Although you never need a reason to have a party, Cinco de Mayo definitely fits the bill. But instead of a nighttime shindig filled with tacos, guacamole and margaritas, why not try something a little different this year and host a mid-morning brunch?
Mother’s Day may be what all the restaurants and card stores are getting ready for, but before that big holiday hits on Sunday, May 13, there’s Cinco de Mayo — the May holiday that always seems to start at a Mexican restaurant and end with a pitcher of margaritas. But tortilla chips, salsa, tacos and tequila aren’t your only choices. There are actually several breakfast options as well, and since Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year, why not have a big brunch party instead of the same old late night at the local Mexican bar?
While most people believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, it’s actually a celebration to commemorate the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although mainly celebrated in the capital city of Puebla and surrounding regions, the holiday has transferred north to the U.S. and cities that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. They celebrate the holiday with Mexican music, food and beverages. The rest of us use it as the perfect excuse to drink plenty of margaritas.
While margaritas are one of my favorite cocktails, blended or on the rocks, there is another cocktail that’s just as good and a much better choice for a brunch party — the tequila sunrise. It’s the perfect brunch cocktail because it’s a mixture of orange juice, tequila and grenadine. This is not the original recipe for the cocktail though. The original tequila sunrise, which dates all the way back to the late ’30s, still had tequila but not one ounce of orange juice in it.
Whether you decide to go with the original cocktail or the stateside version, some classic Mexican dishes that pair well with either are chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and some nice fried plantains for a sweet kicker.
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 ounces tequila
- 2 dashes Grenadine
- 5-1/2 ounces fresh orange juice
- Pour the orange juice and the tequila in a high ball glass and stir. Add the grenadine so that it sinks slowly to the bottom. Add ice, garnish with slice of orange and a maraschino cherry and serve.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes and chilies
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tortillas
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 eggs
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook until tender, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and chilies and simmer for five minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- While the sauce continues to cook, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the tortillas one at a time and cook for one to two minutes or until soft and golden brown. Transfer the tortillas to a plate and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Using the same pan that you used to cook the tortillas, melt the butter over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry for three to four minutes. The eggs can be either sunny-side-up or over easy, depending on how you like your eggs, but no matter which you choose, the yolks should be runny.
- Transfer the warm tortillas to four plates. Place two of the fried eggs on top of each tortilla. Spoon one quarter cup of the sauce over the eggs, sprinkle with cilantro (if using) and serve.
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 dozen tortilla chips
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chips and cook, stirring occasionally for one minute. Add the cilantro and scallions and cook for two minutes, or until tender. Add the salsa and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the egg mixture. Mix and stir the eggs with the tortilla mixture until the eggs are set, about five minutes.
- Divide the chip/egg mixture between four plates and sprinkle each with one quarter cup of cheese. Serve immediately.
- 3-4 ripe plantains, sliced
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced plantains and cook until tender and golden brown.
- Transfer fried plantains to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil and serve.