As much as we’d like to think we could be sustained solely by cocktails, eating is important too.
C&I recommends eating something between sips of your favorite Cinco de Mayo drinks. Start with these recipes.
2 ripe avocados, diced small
2 tablespoons tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons red onions, diced
1 teaspoon cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon jalapeños, minced
In a large bowl, combine the avocados with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, coarse salt, red wine vinegar, and jalapeños until well mixed. Salt to taste.
3 ounces chorizo
1 cup Asadero cheese or queso menonita, shredded (alternate: mozzarella cheese)
In a medium oven-safe dish, layer your ingredients with 3 ounces of chorizo at the bottom mixed with a quarter cup of the cheese. Place in a 400-degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove the pan and cover the entire top with guacamole, leaving a little room at the top to be covered with cheese. Place back in the oven for another 7 minutes. Switch to high broil to brown the top of the cheese. Pull from the oven once the cheese on top has browned.
Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Chile Lime Shrimp Tacos
(Serves 3 – 6)
¼ cup McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice (Mayonesa)
¼ cup Herdez Salsa Casera (Mild, Medium, or Hot)
Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
1 tablespoon chili powder (McCormick preferred)
½ teaspoon garlic powder (McCormick preferred)
½ teaspoon ground cumin (McCormick preferred)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
6 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas, warmed or grilled
Mix mayonnaise and salsa in small bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mix chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt in small bowl. Toss seasoning mixture with shrimp in medium bowl until evenly coated.
Heat oil in large skillet on medium. Add seasoned shrimp. Cook and stir 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lime juice.
Serve shrimp in warmed tortillas. Top with creamy salsa and desired toppings, such as shredded cabbage or lettuce, chopped avocado, tomatoes and fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.
12 extra-large jalapeños (split lengthwise with core and seeds removed)
24 raw bacon strips
Torpedo mix (recipe follows)
Take a split jalapeño and stuff with approximately 1 tablespoon of torpedo mix.
Wrap entire length of jalapeño tightly with a bacon strip and secure with 2 toothpicks. Smoke or grill torpedoes for approximately 1 hour at 200-225 degrees or until bacon is golden brown
Remove toothpicks and enjoy!
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 pound smoked brisket or chicken, rough chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chili powder
Add ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients until blended.
Davila’s Signature BBQ Rub
In Texas, most BBQ purists let the meat speak for itself by only seasoning with salt and pepper. We add cayenne for a natural Latin kick. In the restaurant, we use this to enhance the robustness of lamb or beef, complement inherently sweet pork, or lend a flavor boost to milder chicken recipes.
(Makes 2 cups)
1½ cups salt
⅓ cup freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Thoroughly mix the salt, black pepper, and cayenne together in a bowl. Rub on any meat to add a kick of flavor. Store in an airtight container.
Mesquite-Smoked Lamb Ribs With Chimichurri
You’ll rarely find lamb on barbecue menus in Texas and throughout the United States; in fact, the only state that can call lamb a barbecue “mainstay” is Kentucky. But at Davila’s, barbecued lamb has been embraced by our customers for more than six decades. The origin of chimichurri sauce is unclear, but one theory is that the Basque settlers from Spain, who arrived in Argentina as early as the 19th century, named it. I enjoy these Old World flavors because the tang and bite of the sauce cuts through the fatty, smoky, savory ribs, and it goes well on any meat: beef, poultry, and/or fish.
(Serves 3 – 4)
¼ – ½ cup Davila’s Signature BBQ Rub
1 (2½- to 3½-pound) lamb breast
Davila’s Original BBQ Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)
Adrian’s Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Serrano Chimichurri Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)
Rub the BBQ Rub thoroughly into the meat, covering all crevices of the lamb breast. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 12 – 24 hours. Thirty minutes before you want to cook, prepare a mesquite indirect fire in a barbecue pit or grill to achieve an even mix of smoke and heat, reaching 275 degrees. Put the lamb breast in the middle rack of your barbecue pit, over indirect heat. Cook until the meat is fork-tender, 3 – 3½ hours. Remove the lamb breast from the pit and allow to rest for 25 – 30 minutes before slicing the ribs into individual portions. Serve with Davila’s Original BBQ Sauce and my special serrano chimichurri sauce.
Davila’s Original BBQ Sauce
(Makes 1 quart; 12 – 15 servings)
My grandmother proudly attests that this Texas-style, tomato-based barbecue sauce is the original recipe that my grandfather created. Davila’s BBQ has been serving it since we opened our doors in 1959, and over the decades, we have produced countless gallons. While it has some similarities to other tomato-based sauces, the cumin and oregano bring in the Latin flavors that make the taste unique. We slather it on top of everything, as it pairs well with chicken, pork, beef, lamb, and even fish, such as salmon.
1½ teaspoons margarine
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup ketchup
½ cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Melt the margarine in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, tomato juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, pickle juice, mustard, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well, until the sugar and salt are dissolved, then stir the mixture into the stockpot.
Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens, 10 minutes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Adrian’s Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Serrano Chimichurri Sauce
(Makes 3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled
3 – 4 serrano peppers, roasted and peeled
1 cup olive oil
1 cup packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Cover and let stand at room temperature until serving. The sauce can be made up to 2 hours ahead.
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Photography: Courtesy Second Bar + Kitchen, Courtesy Ten50 Barbecue, From Cowboy Barbecue: Fire & Smoke from the Original Texas Vaqueros (The Countryman Press, 2018), available on Amazon and at bookstores near you. Image courtesy The Countryman Press.