Cinco de Mayo Recipes to Satisfy Everyone's Chile Spice Preferences

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th within certain regions of Mexico and the United States. Festivities include showcasing Mexican foods and beverages, music and dancing, parades, concerts, and celebration of Mexican culture and traditions.

The following Cinco de Mayo recipes embrace traditional Mexican fare with a hint of American flavor. These Mexican food recipes are easy to prepare and can be adapted to suit your taste buds and spice tolerance. Not only are these spiced-up recipes great for Cinco de Mayo parties, they are tasty any time of the year!

MEXICAN MEATBALL SOUP (Albondigas)
Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

Broth:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped (1/2 for soup and 1/2 for meatballs)
4 cups Water
2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, stems removed and loosely chopped
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 16-ounce can diced Green Chiles
2 medium Tomatoes, diced

Meatballs:
½ pound Ground Round Beef
½ pound Chorizo Sausage
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add olive oil to 4-quart saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add one-half of chopped onions. Stir frequently and cook until onion is translucent.
2. Add four cups water, along with cilantro, oregano, green chiles and tomatoes. Bring to a boil for 10 -12 minutes. Stir frequently.

To Prepare Meatballs:
1. In medium bowl, combine ground round, chorizo, remaining onion, garlic and oregano.
2. Blend well and roll mixture into 1-inch balls.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully add to soup base and continue cooking until meatballs are done; about 30 minutes.
5. Transfer to serving bowls and serve immediately.

If desired top with shredded longhorn or cheddar cheese and serve with tortilla chips.

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VEGETARIAN TAMALE PIE
Serves 6
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 to 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 fresh Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and minced
1 15-ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can Refried Beans
1 15-ounce can Corn
1 15-ounce can diced Tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper flakes (or Cayenne Pepper)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Sour Cream, optional

Topping:

3 cups Yellow Cornmeal
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups Water

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Sauté until crisp tender.
3. In medium mixing bowl, combine black beans, refried beans, corn, tomatoes, spices and sautéed vegetables. Mix well.
4. In small mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, honey, salt, olive oil and water. Mix until smooth.
5. Pour bean mixture into lightly greased 8-inch glass baking dish.
6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of bean mixture.
7. Using a large spoon, place dollops of tamale pie topping on cheese and bean mixture. Carefully spread across the top as if icing a cake.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cornmeal topping comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to serving dish. Top with sour cream, if desired.

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MEXICAN RICE
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

This Mexican food recipe has quickly become one of our family favorites. We serve it with tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas and quesadillas as well as a side dish served with steak. Leftover rice can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and can easily be reheated in the microwave or stovetop. Add a tablespoon or two of water or broth to fluff it back up

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup short grain White or Brown Rice
1 small Yellow Onion, finely diced
2 medium fresh Tomatoes, medium diced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed, finely diced (use 1 pepper for mild spiciness)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 cups Beef Broth

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add olive oil to 4-quart saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add rice and coat each kernel in oil. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until rice is light brown (medium brown if using brown rice).
2. Add onion, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is soft and all water is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and set 5 minutes.
5. Gently fluff rice with fork. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.


Pepper Steak and Orzo

I made this pepper steak and orzo dish the other night using leftover ingredients that were running out of shelf-life. I had about 1/3 pound of sirloin steak, 1/2 of a yellow onion, 1/2 of a green pepper, a handful of cherry tomatoes, some garlic and Gorgonzola cheese.  I had a variety of pasta choices, but opted for orzo because I wanted something more along the lines of pepper steak & rice. 

This is one of those dishes that you can easily swap out ingredients for whatever is lurking in your fridge & pantry. Zucchini & summer squash would make a nice addition, as would baby spinach or artichoke hearts. You can also change the meat to chicken, turkey, different cuts of beef, or shrimp. Same holds true for the cheese, as long as it's a soft, crumbly cheese that melts quickly. 

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PEPPER STEAK AND ORZO
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 pound Sirloin Steaks, thin strips, about 2-inches long
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (or Tamari Sauce)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
6-8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Orzo, cooked
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add onions and green pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion becomes semi-soft. 
  3. Add beef strips and stir to incorporate ingredients. Cook 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper, if desired. Stir to incorporate ingredients. 
  5. Drain orzo and add to vegetable mixture. Stir well.
  6. Top with Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. 
  7. Transfer to dinner plates and serve immediately.

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BENEFITS OF CRAFT BEER CLUB

There are several things I like about the Original Craft Beer Club.

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Currently, a monthly subscription to Craft Beer Club is $42, which breaks down to $3.50 per beer. It's hard to find domestic beers at that price being served in  local pubs or restaurants. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself, your family and friends to hard-to-find, outstanding brews from some of the best Brewmasters in the country. Click here to learn more or place your order

 

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Super Cheesy Cheeseburger Soup

I'll admit it. I'm a cheeseaholic. I'm also a cheese snob and if I'm going to eat cheese, I want premium quality. On the flip side, I'm also a sucker for Ragu Cheese Sauce (I know it's a contradiction!) because it lends a creaminess that I enjoy.

With that said, this Super Cheesy Cheeseburger Soup offers a bounty of flavor and is ideal for those nights when you want a filling meal, but don't have much time to cook. It pairs well with a fresh garden salad and dinner rolls. You could also add some bacon crumbles and grated cheese to the soup upon serving. 

SUPER CHEESY CHEESEBURGER SOUP
Servings: 4 bowls or 8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound Grassfed Hamburger
1/2 White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2 medium Jalapenos, seeds removed and finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Carrots, finely grated
6 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Large Elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/2 jar Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce
1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (One of my favorites is Tillamook
1 cup Fontina Cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large stockpot, cook hamburger over medium heat until browned. Chop with spatula to crumble into small pieces.
  2. Add onion and jalapenos. Cook 3-4 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add garlic and carrots and combine with meat mixture. 
  4. Add chicken broth and macaroni. Cook for 9-11 minutes, until macaroni is al dente (soft to the tooth).
  5. Add Cheddar Cheese Sauce and shredded cheeses and stir until well-combined. Cook for 5 minutes
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

 

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Whenever I visit my daughter, we indulge in lunch at P.F. Chang's. While we have many favorites, their Chicken Lettuce Wraps are at the top of my list. Since there is no P.F. Chang's restaurant near my hometown and since I crave these things more than four times a year, it was crucial for me to find a copycat recipe so I can make these leaves of goodness at home. 

I tried a few recipes, but none truly mimicked the flavor. After much experimenting and tweaking, I think I finally found the secret to their addictive chicken lettuce wraps and I'm excited to share with you today!

These are super easy to make and are perfect for those nights when you don't want to spend much time in the kitchen. 

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound Chicken Breasts, diced
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ginger, freshly grated
1 Tablespoon Smokey Chipotle Sauce or Sriracha
1 (8-oz) can Water Chestnuts, drained and diced
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
Pink Himalayan Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 head Butter Lettuce, washed, dried and divided into leaves (this lettuce is very fragile, so use caution when separating leaves to prevent tearing)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned; about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add onion and saute until translucent; about 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and hot sauce. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add water chestnuts and green onion and stir to incorporate. Cook 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into center of one lettuce leaf. Fold bottom leaf up toward the center and pull sides together, similar to the shape of a taco.

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