Fiesta-Worthy Snacks for Your Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Food, Wine, & Dining, Seasonal & Current Events

Whip up some easy snacks and dips to bring to your Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

Mexican cuisine has become a fixture in American society, especially in the realm of fabulous snacks and appetizers. Cinco de Mayo has always been marked by fiestas, so for your fiesta, stock up on limes, tortilla chips and soft tortillas, and plenty of peppers to put an added kick in your dishes. If you are not hosting the party this year, recipes for dips like guacamole or salsa are easy to cook and carry out to friends’ houses, and are sure to be the tastiest homemade snacks of the celebration. 

For a useful guacamole tip, if you plan on saving your guacamole for the next day, be sure to pour a little bit of water on top of your guacamole while it is in a container.  The water acts as a barrier to prevent the guacamole from oxidizing and turning brown.  Before using your guac, pour the water off the top and give the bowl a stir.  This can keep your guac good for up to three days. Now, cook up some of these great snack recipes, sit back with a margarita, and enjoy!

Simple Homemade Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3 onion (sweet or red) roughly chopped
  • bunch of cilantro
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 jalepeno or serrano pepper
  • lime
  • salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Directions:
Roughly chop the tomato and place in a food processor or a blender. Add the onion and cilantro and garlic, then give the mixture a quick few chops in your mixer. Slice one lime and squeeze the juice on top as well as a few pinches of salt and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Add the pepper and blend.  For a chucky salsa, just do a few quick pulses in the food processor.

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 avocadoes – halved, seeded, and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for one hour and then serve.

Fried Plantains

Ingredients:

  • 4 yellow plantains
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt

Directions:
Cut the ends off of the plantains, and cut them into two pieces. Peel the plantains, and then slice them in half lengthwise. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1/4 cup vegetable oil.  Fry the plantains slowly in the oil until they are brown and caramelized, which should be about 15 minutes.  Place plantains on paper towels to dry, season with salt, and serve.

Cheese Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheese (Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for garnish

Directions:
Lay the tortillas flat on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some of the cheese on one half of each tortilla. Try not to get it too close to the edge. Fold the tortillas in half over the cheese to make a half-moon. Warm a skillet over low heat and add one tablespoon of the butter. Add the tortilla to the skillet and cook until it is lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently lift the edge so you can check. When one side is brown, turn the tortilla over and cook the other side until brown and the cheese is all gooey. Use a spatula to transfer to individual plates or a large platter. Repeat with remaining butter and tortillas. Top them with the sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

[Source: My Frugal Adventures, Food Network]

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