Cinco de Mayo – Watermelon Shrimp Cocktail and Easy Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo – Watermelon Shrimp Cocktail and Easy Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo is almost here! Chef J is back with some more great recipes to help you get your celebration started!

Cinco de Mayo is often thought of as Mexico’s Independence Day, the day we call in sick to work, and a holiday meant for drinking lots of margaritas. In truth, it’s only two of those things. Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th; Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s victory over the French during The Battle of Puebla. It’s a real underdog story, so you should definitely look it up on Wikipedia. These days Cinco de Mayo is a more general celebration of Mexican heritage. One of the best things about living here in Phoenix is the vast amount of Mexican culture we have; it’s a beautiful thing to live in a city where the average bar has at least 12 different kinds of tequila and you can’t turn around without running into the most amazing carne asada burrito you’ve ever had. San Francisco has some wonderful, hip food trucks that can please the most discerning of palettes; Atlanta fed me some of the best cheesy grits I’ve ever tasted; Chicago can serve up the pinnacle of late night urban-chic comfort food while drinking you under the table. But Phoenix is the best place this side of the border to find la auténtica comida Mexicana!

But of course there is always room for a little inventiveness. Since spring in Phoenix is more like summer on the surface of the sun, we’re going for something cool and refreshing. We are lucky to have some great food popping up this time of year and I want to eat all of it! We have watermelon and strawberries coming in, chiles and limes almost all the time, and surprisingly, we actually have a sizable shrimp industry. Strange, I know. So whether you will be enjoying your Cinco de Mayo in the pool, on the porch, or hiding from the sun in the sweet air conditioning, have a fun and safe holiday!

Cinco de Mayo is a great opportunity to celebrate with delicious food and drinks!

Watermelon Chiptole Shrimp Cocktail

  • 1 TBS vegetable oilCinco de Mayo Shrimp Cocktail
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cups watermelon, chopped + juice
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 TBS cornstarch w/ 1 TBS water
  • 2# shrimp, cooked

Heat up a large sauce pot and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onion.
When the onion starts to brown, add the garlic and spices and reduce the heat to medium-low.
After a few minutes, when the garlic has softened a bit, add the watermelon, red peppers, and chipotle and raise the heat back up to medium.
Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the lime juice, zest, and season to taste.
Stir in the cornstarch slurry and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and chill.
Serve with boiled or grilled shrimp.

Super Easy Margarita

  •  2 qts. cold water
  • 8 oz. lime juice
  • 8 oz. agave or honey
  • 8 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. triple sec
  • 2 cups fresh, frozen strawberries

Mix all of the liquids.
Adjust for sweetness/alcohol content.
Pour over a few frozen strawberries.
Add salt if you want. It’s your margarita!

Printer friendly recipes: Cinco de Mayo Celebration

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