Cinco de Mayo is on a Friday this year and that means all the local Mexican restaurants will be packed to capacity. So if you’re looking to celebrate with friends and family, you’re probably in for a long wait. But how do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo if crowds and long lines just aren’t your thing? Have a fiesta at home instead. With this easy and delicious menu, you can skip the restaurant crowds and celebrate the day at home with family and friends, and maybe even save yourself a little cash, too.
If celebrating at home sounds good, here’s the perfect menu to make sure your Cinco de Mayo party is a success. Start your fiesta off with a bang by serving our spicy, beefy Taco Dip and chips before moving on to the star of the show — Zesty Chicken Enchildas. These quick-to-make enchiladas are so good, your guests will think you were in the kitchen for hours. And for a perfectly delicious ending to your Cinco de Mayo celebration, try this super-moist Tres Leches cake.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
4 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth. Spread on a 12- to 14-inch pizza pan or serving dish. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, brown beef; drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Cool completely. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and green pepper. Serve with chips. Serves 20 at about $1.95 per serving.
Zesty chicken enchiladas
1 16-ounce can refried beans
10 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1 10 ¾-ounce can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
3 to 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 15-ounce can enchilada sauce
¼ cup sliced green onions
Shredded lettuce, optional
Spread about 2 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Combine soup and sour cream; stir in chicken. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup down the center of each tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with the onions and remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, sprinkle lettuce around enchiladas if desired.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165 degrees F. Serves 10 at about $1.89 per serving.
Tres Leches cake
1 package butter recipe golden cake or yellow cake mix (regular size)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, milk, softened butter and vanilla; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.
In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk topping ingredients until blended. Using a skewer, generously poke holes in top of warm cake. Pour milk mixture slowly over cake, filling holes. Cool 30 minutes longer. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with whipped topping. Serves 20 at about $1 per serving.
Penny Hawkins is a former Times-News Cook of the Month. Contact her at email@example.com or visit her blog at twodollardinners.blogspot.com. Her “$2 Dinners Cook Book: Easy Delicious Meals for $2 or Less Per Serving” is available for $14.99 at www.tatepublishing.com.