Cinco de Mayo Fun-damentals


It's extra exciting this year that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday. And it's just not Friday that has me workin' for the weekend, Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, Hockey playoffs are heating up, and the boating season has begun.  Let's get going!

First things first. Cinco de Mayo. If you've been to the market lately you may have noticed the massive price increase on the beloved avocado. Shortages based on a diminished crop in California and Mexico have pushed the price per avocado north of $2.50! This may cramp your cinco fiesta a bit, especially of the only avocados you find are rock hard and thus not close to being ready to mash for another week. In a pinch, a good alternative can be the brand Wholly Guacamole. It's not the same as fresh, but can suffice.

Another great option is using black beans. For the best flavor, buy dried beans. Soak dried beans overnight and then cook in a pot on a rolling boil for about an hour or until quite tender. Even if you overcook a bit, don't worry, you're going to mash them up anyway. Drain and cool slightly. Mash with a potato masher, sprinkle with a teaspoon each of cumin, oregano and coriander, plus half as much of cayenne. Finish with a strong squeeze of fresh lime. Now let cool completely and you've got a fantastic homemade bean dip. Serve with blue corn chips.

Looking for a new twist on fajitas for your cinco celebration? Try my overnight marinade for flank steak that will leave you and your guests salivating for more!

Flank Steak (Fajita) Marinade
2# Flank Steak trimmed of excess fat
1 pkg. Dry Fajita Marinade
8oz. CocaCola Classic
1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke
Combine dry marinade, Coke and Liquid Smoke in a large freezer ziptop bag. Add beef, close and mix well. Marinate in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove from refrigerator at least 45 minutes before grilling. Pre heat grill so it's smoking hot. Grill 6-8 minutes per side. Remove and cover lightly with foil, let rest for 10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.

Leftovers, if any (doubtful) are great added to a crisp greens salad.

PS: Don't forget the Coronas!