LANGLEY ON COOKING: Flavourful guacamole marks Cinco de Mayo

Chef Dez looks for any excuse to eat food from various countries - this weekend he’ll sample Mexican

I love experiencing the tastes of different cuisines and I use any excuse I can find to switch things up a bit at the dinner table.

Celebratory dates from around the globe are perfect for this and May 5 marks Cinco de Mayo: a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually on Sept. 16.

Cinco de Mayo is simply Spanish for fifth of May and is a regional holiday that commemorates Mexico’s defeat of the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Regardless of this distinction, it is a perfect day to prepare and enjoy Mexican food.

I have tasted a number of homemade salsas and guacamoles and many of them have fallen short of being incredible, let alone worthy of being called Mexican cuisine.

True guacamole (pronounced gwahk-ah-”MOLE”-lee) is not avocados that have been mashed together with an envelope of powders called “guacamole mix.”

I know there are a number of people who may struggle in the kitchen, or don’t believe they have the time in their schedules, to successfully chop a few handfuls of ingredients. But, once you try this recipe you will never want to go back to the powdered mix.

The only ingredient in this recipe that may seem foreign to you is “sambal oelek.”

It is a crushed chili product that comes in a liquid/paste form that is basically a re-hydrated form of the dried crushed chilies you have on your spice rack. It can usually be found in any major grocery store down the Asian food aisle or imported food aisle or in any gourmet food store.

Even if you have always made your guacamole from fresh ingredients, I am certain that you will still appreciate the complexity and balance of flavour this recipe has to offer, as well as the texture.

Eat, enjoy, and be merry this fifth of May… but try not to dance around the sombrero too much.

Fresh Guacamole

“Avocado salsa at its best – chunky and full of flavour. The lime juice will help to keep the avocados from oxidizing (turning brown).”

2 soft avocados

Juice from 1 large lime

1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sambal oelek

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt & pepper, to taste

Cut, pit, and peel the avocados. Mash them in a medium bowl with the lime juice.

Add all of the other ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Refrigerate until needed.

– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley.

Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

Just Posted

VIDEO: Hazmat incident closes down Langley City street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

Langley chamber of commerce upset about lack of funding for SkyTrain

An uncertain future for the extension to Langley is due to the budget

Felt absence of Mark Warawa marks 107th Aldergrove Fair fast draw

Wife and Langley MLAs Mary Polak and Rich Coleman honoured Warawa with a 20-person gun salute

UPDATED: Rural Langley house saved from quick spreading brush fire

Dry weather helped fuel a blaze believed started by faulty farm equipment

LETTER: How about a compromise in Fort Langley?

Maybe everything doesn’t have to be demolished in the village

VIDEO: Langley kids play Hawaii, again

Milestone year for Langley Ukulele Ensemble as they celebrate quarter century performing in Waikiki

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read