Recipe report: Cinco de Mayo specials

cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, but it’s not too late to add a couple of celebratory items to the menu. These five food and drink recipes offer a few twists on tradition to rev up guests for the holiday.

1. Goat Cheese Guacamole

Goat Cheese Guacamole

Guacamole is a menu must-have for Cinco de Mayo, but guests may welcome a variation on the standard recipe for a change of pace. At Cantina 18 in Raleigh, N.C., owner and Executive Chef Jason Smith mixes it up by adding local goat cheese to the mashed avocados, spiking the blend with pickled jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and cherry tomatoes.

Click here for the recipe.

2. Michoacan-Style Pork Carnitas with Green Apple Slaw

Michoacan-Style Pork Carnitas with Green Apple Slaw

Pubbelly’s menu is a fusion of Latin American and Asian flavors, but chef Jose Mendin leans in a Mexican direction with this dish. The carnitas start with boneless pork shoulder that’s soaked in a spiced citrus marinade, then oven-braised until tender. The cooked pork is shredded and sauteed until crisp, then piled into corn tortillas. Housemade green apple slaw provides a refreshing contrast to the carnitas.

Click here for the recipe.

3. Fruit Cart Margarita

fruit cart

The Mexican Street Bowl, a signature menu item at all four locations of Puesto, features seasonal tropical fruit, cucumber, jicama, mango, chamoy and lime. Kitchen staff purees the leftover fruit to use as a base for the Fruit Cart Margarita. The cocktail, which also contains tequila, agave, lime juice and sugar, was developed by Beverage Director Lucien Conner to minimize waste and utilize surplus fruit.

Click here for the recipe.

4. Albondigas Sliders with Jalapeno Aioli

Albondigas Sliders with Jalapeno Aioli

Albondigas, the Spanish word for meatballs, are typically served in a Mexican meatball soup by the same name. Chef Aaron Sanchez liberates the meatballs from that traditional preparation and sandwiches them between small burger buns to create sliders. Roasted poblanos, chipotle pepper sauce, cotija cheese and garlic in the meat mix and a housemade condiment of jalapeno aioli add bold flavor to the recipe.

Click here for the recipe.

5. Ensalada Aguachile


Add a salad to the Cinco de Mayo lineup for guests who want a lighter option. Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe in Phoenix spikes a refreshing lime aguachile sauce with jalapenos and uses it to marinate and “cook” shrimp. The shrimp are then arranged on individual plates with cucumbers, red onion and avocado for service.

Click here for the recipe.

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