Five Festive Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo is just three days away. So let’s celebrate with 5 of my favorite South of the Border dishes. Enjoy creating traditional, healthy and fun entrees (plus sides) for your friends and family.

Heather’s Homemade Guacamole
Heather's guacamole

Ingredients
4 ripe avocados
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional: 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
2 tomatoes diced (I like to use Roma and garnish with cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup cilantro (leaves and stems) diced (optional: parsley)
1 tbsp lemon juice
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions
On a cutting board, slice avocado in half. Then pick it up and give it a twist. The avocado should come right apart. Pick up the half with the pit in it. Carefully whack the knife into the pit, then twist and lift it out. Compost avocado skin and pit. With a spoon, scoop out the insides and add to a mixing bowl. With a fork or spoon, gently mash the avocado. Add the lemon juice to help preserve freshness and the bright green color. Then add the minced garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and black pepper. Stir and serve.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes

Directions
Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Sauté onion and garlic in pan until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes and sauté 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to skillet, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts.

Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream (or yogurt) and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans. — recipe from Foodnetwork.com

Chunky Salsa

Ingredients
6 lbs tomatoes, chopped
3 lbs tomatoes, diced
7 cloves garlic, diced
3 lbs yellow onions, chopped
2 1/2 lbs green and yellow peppers, chopped
1/2 lb frozen corn
2 Tbsp chili powder (we used mild)
1 Tbsp garlic salt
*1 Tbsp canning salt
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 cup cilantro, minced

Directions
In a large pot, on medium-high heat cook 6 lbs chopped tomatoes and garlic. Keep lid off to evaporate some of the water. Stir occasionally. Mash mixture after approx. 15 minutes. Add onions and continue to cook for 15 more minutes. *Note: Since Heather was going to can the salsa, she started heating the water bath. To the mixture add the 3 lbs of diced tomatoes (that will help make salsa chunkier), peppers, corn, chili powder, garlic salt, canning salt, cumin, vinegar, lemon and lime juice. After 15 minutes, add cilantro. Turn heat to low while loading canning jars. Heather processed her quarts for 30 minutes. Please consult a reputable canning protocol for canning details. Yields 6 quarts.

Chicken Fajitas
Sizzling Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients
1 lb boneless chicken thighs or breasts, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 red peppers and 2 green peppers, sliced (these aren’t spicy but have more of bite to them than your sweeter bell peppers)
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 medium limes (one for the juice and the other to go into a nice Corona)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder (use more or less depending on how much kick you want)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
corn or flour tortillas
1 avocado, diced (optional)
Greek yogurt (optional)

Directions
To a bowl, add lime juice, vegetable oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cilantro, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Place chicken in a bowl or dish. Pour marinade over chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate from a few hours to over night.

Heat pan (or cast-iron skillet if you have one) to medium high. Add chicken pieces and cook until well-browned (10-15 minutes). Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook until slightly charred.

Serve plain or with your favorite tortillas. We also diced some avocado and added a spoonful of Greek yogurt on the side.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Soup
Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast and thigh meat
1 28oz can organic diced tomatoes, undrained
2 15oz cans “Kuners” already spiced black beans (chili powder and cumin), undrained
1 4oz can green chiles
1 12oz can “mild” enchilada sauce
1 large red bell pepper cut into chunks
4 medium zucchini cut into 1″ pieces

Directions
Place meat into a 4-6 quart crock pot. Cover with tomatoes, black beans, chiles, bell pepper and enchilada sauce. Cook on “low” for 8 hours or “high” for 4 hours. Add the zucchini on top with one hour left of cooking. That will keep them from getting too mushy. When soup is cooked, shred chicken with a fork before serving.

Serve with grated cheese, yogurt, sour cream, avocado slices or fresh cilantro.

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