cinco de mayo: happenings and recipes

I honestly have no idea where the times goes. I realize just how cliche that sounds and that everyone says that. But seriously, how is it that I’m writing a post for Cinco de Mayo when I feel like it wasn’t that long ago when I wrote last year’s post and was sitting upstairs at Momocho chomping away on chips and guacamole (I was pregnant for last year’s festivities so I truly was chomping away and then some!)? Sigh.

At any rate, we’re about two weeks out and I’ve already received a dozen plus e-mails from people looking for recommendations. Here’s what I know thus far for local activities. As I learn more, I’ll be sure to update this post. And if you know of any happenings, please share.

Baricelli Inn
I know, I know it’s an Italian restaurant. But, chef Paul Minillo hosted a similar dinner last year and it received much praise. This culinary homage to Mexican cuisine will be in the form of a prix fixe 3-course Mediterranean fiesta. Their twist on Mexican classics includes a choice of three starters, entrees and desserts. Plus handcrafted margaritas and sangria, The cost is $35 pp.


Chef Eric Williams will start things off at 3 p.m. He’s planning a number of drink and food specials and weather permitting, the patio will be open.

Staying in? Chef Williams shares his recipes for salsa and the famous guacamole, which still retains my vote for best guac in Cleveland, hands-down.


yields: 4 cups

12 ripe avocados*

1 small yellow/Spanish onion chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic / minced

1 small bunch fresh cilantro / minced and stems removed

1 jalapeno chile / minced (removing the seeds will reduce the amount of heat)

juice of 1 lime (roll the lime by hand on counter top or microwave for 10 seconds before cutting to yield the most juice)

2 tbl kosher/course salt

Peel and pit the avocados and place pulp in a mixing bowl. Add salt, minced garlic, and lime juice and begin to mash to desired consistency (the salt will act as an abrasive and will help infuse the other flavors). Add the minced cilantro and jalapeno chile to the mashed avocados (you can add as much or as little as you desire). Stir to incorporate all the flavors.

Some alternatives — addition of diced tomatoes, goat or bleu cheeses, habanero chiles, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, smoked fish, or tropical fruits.

*choose dark green Haas avocados that are slightly soft to the touch. You can purchase hard avocados (green) and ripen them by placing the hard avocado in a brown bag in a warm spot; may take 1-2 days

tomatillo salsa verde / “green salsa” yields: 4 cups

1 – 27 oz can tomatillo

1 small yellow/Spanish onion

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch scallions

1 jalapeno pepper

4 cloves garlic

¼ cup lime juice

1 tbl salt

Reserve the liquid from the tomatillos (this liquid can be used to thin the salsa during the puree process). Peel and chop Spanish onion and remove stems from cilantro and jalapeno pepper. Chop the ends from the scallions and place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth.

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  1. By Cleveland Foodie on April 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    […] Cinco de Mayo on the brain? Or are you like me and crave/cook/eat Mexican constantly? In continuing with our ‘cook like local chefs’ series sponsored by Heinen’s, Eric Williams, chef/owner of Momocho (the absolute best modern Mexican around – seriously) shares an easy dish for what I’m sure is one of his favorite holidays. And if you like Momocho’s guacamole (um, who doesn’t?), here’s the recipe. […]