Whether you're of Mexican heritage or not, just hearing "Cinco de Mayo" makes almost everyone in the U.S. want to break out the margarita glasses and guacamole bowls. We asked Mexican-American chef Christy Vega Fowler from L.A.'s iconic Casa Vega to put together some of her favorite recipes for the 5th of May, perfect no matter how big of a celebration you plan on having. Did we mention they're delicioso?
Guacamole with Homemade Tortilla Chips
- 3 avocados
- 1/2 c white onion
- 1/2 c diced tomatoes
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Cilantro to taste
Peel, pit and mash avocado. Add salt and mash a little more. Next, add onion, tomato, jalapeño, lime juice and cilantro. Mix well.
- Canola oil
- 12 Corn tortillas, cut into 4's
Add oil in large frying pan so that it is 1/2" high. Bring to a boil. Add in tortillas and fry until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels.
Sweet Corn Tamales (10 servings)
- 15 corn husks
- 3 3/4 cup of sweet corn, cut from the cob or frozen if not in season
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 4 teaspoons of corn meal
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 10 strips of cheddar cheese
- 10 small strips of freshly cooked, skinned and seeded Anaheim chilies (canned will work too)
In a large container, place the corn husks deep in hot water and cover for a couple hours until they are soft and pliable. Tip* you may need to weigh them down with an inverted plate and a heavy can to keep them submerged.
In a food processor, grind the corn and then add the sugar, flour, corn meal, butter and baking powder. Grind together very well making a Massa.
Drain water from husks. One at a time, flatten out the husks with the narrow end towards you and place 3 oz of Massa spread in the middle of the husk.
Add the strip of cheese and small strip of chili in the middle of the Massa.
Take the left side of the husk and fold it directly over the right side. Fold the narrow bottom end of the husk onto the folded tamal. ** For parties and presentation you can tie with strip of corn husk when serving dry tamales.
As you are making the tamales, stand them up on their rolled ends in a prepared steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for approximately 30-40 minutes, until Massa is firm and holds its shape. *Tip: Cover the tamales in the steamer with a layer of the left over corn husks. You can also fill empty spaces with gently wadded aluminum foil to prevent them from falling over.
Serve dry with Tapatio and Mexican Crema.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt to taste
Whisk in large mixing bowl. Cover and let sit at room temp for several hours. Serve or refrigerate until ready to use. Bring back to room temp before serving.
Tostada Chiquita (4 servings)
- 4 corn tortillas or store bought tostadas
- 1 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 2 cups refried beans
- 1/2 cup cooked, ground chorizo (optional)
- 1/2 cup beets, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Any vinaigrette dressing
In a 10" pan add one inch of oil and then heat it up to 175 degrees. Then dip the corn tortillas until the tortillas get crispy and brown. If using chorizo, in a bowl using a wooden spoon, mix the refried bean and chorizo together. If not using chorizo, simply mash up the beans. To assemble the tostadas, on the bottom of a small plate add a table spoon of bean mixture. Then place the tostada directly on top of the beans. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of the bean mixture and spread around the center of the tostada. Toss the lettuce in your favorite vinaigrette in a separate bowl, the more robust the better. Then top the tostada in this order: lettuce, tomatoes, beets, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Casa Vega Corn Elotes (4 servings)
- 4 white sweet corn on the cob
- 1 recipe of low fat crema (below)
- 1/2 cup Cojita cheese, finely crumbled
- 1/2 cup chili power or Tapatio Hot Sauce
- 1 tbs salt
- 12 round wood sticks (8 inches long)
Casa Vega Low Fat Crema
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Pepper to taste
Place corn in a large pot of water and add salt. Cook for 45 – 60 minutes until corn is soft. Cut each cob into three pieces, and place wooden sticks inside the center of the cob. Add crema (make crema by mixing all ingredients together until smooth), using a plastic spatula and cover all around the elote. Sprinkle cheese all around. Tip: when making a large batch, place cheese in a shallow dish and roll the elote in the cheese. Add chili powder or Tapatio hot sauce.
Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce (4 servings)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 8 oz chicken, shredded
- 2 handfuls of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Warm tortillas on both sides in a pan with a little bit of canola oil. Tortillas should be pliable but not crispy. Lay one tortilla flat on a plate and add a little cheese and 2oz of shredded chicken topped with small amount of salsa roja in the center of the tortilla. Wrap up tortilla tightly and continue on to the next one. When making multiple enchiladas make sure they are rolled tightly against one another. Once all enchiladas are rolled, top with Salsa Roja and a handful of cheese. In preheated oven at 250 degrees, place the plate of enchiladas to melt the cheese.
- 4oz canola oil
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp chile paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp chicken base
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Heat oil in a pan. Add 4 tbsp flour and bring to a boil. Next, add the chile paste, mix. Pour in 1/2 cup cold water followed by 1/2 cup chicken broth. Then in small mixing bowl, mix together the chicken base, cumin, garlic powder and remaining 1/2 cup water. Pour mixture into sauce pan and simmer for 10 min.
For more Latin-inspired recipes, check out Latina's Recipes Finder!