Spectacular Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
By Chef Pati Jinich
Guacamole is the undisputed mainstay of Cinco de Mayo celebrations. With May 5 falling on a Saturday this year, you’ll want to take your Cinco party to the next level — which means dishing out some next-level guac.
Avocados from Mexico make any celebration extra delicious and special. That’s why I shared several of my favorites at a recent Twitter party (#AvoChat; #GuacIsExtra). If you missed it, that’s OK — I’ve got you covered. With the recipes and tips below, you can host a Cinco de Mayo party that can last all day and well into the night.
Before we get to the recipes, make sure you’re ready to pick out the perfect avocados for the big day. For avocados that will be ripe and ready to eat that day or the following, choose avos that are dark green, have a bumpy texture, and give a little in your hand when you gently squeeze them. Should you somehow end up with avocados that are a little too hard, no problem: There are many ways to speed up ripening, like putting the avocados in direct sunlight, inside a brown paper bag with a banana, or even submerged in a bowl of rice. Lastly, if you have ripe avocados but your party is a few days away, place them in your refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
For more tips like these, please visit the “How-To” page on the Avocados From Mexico website.
Now, on to the recipes!
Great Guacs and Dips
- 5-Ingredient Classic Guacamole. This guacamole blends avos, lime juice, onions, jalapeño, and salt.
- Garlic Shrimp, Fennel, and Orange Guac. Savory fennel and bright citrus combine in this seafood-style guacamole.
- Fired Up Tequila Guac. Tequila and the heat of guajillo chiles elevate this guacamole. Tip: Use scissors to cut slender pepper rings.
- Botanero Guac. Cool jicama and sweet pineapple blend with creamy avos in this version.
- Cave Man Guac. This hearty mash includes spicy chorizo sausage and savory soy sauce.
- Fiesta Taco Dip. This layered dip is a symphony of guacamole, pinto beans, and more.
- Regional versions. Try a New York deli guac; a Veracruz-style version; a Maryland mix with lump crab meat; a Louisiana blend with Cajun sausage and spices; or a Mediterranean-style
Another cool avocado tip: If you need to prepare your guacamole well before your party starts, you can keep it green by pouring a thin layer of milk over the top and placing it in the fridge.
Fun Finger Foods
- Tacos! Your spread can include everything from this zucchini-and-avo taco to my flank steak taco with Jamaica and jalapeño syrup. Corn tortillas stuffed with tequila-seasoned shrimp are another good addition.
- Chicken flautas. Rolled with chicken and served with guac, these simple snacks are fun to munch on.
- Burger and dogs. Elevate your burger by topping it with a bacon-and-avo spread on this special day. And who doesn’t love a Mexican-style hot dog dressed with bacon, cheese, and avocado relish?
- From bean-and-cheese heroes to pork sliders topped with an avo spread, simple sandwiches are always crowd-pleasers.
Let guests choose from an assortment of fillings used to stuff avocado halves. (A squeeze of lime juice will help keep sliced avos fresh.)
- Fruit-based fillings. This sweet-and-spicy blend of pineapple and pico de gallo inside a ripe avo works oh-so well. (Make sure your halves are ripe by buying avos that give a little when you squeeze.)
- Veggie fillings. Offer a range of options, from fresh hearts of palm and artichoke salad to a veggie mix with oregano-lime cream.
- Seafood salads. Try these go-to shrimp and tuna salad
- Yes, they’re a must for Cinco celebrations. Serve different types in pitchers with all the fixings: glasses, salt, and lime wedges. You can’t go wrong with this avocado margarita, a grilled pineapple margarita, or a coconut-lime version.
- Creative cocktails. How about this decadent cocktail with a Cinco twist? It’s a martini made with creamy dulce de leche. Scrumptious!
- Aguas frescas. There are lots of options for this refreshing non-alcoholic Mexican specialty, from popular horchata flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, to one from my childhood: Jamaica Water.
- A Michelada Play with this fun tradition of dressing up Mexican beer with hot sauce and spices to please the beer-lovers on your guest list.
Add fresh-cut flowers, pull out the brightly colored tablecloths, and get your playlist ready for an extra special Cinco de Mayo!
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