If you like Mexican food, your favorite holiday will be arriving soon: Cinco de Mayo. What better excuse to enjoy a mini-fiesta and serve the dish I call ‘food for the gods’: Salsa and refried beans.
Although Cinco de Mayo is not exactly an American holiday, I’m told that it’s observed more in the States than in Mexico!
I guess that’s because Cinco de Mayo signifies a great excuse to become a “munchero” of delicious Mexican dishes (and perhaps drink too many Margaritas).
There are few foods in life that are as tasty to me as basic, warm, refried beans enjoyed with chips and salsa. So for my mini-fiesta on Cinco de Mayo, I’ll be serving:
- Refried beans (canned beans are just fine), warmed in the microwave
- Tortilla chips (any favorite brand)
- As Good As It Gets Salsa (see recipe below)
Extras that are also great for this mini-fiesta include:
- Sour cream
- Avocado slices (you can also smush it up)
- Cilantro, chopped
- Shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
As you may have noticed, my mini-fiesta is very simple. The only thing you have to make is the salsa, and it is worth making.
“As Good As It Gets” Salsa Recipe
I was given this recipe some years ago by a co-worker and it’s some of the best salsa I have ever eaten.
It’s easy to make, pulls a great spicy punch, and is so irresistible that I have to hide the chip bag so there will be enough salsa leftover for scrambled eggs the morning after Cinco de Mayo.
It’s certainly worth including in your family cookbook:
- 1 can (28 oz) Hunts diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 medium ripe fresh tomato, diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves, washed well, trimmed of stems and chopped
- 1 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped (add more if you like zing)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about half a lime)
Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until smooth.
If you prefer a chunkier salsa, add additional chopped fresh tomato, onion and cilantro to taste. You can also try the salsa recipe with ripe red tomatoes when they are in season (I tend to use canned diced tomatoes because they are consistently good).
This salsa recipe makes just over a quart of salsa that is equal to or better than any you can find in a jar. Keeps well in the refrigerator (if there is any left).
With your salsa recipe made, now you are all set for your mini-fiesta on Cinco de Mayo. Bring on the Margaritas and the Mariachis!
Happy Mexican cookbooking,