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All We Can Eat
Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 05/05/2012

Cinco de Mayo: Recipes for a holiday-inspired feast

Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory during the Franco-Mexican War, has become prime time for Americans to celebrate some of the more festive and tasty elements of Mexican cuisine.
On the right, A Gringo's Ode to Mama Ninfa's Green Sauce. On the left, International Salsa. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
But even if you aren’t into the tequila-fueled parties (and there are plenty; see Going Out Guide’s complete list), consider the May 5 holiday, coupled with warmer weather, as the perfect opportunity to explore traditional Mexican dishes.

You can start the day with chilaquiles , a breakfast classic that combines tortilla chips, a red or green sauce, crema and queso fresco. Top them with a fried egg.

Barbacoa, or slow-cooked meat, is a historic way of cooking meat in Mexico. Versions vary, including goat, pork or sometimes cow’s head, cooked over an open fire in a pit or on a spit.

Home cooks can use their ovens for this Lamb Barbacoa in Adobo recipe, however; a few hours of marinating time and several hours of slow-roasting will do the trick. An optional wrap of avocado or banana leaves lends flavor.

For an additional kick, prepare this Salsa for Barbacoa Tacos , which can be refrigerated for up to a week.

To celebrate with another Mexican favorite, you’ll want to find the fiery, fresh pork sausage known as chorizo. Potato, Scallion and Chorizo Crispy Tacos can be fried or toasted in a skillet.

Patricia Jinich's Raw Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa Verde. (Susan Biddle/The Washington Post)

If you can take the heat, make this Raw Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa Verde to go with them.

To wash it all down, a classic margarita’s the way to go. Spirits columnist Jason Wilson eschews store-bought mixes, favoring a combination of triple sec or Cointreau, tequila and fresh lime juice .

And of course, you can find more Mexican favorites in our Recipe Finder, such as:

Tortilla Chips for Chilaquiles

Steak Tacos With a Jamaica-Jalapeno Syrup

Jamaica Concentrate

Pepita-Tomatillo Dip 

Mexican Chocolate Ice

Mexican-Style Pasta With Tomato Sauce and Chorizo

International Salsa

A Gringo's Ode to Mama Ninfa's Green Sauce

By Cara Kelly  |  12:00 AM ET, 05/05/2012

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