Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

While in Norway, I like to think of myself as a cultural ambassador showing the wonders and nuances of American culture to my new international friends. One such occasion is the fun that is Cinco de Mayo. Being that I am from California, I feel like I'm an honorary Mexican and can represent the country in celebrating its independence. We celebrated it the way that I know how - Coronas and lime, nachos, and guacamole. Spicy Dog, The Italian Rabblerowser, Nina,, Oslo Eva and I met up for dinner at Spicy Dog's house. Let me get the word out there: Spicy Dog makes an awesome tray of chicken nachos. If I'm lucky, I can maybe get her to guest blog the recipe exclusively on this site.

I was responsible for the guacamole. I used the recipe my little Spanish-speaking Chinese mother taught me. She spent several years of her childhood in Mexico and she took with her not only a fluency in the language but also a comprehensive knowledge of Nothern Mexican cooking that has influenced her cooking and what I grew up eating. The recipe is super easy and can literally be put together in 10 minutes.

Our dinner of chicken nachos made with tortilla chips smothered in freshly grated cheddar, shredded chicken, creamy mashed beans and pickled jalapeños were a taste of home. It tasted like any great nacho plate you can find in a Southern California hole in the wall. We had a bowl of sour cream, spicy salsa, and the guacamole as accompaniments to the nachos. I was so happy that I ate well beyond the point of being comfortably full. Sitting around a table full of rowdy and giggly girlfriends helped to work off a little bit of dinner to make room for the handmade chocolate covered strawberries - thank goodness! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

3 ripe avocados
2 tbs finely diced red onion
1 tsp finely diced jalapeño or other chile, you can adjust up or down depending on how hot the pepper is and your own tolerance for heat.
1 tomato, small dice
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 lime, maybe more depending on how juicy the lime is
2 tbs chopped cilantro or coriander
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste

To remove the avocado from its skin, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist the 2 halves and pull them apart.

Using a knife, carefully crack the seed with the sharp end of the knife. The blade should be sunk into the seed.

Give the knife a twist and pull the seed out. To dislodge the seed, gently press the against a cutting board and the seed should pop off the knife blade. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and put it into a bowl. Repeat for the remaining 2 avocados.

Squeeze the lime juice into the avocados. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork and mix in the lime juice. To the mashed avocado and lime juice, mix in the tomatoes, onions (both types), peppers, cilantro, and salt. Mix well. Taste the guacamole and adjust for seasoning. Serve with tortilla chips, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, or even pretzels!

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