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Posts Tagged ‘cinco de mayo recipes’

Last week while I was thinking about what to cook for Cinco de Mayo, I remembered something I used to make frequently when I taught cooking classes. Often, particularly around this time of year, you need a good snack to go with those endless rounds of margaritas. After a lifetime of tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole something different is desperately needed. While I love a good empanada, they’re a little too filling to be a drinking snack. So I’ve got just the thing for you today. Plantain chips. Just as delicious and addictive as tortilla chips and with a great cilantro dipping sauce – a welcome change from boring salsas and heavy guacamoles. This sauce is something else – bright, tangy, a little spicy, super fresh. It’s fantastic.

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If you weren’t aware, I’m a fan of pork fat. Using lard rather than butter in some recipes, particularly baking recipes, changes the flavor and texture for the better. A pie crust made with lard, or my preference of a lard/butter combo, is like no other. Today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I had the idea to do some very traditional Mexican cookies from none other than Chicago’s own Chef Rick Bayless. And I was going make them with lard.

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My mother and I spend a great deal of time planning our holiday meals.  Christmas Eve is always a big seafood extravaganza, our own version of the Italian “Feast of the Seven Fishes” and though much of the menu stays the same, we’re open to new ideas.  Throughout the year we keep an eye out for something that might work into the menu.  If something piques our interest, we’ll make a little mental note and have lengthy discussions.  Oysters on the half shell, steamed clams and king crab legs with lots of lemon and garlic butter are fixed, no question.  But we’ve also tried shrimp cocktail, steamed mussels, BBQ shrimp, a horrendously failed attempt at grilled calamari, stuffed mussels and a cold seafood salad at one time or another.  While all were good, except that calamari which I refused to serve, neither of us was in love with any of them.  So I was on the lookout.

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