Cinco de Menu 2024


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these fun, easy recipes.

Sam’s Smash Burger Tacos

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 5-6 tortillas (medium-sized…not taco or burrito sized…use that middle size)
  • Onions, diced
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Cheese
  • Condiments

This is more of a method than a recipe. A pound of ground beef will make about 5 of these.

Have your griddle or pan on medium-high heat. Lightly roll the meat into balls and place the balls on the hot griddle. Salt and pepper if you want. Before smashing them, top each ball with a tortilla and then smash both with a spatula, press, or whatever you like to use to smash your burger.

Once the meat is crispy around the edges you can flip the burger/tortilla and top with cheese. Cover the burger with a lid or dome to melt the cheese quicker.

Once the tortilla is a little toasty and the cheese is melted remove the burger taco from the grill and top with your favorite condiments and toppings.

**I also like to grill some onions while cooking the burgers because I liked grilled onions on mine.

Jodi’s Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

  • About 2 cups of cooked chicken
  • (buy a cooked rotisserie or I slow cook my chicken so it’s easily shredded)
  • 1-2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup of whipped cheese
  • 2 cans red enchilada sauce
  • Large size tortillas

Shred or pull apart chicken, melt cream cheese, and mix.  Pour about half a can of the enchilada sauce in the chicken mix.  Place into the tortilla and roll them up.   Place into casserole dish, seam side down.  Pour 1 whole can of enchilada sauce on top. Next,  sprinkle some of the shredded cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes at 350.   Sprinkle a little more cheese on top in the last 5 minutes.

Serve with all the fixings:  salsa, sour cream, guacamole etc!

Sam’s Chicken Fajita Pasta (AKA: The “Just Ok” Pasta)

Serves 3–5

  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 5 cups milk
  • 4 cups penne pasta
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add chicken and cook until no pink is visible, then take the chicken out. Add the bell peppers and onion, cooking until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken back to the pot with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder, stirring until evenly coated. Add the milk and the penne, stirring constantly to prevent any pasta from sticking. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until pasta is cooked and the milk has reduced to a thick sauce that coats the pasta. Add the cheese and mix until melted. Serve!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 pound frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker.  Pout in chicken broth and season with cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir in corn and black beans.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours.  Garnish with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, or avocados.

CARNITAS (Instant Pot)

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder/Boston butt, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces (I had a 4lb butt, but after trimming the fat it was closer to 3lbs)
  • 1 pound pork belly, cut in1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander

NOTE: Substituting salt-cured bacon for uncured pork belly: pork belly is basically bacon.  I couldn’t find pork belly at the store so I bought giant chucks of salt-cured bacon.  If you use the bacon cut back or eliminate salt bc the bacon has enough salt from curing.

Place cut up pork shoulder/Boston butt and pork belly in the instant pot.  Mix together the spices and pour over the meats in the instant pot.  Toss the meats so they are covered in the spices.

Cook in instant pot for 60 minutes on high.  When time’s up wait for pressure to drop or quick release…your call depending on how much time you have.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to a large bowl.  Cook the remaining juice in the instant pot on sauté for 10-15 minutes until it’s reduced.  Pour reduced sauce on the meat and toss to coat.

ANOTHER NOTE: After cooking I removed a good bit of the bacon completely and left just a little in the bowl with the pork before pouring the reduced juice over it.  Personal preference

Serve with whatever you like to serve your tacos with: sour cream, cheese, pico, guac, salsa…your call

**If you want your carnitas to be crispy just put them in a large skillet over high heat and crisp em up for about 5 minutes before you pour the reduced juice on them.

Delicious Guacamole

  • 5 fully ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons of hot sauce
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice (sometimes I use more…)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped and diced
  • Tortilla chips

Halve avocados lengthwise, twisting gently to separate halves. Remove seeds and peel avocado halves. Then mash the avocado meat or blend a few seconds in an electric blender. Mix with sour cream, onion powder, seasonings, 1 diced tomato, and lemon juice. Taste the guacamole to see if you need to add more seasoning. Chill thoroughly. Sprinkle other tomato on top and serve with tortilla chips.

Sam’s Steak Fajitas for One

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup lime juice from 6 to 8 limes
  • ½ cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 pounds trimmed skirt steak (about 1 whole steak),
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced for fajitas
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced for fajitas
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced for fajitas
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced for fajitas
  • Fresh flour or corn tortillas, hot
  • Guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, and salsa, for serving, if desired

Combine soy sauce, lime juice, oil, liquid smoke, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer 1/2 cup of marinade to a large bowl and set aside. Place steak in a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag and add remaining marinade. Seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage bag until meat is fully coated in marinade. Lay flat in the refrigerator, turning every couple of hours for at least 3 hours and up to 10.

While steak marinates, toss peppers and onions in bowl with reserved 1/2 cup marinade. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready, light one side of your grill…medium/high to high heat. Place cast-iron skillet unlit side. When grill is ready place steak on the heated side and turn every couple of minutes until a nice char develops on both sides.

Remove cooked steak, place on plate and cover with foil.

Slide the cast iron to the heated side of the grill and add the marinated vegetables. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened and charred in spots.

Thinly slice meat against the grain, warm tortillas and make your fajitas.

Pork Tacos

  • 3-5 lb pork roast
  • 1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (4 oz) can green chilies
  • Tortillas

Put pork roast, water, taco seasoning and green chilies in a crockpot on low for 6 hours. Once it’s cooked shred the pork with a fork and discard any fat. Add the shredded pork back to the crockpot to keep warm. Serve on tortillas with pineapple salsa, cheese and your favorite toppings!

Sam’s Simple Ceviche

  • 1 lb tilapia filets, cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 limes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large or 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze the lemon and limes in a non-reacting (ceramic, glass, etc) bowl. Add the olive oil and mix. Add the chopped fish and cover. Place in the fridge for an hour.

Remove bowl from the fridge, all all the other ingredients, and mix well. Cover and return to the fridge for as short as another hour or as long as overnight.

Serve on a bed of lettuce or each as a cool dip with chips.

**To save time you can add everything to the bowl at once: juices, oil, fish, veggies, and spices, mix well, stir and cover for an hour.

Murph-a-ritas (Margaritas)

  • 1/2 capful Cointreau
  • 1 oz tequila (mid-priced, avoid the cheapo stuff)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Simple sugar mixture
    • (Simple sugar mixture: In a 12 oz cup (or larger) fill 1/3 of cup with sugar, rest with water. Taste should be sweet.)

In a highball glass rub the squeezed lime peel on rim. Salt the rim. Mix Cointreau, tequila and lime juice. Fill highball with ice and top with simple sugar mixture. These can be made without alcohol. Just use a splash of OJ and no alcohol (clearly…) Also, just make 1 margarita at a time to keep the quality of the margarita awesome!

Quick and Easy Puff Pastry “Churro” Sticks

  • 1 Box of Pepperidge Farm R Puff Pastry Sheets
  • 1/4 cup of butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the Pepperidge Farm(R) Puff Pastry Sheets into strips. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the butter onto the cooked Pepperidge Farm(R) Puff Pastry Sheets. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Sam’s Chicken Marinade

  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 Tbs taco seasoning
  • Dash of liquid smoke
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, pounded even

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl and roll chicken pieces in mixture until covered. Put chicken and marinade in gallon Ziplock bag for 1-24 hours

Grill at 400 for 6-8 minutes per side.

1 comment
  1. David
    May 1, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    I love the food recipes! Thanks, from Gaffney SC


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