Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: A classed-up nacho party plan, for Cinco de Mayo.
Were you ever looking for an excuse to drink a lot, empty a big bag of tortilla chips onto a baking sheet, blanket it all with cheese, let it get hot and gooey in the oven, and then eat it?
Yeah, me too.
Next week, you are going to do all of that. Because there's no better weeknight entertaining trick than a big mess of nachos, and there's no better excuse for a big mess of nachos and heavy drinking than Cinco de Mayo.
Of course, there are a few ways to class this up. Skip the margarita mix, and make them from scratch. Blend fresh peas into your guacamole, because it is Mayo and you can. Broil some pineapple and toss it with avocados and watercress -- you know, to justify eating all that cheese. Some roasted carrots on the side and banana coconut cake for dessert, and you have made nachos feel like a pot au feu.
Smashed Pea Guacamole with Cilantro, Ginger, and Lime
Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad
Steam Roasted Carrots with Cumin
Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
Up to two days before the party: Make your Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Snack Cake -- it will get even better with a bit of time.
The night before: Juice your limes for your margaritas. Start pickling the jalapeños for the nachos. Make the dressing for your watercress salad.
When you get home from work: Clean your watercress and your carrots.
Before your guests arrive: Pulse together your pea guacamole. Put it out with chips and raw vegetables. Broil the pineapple for your salad. Get your carrots steam-roasting away.
Party time: Get out a baking sheet (or two!). Put a lot of tortilla chips on it. Cover them with cheese. Put the whole mess into the oven until the cheese starts to melt. Top with pickled jalapeños and whatever else you want. Toss your salad. Drink another margarita.
When the nachos are gone: Break out the banana cake. Drink some more. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
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