Last Wednesday sneaked up on me, and I almost forgot the importance of it until my husband mentioned something about saving the avocados for Wednesday. Of course, it would be Cinco de Mayo, one of those holidays that I gladly embrace in order to partake in the delicious cuisine and libations from the beautiful country of Mexico. All dinner and meal plans for the week were altered to accommodate a Mexican feast on Wednesday. Being just my husband and I, I didn't go too crazy but certainly managed to whip up some fresh guacamole and pico de gallo. For our entree, we decided on lime and cilantro-marinated grilled chicken fajitas and chili-cumin grilled corn.
My favorite component to this meal is by far the guacamole. Nothing satisfies on a warm evening sitting outdoors sipping on a Corona more than the indulgence of the creamy, tangy goodness of homemade guacamole. When it comes making guacamole, keep it simple and keep it fresh. The same goes for the pico de gallo. Sure you can buy those jarred salsas and save plenty of time but it does not do the trick like pico de gallo, which is more of a condiment made from tomatoes, onions, spices and lemon or lime. Nothing captures the freshness of the produce of the spring and summer seasons than a bowl full of freshly-made pico de gallo. You can make these snacks for your friends and family in no time. Be sure to make enough because from my experience these snacks go quickly.
Lizzy M.s' Guacamole
2-3 avocados (Use one avocado for two people but for a more generous serving use one avocado per person.)
Juice of half of a lime
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red onion, minced
1 Roma tomato or small tomato, chopped
1. Chop the cilantro, onion and tomato; and add to a mixing bowl.
2. To open the avocado, slice carefully down the middle of the avocado until you hit the core. Slice around the core until the avocado opens into two halves. The core usually falls out easily. If it is hard to get out, then use a knife to poke the core, and carefully pull the core out away from you. Next, with a spoon scoop out the avocado from each half into the bowl.
3. Add lime juice and salt, and begin to crush the avocado into the other ingredients until you reach a dip like consistency.
4. Serve and eat immediately with tortilla chips. Avocados can brown quickly. The use of lime juice can slow down the browning slightly, but you still want to prepare this snack just before eating.
Lizzy M.'s Pico de Gallo
4-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped (Use whatever tomato you have but the small Roma tomatoes work perfectly. Judge how many tomatoes to use depending upon the size of the tomatoes and how many people you are serving.)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (Remove the seeds and ribs of the pepper.)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 garlic clove, minced or grated
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lemon zest
Juice of one lime
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1. First chop the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and pepper. Add to a bowl. Also, use a hand grater to grate the garlic directly into the bowl.
2. Next, add the salt, black pepper, lime and lemon zest, lime juice, and vinegar. Stir well.
3. Let the pico de gallo sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour for the flavors to marry.
4. Taste the pico de gallo at this point. Add more salt or lime if needed. Serve with guacamole and tortilla chips.
Guacamole and pico de gallo are always a crowd-pleaser. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy an outdoor happy hour complete with Mexican beer like Corona or Sol and Margaritas! Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!