It’s time for me to do one of my very favorite things: contemplate what fabulous dish I plan to take to a friend’s potluck. Unfortunately, I sometimes contemplate myself into a tizzy and end up showing up with Fresh Market pie or something.
Monday is Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. One of my friends has an annual Cinco de Mayo party where everyone brings fantastic Mexican dishes and we all stuff our faces and drink margaritas. It’s a blast.
The party this year happens to coincide with my infatuation with fresh, local strawberries. Yesterday, I visited Dansby’s Strawberry Farm near Rocky Mount for next week’s column and picked myself five pounds of strawberries. Well, that turned out to be not near enough because they are sooooooo naturally sweet and delicious.
I’m going to get some more before Saturday, and I’d like to come up with a dish that has a Mexican flair but incorporates strawberries. I’d love to do a from-scratch tres leches cake or something, but I’m afraid the schedule will not allow it. And as I said, I have this habit of committing to a difficult recipe when I know I don’t have the time to do it right.
A few trips around the Internet have resulted in a couple of worthy ideas: an easy tres leches cake that starts with a cake mix and could be garnished with berries, or a Mexican specialty, fruit water. The fruit water looks incredibly easy, calling only for water, ice, fresh fruit, a little sugar and some lime wedges for garnish.
If anyone else has an idea for an easy strawberry dish that would fit the theme, I’d love to hear it. And since Mexican food is one of my very favorite cuisines, this is always a great time of year to solicit your favorite Mexican recipe, whether it involves strawberries or not.
Last year, I ran a wonderful recipe for papas rellenos, or fried potato and meat dumplings, which I got from Roanoke Police Chief Joe Gaskins’ secretary, X Alvarez.
If you’d like a reminder of that recipe, click the link. I’ll share the two simple recipes that I’m considering below.