Cinco de Derby: Southern Classics Get Loco
Wait, this weekend is Cinco de Mayo and The Kentucky Derby??
Mind = blown. Possibilities = endless. Here are 3 easily doable, totally delicious treats that combine the best of these two fabulously festive fiestas.
Avocado Benedictine Spread
A famous delectable in Kentucky all year long, but especially at Derby, is “Benedictine.” It’s essentially a light, creamy cucumber spread that Louisvillians spread on everything from crackers and vegetables to sandwiches. Try it out with a little Cinco de Mayo twist by whipping up the gorgeous green side with fresh avocado instead. Think of it like a light and creamy guacamole. ¡Muy bueno!
Halve two fresh, ripe avocados, discard the pits, and squeeze the insides into a bowl or mixer. Add 12 oz. of softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, and cayenne and salt to taste.
Mix into a light whip. Serve with tortilla chips or fresh cut veggies, or spread right on those fried chicken tacos!
If strong, syrupy bourbon drinks aren’t your style, but you want to push this Cinco de Derby theme past mint margaritas, try this clever cocktail we’re calling a “Mintequila Julep.” Bold and original, and sure to perfectly accessorize colorful Mexican/Derby fashion!
Fill a shaker 1/2 full with ice. Add:
– 2 oz tequila blanco
– 1 oz. Cointreau
– 1 oz. aged rum
– 1 oz. red wine (gives it an amazingly bright, beautiful color!)
– 1 oz. soda water
– 1 tbsp agave syrup
– 1 squeeze of lime
Shake and strain into a crushed-ice-filled glass, mint julep cup, or hell, go for the margarita glass and garnish with a sprig of mint. If you’re extra loco, add a little spear of jalapeno.
Bonus street cred points if you’ve got a pair of official Kentucky Derby glasses to serve in!
Fried Chicken Tacos
Toss out your vision of a greasy bucket of drumsticks and instead picture a delicious make-your-own taco station with perfectly, lightly fried bites of chicken and fresh garden goodness!
Pick up 3 – 4 breasts of organic, free-range chicken and slice into smaller bites. Dredge the chicken in either egg or buttermilk, and then fully coat in a bowl of flour mixed with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil and heat up nice and hot. Fry the bites to golden brown on each side, and then cook an additional 15 minutes on a cookie sheet at 350 to crisp up the skin and you’re ready to go!
As far as assembling the tacos, you can put the whole bites right in a tortilla, or slice up even more for a more shredded filling. Try a layer of the avocado benedictine spread and then add the chicken, and dress with chopped tomato, red onion, jalapeno cheese, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and for extra heat, Sriracha!
Take it to the finish line by decorating with lime, mint, or rose petals.
And there you have it! ¡Viva la Cinco de Derby!
Got any spicy recipes that combine these two festive events? We’d love to give them a try! Send recipes our way by leaving a note in the comments below or find us on Twitter.
Liz Birch lived in NYC’s tiny East Village and big world of ad agencies until she swapped it all to open Rabe & Co., a tiny graphic design shop in the lovely, spacious Hudson Valley. She works with clients from Vancouver and LA to right down the street in Beacon, NY, where she also works a lot with cheese and bread, old canning jars, heirloom tomatoes, bobby pins and a sewing machine.