Happy Cinco de Mayo! May 5th is an important holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces, who hadn’t lost a battle in over 50 years, at the Battle of Puebla, in 1862. The holiday is not widely observed in Mexico, except in the city of Puebla, where there is a huge parade and celebration, but it is very important to Mexican-Americans. Cinco de Mayo was used as a way to show heritage to other Americans.
So, if you’re thinking this is an excuse to drink tequila on a work night and binge eat Taco Bell, get out right now. We’re going to honor this fiesta by teaching you how to have the ultimate taco night.
Home Made Guacamole
Guacamole is one of the most important things in this world, and we should cherish it. Make a lot, people like to eat it before the real meal comes with chips, then they like to pile it on top of their tacos. Chipotle just released their guac recipe, which is actually like every guac recipe, so don’t stress about it. Make sure to get ripe avocados (when squeezed they should feel slightly squishy beneath the skin, but firm.) They’re the most important part.
We know we said that Cinco de Mayo wasn’t an excuse to drink tequila on a workday. What we meant is that the holiday just isn’t for your binge-drinking enjoyment. That doesn’t mean you can have taco night without a margarita. Margaritas are actually super simple to make too! For beginners, Jose Curevo is you’re go-to tequila, there’s no bad burn. If you want to step it up, go with Patron Silver, it’s stronger, a little more expensive, and my personal favorite. For the best margarita, use Herradura, it offers no aftertaste and it’s incredibly smooth. Be a purist, your recipe should call for no other liquor, like triple sec, just tequila, freshly squeezed limes, some simple syrup, and salt.
I’ll admit, I grew up in a small town. I didn’t know the joys of shrimp ceviche, I didn’t see the light until I was a full grown woman. If you want to take taco night up a notch, shrimp ceviche is the way to go. Most people eat it with chips, but I could eat it by the spoon-full. It’s a game changer. Click here for my favorite recipe.
Elote, or Mexican grilled corn, is a popular street food in Mexico, and once you taste it you’ll never go back to just butter, salt, and pepper. You can eat them on the cob, but I like to cut them fresh after grilling and mix the ingredients in a bowl to put inside the tacos as well. Click here for a recipe.
Perfect Carne Asada
These tacos look so impressive, but they couldn’t be easier to make. You just set it and forget it in your crockpot. By the way, if you don’t own a crockpot, get one, it will be your best friend. This recipe is amazing.
Simple Meat Seasoning
Forgot the slow cooker? It’s fine, make your own taco seasoning. In fact, if you have those packets from the store, toss them. Homemade is healthier, and it tastes so much better. You can use this for ground beef, chicken, ground turkey, and mostly anything you want to fill your taco.Here’s a simple recipe.
Or any Mexican beer, I prefer Corona because it tastes extra light and doesn’t fill me up as quickly as other beers, so there’s more room for food. Don’t forget the lime!
Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas?
Obviously, the difference is one is made of flour while the other is made of corn, but what’s the difference? Is one better for a certain recipe? Flour tortillas are soft, and they’re probably what you get when you order a burrito or soft taco from most restaurants. When they go stale, you can use them for quesadillas, or fry them up for chips. Corn tortilla are more firm and chewy, and taste more, well, like corn. They can be used for soft tacos, or fried to make hard shell tacos or corn chips. The answer is, there’s no wrong kind of tortilla.
This deep red salsa is made with cooked dried chili peppers, it’s smoky and hot. Here’s a great recipe for salsa roja.
Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
A loose puree of avocado, lime, and other ingredients, almost like guacamole, but very much thinner, is a perfect salsa for those who can’t stand anything too spicy, but still want flavor. Click here for the recipe.
Pico de Gallo
The classic. The fresh salsa couldn’t be easier to make, just mix raw chopped tomatoes, onion, chili peppers, and cilantro. The red, white, and green represents the Mexican flag.
This salsa can range from mildly hot to your mouth is on fire, it’s made from tomatillos, chilis, and cilantro.
Check out this recipe.
End the night with the classic dessert, flan. Here’s my favorite flan recipe, and it’s a lot more simple than you think.