Three for Five

Produced by Brett Levine

Food Styling by Lily Plauché

Photography by Becky Staynor

Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over France on May 5, 1862. It is the Day of the Battle of Puebla. In America, Cinco de Mayo is a day for the Mexican-American community to celebrate its unique culture and identity. So why not share in the celebration? Here are three delicious dips, each offering you a way to sample the subtle flavors, aromas, and delicacies of the staples that are the foundation of so much Latin-infused cuisine today.

In the Three Chile Salsa, chiles with varying levels of heat and intensity infuse their flavors into a salsa overflowing with fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic. If you prefer salsa with deep, rich flavors, the Roasted Garlic Guacamole is divine. Start with a head of garlic, roast until soft, and proceed with caution…or haste!

For a warmer experience, the Queso Fundido blends the spiciness of Monterey jack cheese, poblano peppers, and chorizo into a delight devoured in handfuls of corn tortillas. Cinco de Mayo has become a quintessential melting-pot holiday and these dishes serve to enhance the celebration. Son deliciosos?

Cinco 1Three Chile Salsa

Serves: 4–6

¾ pound ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

1 serrano chile, seeded, minced

1 jalapeno chile, seeded, minced

½–1 habanero chile, seeded, minced

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled, minced

12 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


tortilla chips

In a medium bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Add salt to taste. For best results, let stand at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with chips.


Cinco 3Queso Fundido

Serves: 4–6

½ pound fresh chorizo, casings removed

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded, finely chopped

3 tablespoons tequila

1 lb. Monterey jack cheese, grated (4 cups)

1 tomato, chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

warm corn tortillas, for serving

Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium ovenproof skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high heat 6–8 minutes or until done, stirring to break up the sausage into small pieces. Remove from skillet and set aside. Cook onion and poblano in hot drippings 3–4 minutes or until tender. Carefully add tequila and cook, stirring occasionally, 1–2 minutes or until most liquid has evaporated. Add onion mixture to chorizo and set aside.

Scatter cheese in the skillet. Top with chorizo mixture. Bake 4–5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with tomato and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Cinco 2Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Serves: 4–6

1 head garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled

1 jalapeno, seeded, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


tortilla chips

Heat oven to 350F. Cut ½ inch off the top of the garlic, exposing the cloves. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Bake until tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the softened garlic into a bowl. Mash with a fork or mortar and pestle. Add avocados, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro to the bowl or mortar and mash with a fork or pestle until desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

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