Quatro de Mayo

I was in the car yesterday listening to an interview with Gustavo Arellano on NPR.  He wrote “How Mexican Food Conquered America” and he talked about how his opinion of mass-produced Mexican food has changed dramatically over the course of his professional career.  He used to feel that Americans were wasting their time on food that was bastardized from its roots, but he’s mellowed and now sees its as a “gateway food”.  His theory:  if we explore better, more authentic Mexican food as a result of eating the stuff we can find in strip malls, then the cheap, ubiquitous Mexican food (TexMex or otherwise) has served its delicious, melty purpose.

What he doesn’t know is that I’ve been ruined by globalization.  I’m pretty sure Gustavo didn’t mean that we should start a meal with the best margarita recipe ever and then have an Asian beef salad.

We started dinner with this cocktail, Bon Appetit’s Agave Margarita.  I will never make margaritas any other way.  It was so delicious and not too sweet, which recipes using Triple Sec tend to be.

For dinner, we grilled beef tenderloin, made  a salad with THE BEST ginger vinaigrette ever (which I got from Andra) and a pot of sticky rice in the rice cooker and let everyone assemble their own plates.

Almost Andra’s Ginger Vinaigrette (she doesn’t use measurements)

1 part, about 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar

2 parts, about 1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (using a small Microplane grater)

Splash of Mirin

Splash of soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

Pepper to taste (there’s already enough salt in the soy sauce)

Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified.

Enjoy with any cocktail or dessert you want.  Themes that span from cocktails to dessert are so 2011.

– Catherine


  1. Kevin: After watching you eat all these years, know for sure that you would eat aninhytg that doesn’t crawl off your plate. Seems like Ken is having the harder time since he is even pickier that me. He picks beans out of chili but now will eat something that looks like it died on his plate and and is decomposing. YukI lost 31 pounds last July simply because the hospital food was SOOOOO bad I could not force it down, no way, it was realllly bad. Have gained about 8 pounds back but eat what I like now just not as much, and shoveling snow helps.But, whatever works. Just seems like its highly repititious and what are Lentils ? He will get tired of the same ol same ol and give it up.Look like some kind of beans to me but the boy is scuffing them right up.I shudder to think what he would have done with brussel sprouts when he wasMUCH younger. Obviously none of the 4H stuff has mayonaise on it.


  1. […]  Or rain being the mother of invention.  Anywho, I served it with sticky rice and salad with Andra’s Ginger Vinaigrette and I was a rainy day hero. […]

  2. […] Last night we made Ina’s Asian Grilled Salmon using cedar planks.  I served the salmon over a quinoa pilaf with steamed baby bok choy, drizzled with my favorite ginger vinaigrette. […]

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