SOURCE: National Watermelon Promotion Board

March 24, 2015 12:35 ET

Fresh Way to Fiesta

Sweet ideas for Cinco de Mayo celebrations

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Mar 24, 2015) - (Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is the perfect opportunity to indulge in Mexican-inspired dishes, dips and drinks. This year, put a tangy twist on your festive favorites with a refreshing new flavor.

Watermelon is a versatile fruit with a flavor profile that pairs perfectly with many of the ingredients in traditional Mexican dishes. Sweet and juicy watermelon is a great way to cut the heat of spicier foods, and its texture lends an unexpected, satisfying crunch in dips such as chunky salsas.

Whether you're hosting a Cinco de Mayo themed party or simply looking forward to an inspired meal at home, get an early jump on summer and let watermelon be your star ingredient.

For more recipes featuring low-calorie, no-fat watermelon, visit www.watermelon.org.

 
Baja Fish Tacos with Watermelon Guacamole
Servings: 12-16 tacos
  2 medium avocados, peeled and chopped
  2 tablespoons lime juice
  2 teaspoons diced jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
  1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  2 1/2 cups diced watermelon, divided
    Salt, to taste
    Cooking spray
  1 1/2 pounds cod
    Chili powder
  12-16 corn tortillas
  3-4 cups commercial coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  1/2-1 cup commercial salsa
     

For guacamole, mash avocados to mix of smooth and chunky in medium bowl. Add lime, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic and chilies and mix thoroughly. Add 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon and salt (if desired) and toss. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend.

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Place cod on sheet and sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Bake for 12-20 minutes (depending on thickness of fish) or until cooked through. Remove from oven and cut into pieces.

Heat tortillas on grill or griddle. Top each with few pieces of fish, 1/4 cup coleslaw mix, heaping spoonful of guacamole, tablespoon of salsa and few pieces of remaining diced watermelon.

 
Watermelon Margarita
Servings: 1
  1 1/2 ounces tequila
  3/4 ounce Triple Sec
  3/4 ounce Midori
  2 ounces sour mix
  6 ounces cubed, seeded watermelon
  8 ounces ice
     

Blend all ingredients. Serve in 14-ounce glass. Garnish with lime and watermelon wedge.

     
Watermelon Cilantro Salsa Tropical
Servings: 8-12
  2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  1 cup chopped fresh mango
  4 limes (juice only)
  1 cup trimmed and chopped scallions
  1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients in mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

 
Southwest Salsa Bowl
Materials:
  1 round, seedless watermelon
    Dry erase marker
    Utility knife or carving knife
    Ice cream scoop or other large spoon
    Fire and Ice Salsa
    Chips, jalapenos, cilantro and lime, for garnish
     

1. Choose round seedless watermelon.
2. Wash watermelon and pat dry.
3. Use dry erase marker to trace design around middle of watermelon.
4. Use utility knife to carve design (copy design in photo).
5. Split watermelon in half, and use scoop to carve out flesh.
6. Choose flat area of rind on other watermelon half to trace and carve out lizard design (copy from image in photo).
7. Fill bowl with salsa.
8. Garnish with lizard, chips, jalapenos, cilantro and lime.

 
Fire and Ice Salsa
Servings: 3 cups
  3 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
  1/2 cup green peppers
  2 tablespoons lime juice
  1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  1 tablespoon green onion
  1-2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers
     

Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or more.

Fiesta-Worthy Facts
Impress guests at your Cinco de Mayo celebration with these mouthwatering morsels:

  • Although about 200-300 varieties of watermelon are grown in the United States and Mexico, there are about 50 varieties that are most popular.
  • The five best-known types of watermelon include: seeded, seedless, mini, yellow and orange.
  • Watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the United States, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • Watermelon is 92 percent water, which makes it a good option for hydrating your body.

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