Thursday is May 5 or for those in the know -- and a standing bar tab at the local cantina -- Cinco de Mayo.
Whether you're raising a glass to remember the Mexican army's victory over the French back in 1862 or just looking for an excuse to spend some time outside day drinking, you definitely can't get into the spirit of things with a glass of champagne or a bowl of Irish stew.
Since we are enrolled in the "everything's better with bacon" school, we're going to whip up a batch of "Top Chef Masters" winner Rick Bayless' bacon-and-tomato guacamole. And we might just wash it all down with a bacon jalapeno pineapple margarita, like this one from The Food in My Beard.
Serves 8 to 10
5 strips medium-thick bacon (full-flavored smoky bacon is great here)
3 medium-large ripe avocados
1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 or 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo to taste, removed from the canning sauce, stemmed, slit open, seeds scraped out and finely chopped
1 medium-large ripe tomato, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off), plus a little extra for garnish
1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1. In a large (10-inch) skillet, cook the slices of bacon in a single layer over medium heat, turning them occasionally, until crispy and browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then coarsely crumble.
2. Cut around each avocado, from stem to blossom end and back again, then twist the two halves apart. Dislodge the pit. Scoop the flesh from the skin into a large bowl. Using an old-fashioned potato masher or a large fork or spoon, mash the avocados into a coarse puree.
3. Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water and transfer to the bowl, along with the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, cilantro (save a little for garnish if you wish) and about two-thirds of the bacon. Gently stir to combine all of the ingredients. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon, and enough lime juice to add a little sparkle.
4. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Scoop guacamole into a serving dish, sprinkle with the remaining bacon (and cilantro if you have it) and serve. of the guacamole and refrigerate. To serve, scoop the guacamole into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining bacon (and cilantro if desired).