It's time for our 2nd edition of Menu Musings - a monthly post that I put together with a full holiday-themed menu and prep timeline for putting it together!
This month's feature menu is one that I look forward to all year long - Cinco de Mayo! We love some good Mexican food in my house, and will never say no to an excuse to have a fiesta-themed feast. You can have a lot of fun with Cinco de Mayo - from vibrant colored dishes, table linens, flowers, and maybe even some cacti or succulents - this is a meal that easy to decorate for and all of the food tends to be a crowd pleaser!
Tablescape - A Charming Cinco de Mayo Party | This tablescape and decor inspiration from Sugar and Charm are super classy and stylish - I love the use of succulent plants as table decor and the paper banner cutouts hanging across the trees! There's a lot of inspiration to take from this party theme - whether you just use one element of the decor or go all out!
Beverage - Blackberry Lime Spritzers | Although not a traditional Mexican drink, you can't go wrong with a lime and fruit-based mocktail on Cinco de Mayo! This is a great sipper to stir together at the last minute and it's super easy to make. You could easily use the ingredients in this to make a blackberry marg or a blackberry + lime + mint mojito as well!
Appetizer: Queso Fundido | Cinco de Mayo isn't a real party unless someone makes queso, in my humble opinion. In fact, I'd be happy if the whole meal was just queso and chips - I'm sure some of you could get on board with that as well! Pioneer Woman's version of queso fundido is amped up with lots of veggies and meat stirred in, so it's a substantial appetizer on its own.
Tacos: Chile Citrus-Roasted Pork Tenderloin Tacos | My chile-citrus rubbed pork tenderloin tacos are SO easy to make and can be ready - all the fixings included - in 45 minutes! This is a lean, veggie-filled, flavor-bursting, taco option, which you will need to offset all of the queso that will be consumed!
Side: Sweet and Smoky Roasted Plantains | Plantains are a crowd-pleaser every time that I make them and make for an unexpected side dish. My recipe calls for roasting them on a sheet pan versus frying them, which makes for way less mess and an easy cooking process!
Dessert: Easy Cinnamon Churros with Coffee Chocolate Sauce | Because who can say no to a hot cinnamon-sugar fried dough situation dipped in chocolate??? This is the Cinco de Mayo dessert of my dreams and would be the ultimate way to top off a fiesta feast!
- Wash/prep/cut fruit and veggies for the Blackberry Lime Spritzers, Queso Fundido, Tacos (rub, avocado sauce, grapefruit segments). Store in the refrigerator.
- Prep/cut cheese and brown meat for Queso Fundido.
- Make the sweet + smoky rub for the plantains
- Set out your tablescape and assign serving vessels + utensils for each menu item.
- Make the chocolate dipping sauce for the churros.
- Assemble the ingredients for the queso in a skillet and bake according to recipe directions.
- While the queso bakes, set out a "make your own" station for assembling the Blackberry Lime Spritzers. Set out chips for the queso.
- Rub the pork tenderloin with the chile-citrus rub and place it on a baking sheet for roasting.
- While the pork roasts, slice the plantains, sprinkle the rub on them, and place on a baking sheet.
- Warm the tortillas for tacos and set out the taco toppings.
- Roast the plantains while the pork tenderloin rests.
- While the plantains roast, assemble the ingredients for the churros.
- Enjoy your tacos and plantains!
- Let guests help with cleanup while you mix and fry the churros. While the churros fry, reheat the chocolate sauce over low heat in a small saucepan.
- Serve the hot churros with chocolate sauce!
Shop my picks for Cinco de Mayo table decor!
If you make any of this menu for Cinco de Mayo, I'd love to know! Or just share what you plan on making in the comments below, because I'm alllll about your foodie plans! Happy cooking everyone!