I have a pretty great group of neighbors who, lucky for us, like to make food and drink together. When we saw the weather in Columbus was finally going to be something worth celebrating, we put together a Cinco de Mayo party.
This was a perfect chance for me to try some new recipes. I have a lot to try from my new favorite cookbook, Gather and Graze, and I wanted to make ceviche for the first time. Oh, and don't forget about the guac (It's a $1 extra).
The ceviche recipe is from none other than Rick Bayless. I wasn't able to find the whitefish he suggested in the recipe and could only score some yellowtail. It was still pretty darn good. Once you get over the fear that you might give your guests food poisoning (no not really, he calls for sashimi grade fish) ceviche is so easy to make. It will be in my party dish rotation for sure.
I make guacamole all the time, and I always wing it. Sometimes I add tomato or a little spice, and sometimes it's just avocado and lime. Here is my basic recipe.
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Spoon out the avocado into a bowl. Add lime, salt, cilantro and red pepper and roughly mix with a fork. Leave some chunks!
I use two of my favorite kitchen tools here. One is just a handheld citrus juicer. Keeps the seeds out and squeezes way more juice than just doing it by hand. The other tool is a pair of herb scissors. I am lazy when it comes to herbs. I hate taking them off the stems and I always bruise them when chopping. These make chopping herbs so easy.
Rather than buying store bought chips, I decided to try out Stephanie Izard's recipe for Masa Chips (another recipe in Gather and Graze). These are really simple once you get the hang of rolling them out properly. I will most likely buy a tortilla press next time to make this easier and faster.
I also took the recipe's advice and cut open a gallon size plastic bag. I then rolled the dough in between the two sides and the dough came right off the plastic.
Make. These. Chips. They were a hit and may have ruined store bought chips forever.
What are your favorite Cinco de Mayo dishes?