Here at European Deli, we're getting ready for Cinco de Mayo, which is happening next Saturday! I love Mexican food and throwing a fiesta to celebrate with my family and friends. If you are looking for some delicious and easy recipes for your own party, then you are in luck!
But first, what is Cinco de Mayo all about? Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration to commemorate the fledgling Mexican Army's unlikely victory over Napoleon's French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. While it is a minor holiday in Mexico, in the US it has become a Mexican-American cultural celebration and how better to celebrate than with Mexican inspired food and drinks!
I have delicious recipes that can start off your party, whether you are hosting or looking for a meal or cocktails you can bring to a pot-luck. All of these recipes use specialty gourmet items we carry at European Deli, but the one item you really must try is Chile Colonial Chile Crunch - it's as essential as avocados, peppers, onions, tomatoes and cheese for all of your Mexican style dishes and more.
Besides salsa and chips, everyone loves guacamole! Adding Chile Colonial Chile Crunch will turn it from a basic dip to something spectacular!
Chile Crunch Guacamole
2 Ripe Avocados
1 Tbs. Chile Colonial Chile Crunch
1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped
½ cup Red Pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Mash avocado with a fork. Add the Chile Colonial Chile Crunch, cilantro, red pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve with corn chips.
Along with appetizers, everyone is looking for something festive to drink and when we think of Mexico, we think of Tequila! Of course, the foremost cocktail that comes to mind is a Margarita, which is even more delicious when cocktail bitters are added. This Margarita with Bitters recipe features an option of 2 different kinds of bitters: Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Orange Bitters for a true bitter orange flavor that will make a more traditional Margarita or Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters for a more interesting orange peel and toasted almond flavor. Salud!
Margarita with Bitters
3 oz. Tequila Blanco
2 oz. Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz. Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup
3 dashes Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Orange Bitters
or Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup. Cover and shake until chilled. Salt the rim of the glass, if desired. Strain Margarita with Bitters into the glass. Stir in 3 dashes of either Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Orange Bitters for a true bitter orange flavor or Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters for a more interesting orange peel and toasted almond flavor. Serve with a wedge of lime. Yields 1 potent but amazing cocktail!
What if your style leans more towards classic drinks that you sip, like an Old Fashioned? Tequila Añejo, aged in oak for 1-3 years, is perfect for a Tequila Old Fashioned. Don't have all the ingredients to make an Old Fashioned? We have the perfect solution - try either Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup (organic demerara sugar, fresh orange peel, organic tart cherries, and a proprietary bitter herb blend) or Old Forester Old Fashioned Syrup (all-natural blend composed of rich demerara syrup with a proprietary blend of three Old Forester bitters: Hummingbird Bitters, Bohemian Bitters, and Smoked Cinnamon Bitters). Both contain everything you need to make a fantastic Old Fashioned cocktail, except for your favorite spirit! Lastly, there's the cherry garnish and Peureux Griottines Cherries in Liqueur are amazing! These are wild Balkan Oblachinska Morello cherries that are macerated in Kirsch liqueur, which will add the perfect finish to your cocktail.
Tequila Old Fashioned
2 oz. Tequila Añejo
¼ - ½ oz. Old Forester Old Fashioned Syrup or Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup
1-2 Peureux Griottines Cherries in Liqueur
Pour Tequila over ice in a mixing glass. Add ¼ - ½ oz. Old Forester Old Fashioned Syrup or Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup, depending on how sweet you like your drink. Stir until chilled. Strain over 1-2 ice cubes in a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with Griottines cherries. Yields 1 cocktail.
Finally, what is easier than a casserole for an entree? This Chicken Enchilada Crunch Casserole has 12 servings and my family loves it! Again, this recipe features Chile Colonial Chile Crunch. Serve with some Chile Crunch Guacamole, sour cream and a side salad. And don't forget your delicious cocktail!
Chicken Enchilada Crunch Casserole
Yields 12 servings.
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 can Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, drained
1 Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
4 tsp. Chile Colonial Chile Crunch
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
½ tsp. Salt
½ cup Water
2 15 oz. cans of Beans, drained and rinsed (black and pinto are great choices)
1 16 oz. jar Salsa Verde
8 Flour Tortillas, burrito sized
1 11 oz. can Corn kernels, drained
1 ½ cups grated Mexican Cheese
1 10 oz. can Enchilada Sauce
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 Tbs. oil. Add the onions and garlic, cooking until onion softens. Add the tomatoes, 2 tsp. Chile Colonial Chile Crunch, and 1 tsp. each chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Stir and cook for 2 minutes to release flavors. Remove onion mixture to a bowl.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 Tbs. oil. Add the chicken, 2 tsp. Chile Colonial Chile Crunch, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. cumin and ½ tsp. salt. Sauté the chicken until done in the center, about 4-5 minutes. Add water, stirring to make a sauce. Boil until reduced by half. Stir in beans and remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour ½ jar salsa verde into 9x13 inch dish.
- Tear 4 tortillas to cover bottom of dish.
- Spread all of the onion mixture on top of the tortillas.
- Sprinkle corn kernels.
- Spread the chicken and bean mixture.
- Sprinkle half the cheese.
- Pour ¾ can of enchilada sauce evenly on top of the filling.
- Tear remaining 4 tortillas to cover the filling.
- Pour the remaining ½ jar of salsa verde and ¼ can of enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until cheese has melted and it’s hot and bubbly.
Note: This casserole can be frozen after assembly. Wrap tightly in heavy duty foil and freeze up to 6 months. Bake in 350 degrees preheated oven for 2 hours, covered. Uncover foil and bake the additional 15 minutes.
Credit: This recipe is based on “Mexican Tortilla Casserole” found in The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime cookbook.
We hope you enjoy our Mexican inspired recipes and have a Happy Cinco de Mayo!