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Cinco de Mayo Party! (by John Spottiswood)

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We love throwing an annual Cinqo de Mayo dinner party. It's a great day to let loose a little, have one too many margaritas, and try some yummy regional mexican cuisine! May can be hot or cool here, so we usually either grill or cook on the stove depending on the year. This year it was hot, so the recipes are off the grill. Enjoy!


Appetizers & snacks

Having plenty of tasty and spicy appetizers is absolutely key to a good Cinco de Mayo party! You need them to wash down the tequila! Everything on the list below can be largely made ahead. Make the Cowboy Caviar and Salsa Bandera ahead of time and refrigerate. Just add the lime before serving. The corn fritters can also be made in advance and the bowl of batter can be refrigerated. Just fry them up when your guests arrive. It's easy to do with a margarita in hand while speaking with friends!

Main dish

This year it was hot so we served mostly off the grill! We tried to recapture our favorite dishes from Puerto Vallarta. The fish and Octopus are traditional Jalisco favorites (Jalisco is the Mexican state that contains PV). We added the Tacos Al Carbon for variety and because, well, we love them!
The fish comes with lots of vegetables, and we also served with bowls of salsa and guacamole, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, and oven warmed corn tortillas (the freshest we could buy).
It was a sit down 2-hour feast!
You can substitute your favorite mexican rice here. I prefer this one though.
A great complement to the spicier fish and tacos.
An impressive dish that just screams "FEAST!"

Helpful Tips

  1. Pick up some Mexican flag colored plates and napkins at your local party store or Mexican grocery. Put on a mexican radio station--any one will do!
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