By Victoria Freixa
This year it’s all about staying home. You can have a small party at home! There’s nothing like Cinco de Mayo to bring the Mexican out of nearly everyone in America. It’s also a brilliant excuse to drink before 5pm and bring your family together… Best of all, this holiday gives us all a chance to splurge on delicious Mexican finger foods all day long. Eating them is the easy part, but coming up with fun and easy-to-make snacks can be harder than remembering why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the first place… Something having to do with Mexico winning some battle back in the day, right?
While the classic ‘chips and dip’ are always a goody, and guaranteed to satisfy, why not get creative? Thankfully, Mexicans have already endured the stress of the creative process and have come up with some of the most finger-licking nibble foods for any kind of gathering. Here’s five of our favorite Mexican-inspired party snacks that will make a real fiesta out of your Cinco de Mayo.
CHICKEN ENCHILADA BITES
Enchiladas are already a Mexican classic. They’re absurdly simple, yet a timeless trademark in Mexican cuisine. But a lesser known option for bringing enchiladas into the world of parties are enchilada bites. You get all the perks of homemade enchiladas, without all the fuss of forks and plates. Let’s face it, Cinco de Mayo should be about stuffing your face with as little effort as possible.
Small scoop-shaped chips (corn or flour) topped with enchilada sauce-soaked shredded chicken and melted cheese on top. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Add your own spice and flavor to the mix and fancy them up to your liking. These little bites will throw a Mexican-themed party in your mouth… and who doesn’t love one of those.
FLAUTAS WITH GUACAMOLE
This take on the Mexican favorite is sure to put a smile on every Mexican and wannabe Mexicans face come snack time. Flautas are already a fan favorite, but make them bite-size and pair them with guacamole and “…we have a winner, folks!” Whether your party is a beef flauta type of shindig or a chicken flauta type of affair, that choice is entirely up to you. We won’t judge either way. (*cough* BEEF!)
But what makes this dish note-worthy is the guacamole. Guac is already a Cinco de Mayo ‘must-have,’ but flautas make the best guac-to-mouth transport—they’ll beat out a tortilla chip any day. Now your biggest concern is making sure you’ve made enough.
If you’re like me, then your springtime bikini-bod-preparation diet is out the window when Cinco de Mayo rolls around. But for those of you with far more will power than the rest of us, ceviche undeniably makes it to the number one slot for tastiest health food. And if Mexicans do one seafood meal right (of many), it’s ceviche.
Mexicans have not only mastered ceviche-making—they’ve taken the Peruvian original to whole new lengths and made this healthy concoction taste like an indulgence. With its perfect balance of spice, acidity, and freshness, all you need is homemade corn tortilla chips or tostadas to make this a quick-bite finger food perfect for party time.
CARNE ASADA NACHOS
I’m pretty sure I had you at “carne asada.” Whoever had the idea to put meat and cheese on tortilla chips deserves a Nobel prize. But carne asada kicks the loaded nacho idea up a notch. The same savory and flavorful nachos you love, with a sophisticated twist. Not to mention, the nacho must-have: CHEESE.
It’s simple, yummy, and ingenious. You decide the additional toppings, you decide how cheesy, and you decide how asada-y (not a real word but it should be). The best part about this recipe is that it requires very little thought or effort. But the finished product would suggest otherwise.
CHURROS WITH COCONUT SAUCE
How could we forget about dessert? Nom nom! Aside from booze, satisfying your guests’ sweet teeth is probably the most important part of a proper party. And do the Mexicans have a gem for you. Churros are arguably one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Warm, sweet, soft, with that cinnamon kick. They’ve got it going on. But dip them in a subtle coconut sauce and that’s heaven, ladies and gentlemen.
The idea is minimal in its preparation, but the level of creativity in this dessert is in your hands. You can stuff them, pair them with your own yummy sauce, or serve them plain… no matter what, churros never disappoint. Get crazy with them or keep it simple. But we recommend go crazy so you can do like the Mexicans did on Cinco de Mayo and win the day. Cinco Finger Foods for Your Cinco de Mayo Party.
Stay home and stay healthy!