Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo !

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Mostly that means getting together with friends at your favorite Mexican restaurant and drinking much tequila.  Nothing wrong with that  : )
But, even more fun is having your amigos over to your place for some excellent homemade margaritas and down home salsa and killer (killer!) guacamole.
I am going to help you to do that with my tried and true recipes for guac and salsa and margarita. (mucho testing done on the margarita recipe ).

Mexican food is my comfort food and although I do love the occasional "upscale" fancy Mexican restaurant, there is nothing like down home simple yet perfect Mexican fare.  And that goes equally for the margarita.  No blender necessary.  No sweet and sour mix.  No "margarita salt".  So here is the best, refreshing, tasty, "I will have another" margarita recipe:

2 parts tequila ( whatever tequila you like.  If you don't know just get the standard : Jose Cuervo Gold)
2 parts Realime juice ( you can squeeze your own limes but it's not that different and much more work)
1 part Cointreau (you can also use triple sec.  It's probably  cheaper.  I feel using Grand Marnier is not worth it.  It's actually a little too thick and heavy)
Lime wedges for each glass

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Dump these ingredients in and shake like crazy ( you're going for a kind of frothy thing).  Take one of your lime wedges and run it around the rim of a rocks glass.  Pour table salt onto a plate and turn your rocks glass upside down in the salt.  Carefully drop some ice cubes in the glass and pour your margarita in.  Stick lime wedge on rim of glass.  Take a sip and savor a simple delicious refreshing margarita.  If you want it a bit lighter and even more refreshing add a splash of soda or sparkling water.


Of course if you make guacamole during actual avocado season when the avos are most flavorful you don't need to do much more than mash with a spoon and maybe add a squeeze of lemon.  But that's if  you are lucky enough to have an avocado tree in your back yard.  Most the time you need to add a bit of flavor.  But not a lot !  There is a tendency these days to turn guacamole into something fancy (maybe because of the high price of out of season avocados) but you mostly want to taste the avocado not the spices.  So here is the perfect recipe for perfect guacamole:

2 ripe avocados mashed
2 tbls minced onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped tomato
1 tbls chopped fresh cilantro
juice from 1/2 lime
salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Stir that up in a bowl and serve with restaurant style tortilla chips.


Once again this is down home real salsa.  Not fancy restaurant or bizarre flavors from a bottle.  Simple and very satisfying:

2 tomatoes finely chopped
1/4 small onion finely chopped
1 tbls red bell pepper finely chopped
2 tbls fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
salt to taste

Stir it up and eat it up.  Yummy.

Armed with these recipes you are now ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the right way.  Keepin it real.  After a couple of margaritas you will think you are at the beach in Mexico.
Enjoy !!!

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