minced garlic, garlic salt, kosher salt, and jalapeño, if using, to the avocado mixture. Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.

* The longer it sits, the better it gets. I usually make it at least an hour before I serve it. This is a basic, but really delicious recipe. A few ways to kick it up a notch are to add roasted, and chopped sweet grape tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, and I also have smoked the avocado and tomatoes, and it is incredible. Feel free to adjust the lime juice, salt, and heat, to your liking. Enjoy!

Deb’s Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada’s: 

IMG_21581 1/2 Cups diced cooked chicken (in a pinch rotisserie chicken works well)
1 small can chopped green chilies
3/4 Cup sour cream
1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 Cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese, divided
12 Flour or corn tortillas, I use 6 of each
1 Can red enchilada sauce
1 Can green enchilada sauce
1 tsp salt

Combine chicken, sour cream, ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cup pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese, sour cream, green chiles, and salt. Mix well. Spoon mixture into tortillas and roll. Place them in a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Drizzle the top of the rolled tortillas with the red and green sauce. Sprinkle on the reserved cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the cheese bubbles and the top begins to lightly brown.

Deb’s Mexican Seven Layer Dip:
Image-1Layer 1:
1 can mild or jalapeño prepared bean dip (I use frito lay-it’s usually in the chip isle)

Layer 2:

Smash avocados and mix all together
2 Medium ripe avocados
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Layer 3:

Mix all together
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 4oz can chopped green chilies

Layer 4:

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
sliced black olives
chopped tomatoes
tortilla chips for serving

Layer the bean dip, the guacamole, and the sour cream mixture. Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice, chopped green onions (aka scallions), black sliced olives, and chopped tomatoes. Feel free to add any toppings that you like. It’s also great with jalapenos for a spicier version. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!!

The day is not perfect without the perfect margarita.  I suggest Ina Garten’s Pink Grapefruit Margarita.  It’s amazing! Here’s the link. I make them in a martini shaker and serve them in salted martini glasses, but they’re great frozen too!

blog 29

There are many great recipes out there, but this one is a keeper!  As always, let me know if you have any questions! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your Cinco de Mayo festivities!  I hope you love these recipes I’ve shared!  Cheers!

xoxo Deb



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