Yep, folks, it’s the beginning of May already and that means one thing (nope not the end of allergy season, especially not in the Carolinas…) It’s celebration time! Yes, Cinco de Mayo is upon us and over at DBA HQ, it means a great excuse for cooking up a huge Mexican feast and inviting folks to share in the fun. Of course, let’s not forget Mother’s Day, where we celebrate the women who gave us life, raised and nurtured us and who tried to prevent us from doing really stupid stuff (not that we usually listened…sorry Mom). Last year, in an effort to share time and a meal with both of our Mom’s, I invented a new holiday: “Cinco de Mama”!
The way I see it, everyone wins. Both Mom’s get to see us, eat great food and bug us about getting busy with the production of a grandchild (hmmm maybe everyone doesn’t win…) Plus the Mom’s love that this holiday was created just for them (so when it starts sweeping the nation, they can claim first dibs on it) While I’m prepping like Speedy Gonzales on Redbull, my dear friend, and fellow foodie Camille Dewing, author of the very funny “What’s Camille Dewing?” blog, is taking the reins and sharing a little Cinco fun! After you finish making the guac and margarita recipes she’s shared, you should take a stroll over to her blog and check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed 🙂
Enjoy and have fun, be fearless and no drinking and driving!
There’s a trend infiltrating social media known as “Food Porn,” the gratuitous display of culinary concoctions created by amateur foodies, blogging bakers, and up-and-coming chefs that rival anything seen on a food channel or in a foodie magazine. Like real porn, food porn leaves you somewhat aroused, slightly ashamed, and highly curious to try something different. Facebook friends and fellow Tweeters are photographing and reporting on their savory scallops or succulent slow-cooker brisket or sweet bourbon pecan chocolate pie in attempt to whet their online friends’ appetites. (Yet do any of you follow it up with dinner invites? No. What a bunch of chopping block-teases!)
I’ve dipped my toe into these culinary waters only once before, too timid to keep at it and risk saturating the Internet with yet another take on cranberry quinoa salad. Compared to The Domestic Badass’s high-end food porn, mine is more the webcam-on-a-tripod-in-my-basement softcore variety (though hopefully just as addictive), though I’m grateful she’s giving me an opportunity to share one of my favorite things to make. So, here goes:
What’s Camille Dewing’s Rockin’ Guac
The mélange of fresh flavors in this guacamole is the perfect complement to Cinco de Mayo—the Fifth of May—which commemorates El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla, or the Day of the Battle of Puebla, when the Mexican army celebrated their unlikely victory over French invaders with, one assumes, nachos and beer. The Hubs and I threw some caliente Cinco de Mayo parties back in the day, replete with piñatas, salsa contests, and a washing machine tub filled with ice and Corona. Friends still email us with fond or vague memories depending on the amount of sangria consumed. I wasn’t so guac savvy back then as to have made my dip for the occasion, but I’ve since made up for lost time.
I first heard of this recipe from Republican strategist Mary Matalin. Yes, that Mary Matalin. I may be a die-hard flaming, elite East Coast Liberal, but I can be bipartisan when it comes to good food. Unlike most restaurant guacamoles prepared at your table, this one contains no onion or tomato. As Ms. Matalin points out, “Tomatoes make it too watery; onions too sweet.” Of course, you can add your own special touches, but I think these five simple ingredients will have you salsa dancing all night and singing “Viva la Guacamole!”
Into a bowl, add:
- 4 ripe Haas avocados—these are the ones with bumpy skin, not the smooth, shiny green skin. Make sure the skin is darker and has a slight give when you squeeze it for ripeness. Cut it open and scoop out the gorgeous green meat. (Save the pit, you might need it!) [Side note: while avocados are loaded with healthy fats and phytonutrients that make your skin glow, they are highly toxic to dogs.]
- 3-5 large garlic cloves, pressed—the number of cloves is a matter of taste. No vampire will dare bother you after eating this. If you don’t have a garlic press, just mince the cloves and mash them with the side of your knife, then go out and buy a garlic press.
- 1 jalapeño, minced—the membrane and seeds of the jalapeño are what gives this pepper its “heat.” Not everyone likes spicy food (really?), so remove them for a milder guac. Want to tickle your tongue, go all in!
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped—cilantro gives guac its freshness. It’s also a great detoxifier for the blood. Healthy and delicious? Sign me up!
- The juice of one lime—lime is a great emulsifier, blending together all your flavors.
And mix. I usually hand the bowl over to the Hubs, who smashes it with a fork, while keeping it a little chunky—it’s his way of thinking he can cook. You can also mash it up in a molcajete*, a heavy bowl made of lava rock like you see in Mexican restaurants. (*It’s important to “season” your molcajete before using it for the first time. Simply grind dried rice into it until you no longer see dark lava “sand” as you empty it out. I’ve discovered that teenage stepsons working out their high school frustrations are ideal for seasoning molcajetes.)
So, that’s it. Five ingredients. Six, if you count salty chips—I prefer blue tortilla chips for an aesthetically pleasing snack. (Raw foodies can enjoy it guilt-free with sliced carrots or dehydrated kale chips.) And if—if—you have any leftovers, simply put the remaining guac in a covered container with the avocado pit inside. There’s a scientific, horticultural, nutritional reason for why a pit prevents your guacamole from turning brown, but I’m just going to say it’s magic.
Don’t forget the Margarita to wash down all that nosh—a Cinco must (unless you’re driving)! DBA’s sister and I spent many a Saturday afternoon in my kitchen concocting and testing Margarita recipes. We once whipped up an authentic-tasting Margarita without any lime or tequila in the house. Of course, we enjoyed it way too much to recall how we made it. For you traditionalists, all you need is
• 1 ½ oz Tequila
• ½ Triple sec
• 1 oz. Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed glass.
If you’d prefer to wake up on the 6th of May without feeling like the Mexican Army trampled all over your head, you can always try this refreshing mocktail:
• 1/4 cup sour drink mix
• splash of lime juice
• splash of lemon juice (or orange juice for a different twist)
Blend together and pour.
Enjoy, and have a guactacular Cinco de Mayo!
Camille Dewing is a writer and foodie in New York City. Visit her website at www.WhatsCamilleDewing.wordpress.com