Cinco de Mayo Cuisine du Jour
Those who live in the American southwest have experienced the fan fare and celebrations of Cinco de Mayo a little longer than perhaps many other states across the U. S. though the exposure is most definitely growing. As a result more and more people of various ethnicities are joining in the celebration and adding Cinco de Mayo to their list of favorite holidays. Whether it's the music, the dancing, the drinks, or the food that is most enjoyable about this holiday no one is really sure. However, when you combine them all you have a holiday that is difficult to match in gusto and fun. But for some of us, the food is most definitely the draw.
Mexican food is becoming an almost Americanized version of itself in many restaurants across the United States. One reason is because it's just that popular. Even small towns are beginning to have as many Mexican restaurants as they do Chinese or Italian. This is good news on one hand as it indicates a growing desire on behalf of Americans to try the cuisine of our neighbors. It has also managed to get us accustomed to the wonderful flavors of Mexican cuisines and we are beginning more and more often to bring these cuisines into our own homes.
If you are looking for some great foods to cook for your family on Cinco de Mayo then you've definitely come to the right place for ideas and inspiration. My personal favorite is spicy chicken enchiladas with cheese sauce. This was something I had never heard of until I found a great Mexican restaurant in my neck of the woods called Carlos O'Kelly's. It is now one of my favorite Mexican dishes of all times. It isn't easy to prepare however, so that is the one major drawback.
If you are looking for something fun and festive try creating a taco or fajita bar that lets everyone add their favorite ingredients to their tacos and/or fajitas and keeps the favorite sides such as black beans, refried beans, and Mexican rice close by to complement the meal. This is an excellent idea if you are situated in a manner that allows for buffet style serving of family, friends, and honored guests. It's a lot of fun and you can generally get people to help out or pitch in on the preparations and bringing their favorite toppings along. Be sure to have plenty of everything and refills that need to be chilled on ice and those that need to be kept warm in containers that allow for proper food safety.
If you need something that is a little more portable, especially if you have little ones that tend to wander around with their food, then quesadillas may be the perfect solution. They are delicious, they are easy to walk around with if you have them cut properly, they are fun to make and they do not require a good deal of difficulty in the preparation - especially if you make the $20 investment in a good quesadillas maker. You put one in at a time and let them cook until they are ready. Clean up is a snap and you have a lot of happy campers with full bellies.
Keep the music upbeat and Mexican inspired to further the tone of the party and the food will digest so much better if you get up and dance around a bit. Enjoy the spirit of the celebration. In other words, have fun. Don't spend the entire day in the kitchen fretting over whether you've made enough or if you need to make more. Have a few options available for one and all and leave it at that. If they are still hungry they can always make a run for the border (old Taco Bell slogan) though I'm quite certain that one and all will agree that your food was far superior to any fast food offerings in town.
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