Odd Offerings for Cinco de Mayo :: Non-traditional Dips for Chips

orange1_emergencCinco de Mayo seems to be celebrated in culinary fashion by just about everyone, not just Mexicans, and as with many celebrations, food has become its centerpiece.

Cross-cultural celebrations often lead to innovative recipes using non-traditional ingredients or traditional ingredients in non-traditional ways. These recipes have added a baffling list of ingredients to traditional Cinco de Mayo fare: radishes, summer squash, even powdered Vitamin C drink mix. But they both work, producing flavorful new takes on guacamole and Pico de Gallo.

This guacamole recipe comes from the makers of Emergen-C, a powdered drink mix usually associated with trying to prevent colds. But Wil Crutchley, a New York City chef, has used the lemon-lime flavor in his guacamole to prevent the avocado dip from oxidizing and turning brown.

According to Crutchley’s comments to Emergen-C, guacamole can be kept fresh and green for up to four days if a half-packet of the drink mix is added. The addition of Emergen-C also provides a little boost of vitamins and minerals to the dip.

Crutchley’s recipe:

Using a fork, mash 4 ripe avocados. Add ½ packet of Emergen-C lemon-lime drink mix, 1 minced red onion, 2 minced garlic gloves, 1 or 2 minced Serrano chiles (stems and seeds removed), ½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together, add 1 chopped ripe tomato (seeds and pulp removed) and stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

Morales Farms in Granby, Colorado, adds more crunch, nutrition and kick to the traditional Pico de Gallo mixture of peppers, onion and tomato by using more of the farm’s naturally grown produce in the recipe: radish and summer squash. Joe Morales’ recipe:

Dice onion, garlic, tomato and jalapeno or other pepper in desired proportions. Add a diced radish and diced yellow squash or zucchini. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Mix and serve or chill in refrigerator to allow flavors to mix.

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