One of the most popular classes I teach at Cooks of Crocus Hill is a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Kids seem to love Mexican food – or their parents do and want to cook it for them.
I begin with a simple guacamole recipe and always encourage the kids to taste the dip as we add the ingredients. This is particularly important when adding the lime juice and salt (too much of either one makes bitter guacamole). The finished product (a triple batch) is usually devoured within five minutes.
And that’s great because avocados are packed with health benefits: dense in nutrients, high in antioxidants, packed with fiber, and a vegetable source of protein. It’s good for parents, too. Too bad there’s none left for them when they come to pick up their kids.
Another recipe I’ve added to my Cinco de Mayo menu is a Latin-inspired dip called Cowboy Caviar. It’s my good friend Patrice’s recipe and it’s a huge hit with kids and adults. It’s easy to customize the recipe – just leave out anything you or the kids don’t like – but I suggest making it with all the ingredients the first time. Most kids have never tried black-eyed peas. Mine had not, but they like them in this dip. Actually, they like everything except the red onions. My son Max said, “Mom, these red onions are just so… onion-y.”
Makes 2 cups
*4 ripe avocados
1-2 limes, juiced
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 big handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, diced and seeded
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork, leaving it a bit chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold gently together to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve and eat immediately.
Cowboy Caviar Recipe-
Serves 6–10 as an appetizer
1 can shoepeg corn (Green Giant brand, 11 oz.)
1 can of black-eyed peas
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 ripe avocado, chopped (not mashed)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can of black beans, 1 small chopped red onion, 1 chopped red pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic chopped or pressed
1 teaspoon cumin
Blend dressing in blender or food processor. Pour over other ingredients.
Serve with blue corn chips or as a taco filling.
Bridget O’Boyle lives with her husband and two kids in Minneapolis and teaches at Cooks of Crocus Hill.