You could fight the crowds this Cinco de Mayo at local restaurants, hoping to find a tasty taco or beer special to make it all worth it.
Or you could just walk into your kitchen for a do-it-yourself celebration.
It’s easier than you might think — and there’s still time to make it happen.
Over the years, editors at The Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network, have highlighted recipes for cuisine that would be perfect for the holiday, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
Start by fixing yourself a fresh margarita — one part lime juice, two parts tequila and one part Cointreau — then take a look at these easy recipes and make your own Mexican fare favorites — sometimes with a twist!
Cinco de Mayo offers the perfect reason to make guacamole, perhaps my favorite dip, then-Dispatch food editor Lisa Abraham wrote in 2016.
I spent years trying to perfect a guacamole recipe, she continued, but the dip never tasted as good as I wanted. Then, in 2010, I met chef Robert Santibanez, a native of Mexico City and owner of Fonda restaurants in New York. … After learning his method for making guacamole, I threw away all other recipes.
His is guacamole perfected, and you might find yourself making it often. You can find the recipe here.
Gelatin doesn’t have the most glamorous image. More often than not, it is viewed as kid stuff — or associated with the dreaded green Jell-O salad that, year after year, seems to find its way to the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Yet gelatin has greater potential: It might be made upscale and a little sophisticated.
Margaritas lend themselves to being “gelatinized” with unflavored gelatin.
Try this recipe, which can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Tres leches cake
The idea of a cake with three types of milk poured over it sounds dense and messy, but tres leches cake is neither.
Recipes for the Latin dessert feature a cake — either a buttery or a spongy butterless version — saturated with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. Instead of turning into a puddle, the cake acts as a sponge, becoming moist and decadent.
The dessert has a sketchy history: Some accounts trace it to Nicaragua, but others attribute it to Mexico. Nestle, a producer of canned milk, probably had a hand in advancing the popularity, as two types of canned milk are needed to make the treat.
Regardless of its origins, the cake is perfectly suited to a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Here’s the recipe.