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Slim Down Your Cinco De Mayo Spread


Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

Fruity margaritas, creamy guacamole, crunchy chips…there’s a reason Cinco de Mayo is such a popular holiday!  We love Mexican fare (and plan to fully fiesta), but the high calorie content can be a real party pooper. To keep our waistlines and tastebuds happy, we consulted Rick Bayless’ new cookbook, Frontera, full of unique spins on classic Mexican recipes.  Here are just a few delicious ways to slim down and spice up that classic chip dip.

Grilled Corn and Poblano Guacamole Makes about 4 cups Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced crosswise into 3 rounds
  • A little olive or vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • 1 small ear of fresh corn, husked and cleaned of silk
  • 1 fresh poblano chile
  • 3 ripe medium-large avocadoes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Mexican fresh cheese (queso fresco) or other fresh cheese, like salted pressed farmer’s cheese or goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh epazote (or cilantro)

Directions Heat a gas grill to medium. Lightly brush both sides of the onion slices with oil, sprinkle with salt and lay on the grill. Oil the corn and lay it beside the onion. Grill corn and onion 4 to 5 minutes per side,. Roast the poblano for 5 to 7 minutes, turning evenly until blackened. Remove onion and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Cut kernels off the cob..  Rub the blackened skin off the poblano, pull out and discard the stem and seed pod. Tear open and briefly rinse to remove stray seedss. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Halve avocadoes and remove pit, scooping the flesh from one avocado into a large bowl. Scoop flesh from the other two onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mash the avocado that’s in the bowl. Pour diced avocado into the mashed avocado bowl, along with the grilled onion, corn, poblano and 2 tablespoons of fresh cheese. Sprinkle with lime juice and epazote, then gently stir mixture.  Taste and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate. When ready to serve, sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Guacamole with Toasted Walnuts and Pomegranate Makes about 3 cups


  • 1 fresh poblano chile
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 ripe medium-large avocadoes
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • Seeds from 1/2 medium pomegranate, removed from pith

Directions Roast poblano over an open flame for about 5 minutes, turning regularly until blackened all over. Let cool. Rub blackened skin off and remove stem and seedpod. Rinse to remove any remaining skin and seeds. Roughly chop and scoop into a mortar. While poblano is cooling, heat oven to 325 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until toasty-aromatic. Let cool. Scrape about two-thirds of walnuts in with poblano; set remainder aside for garnish. Crush walnuts and poblanos together to a coarse puree.  Scrape mixture into a large bowl. Halve and pit avocadoes. Scoop flesh into a large bowl and mash. Combine with poblano-walnut mixture. Scoop onion into a strainer, rinse and drain under cold water. Add to avocado mixture, along with parsley and lime juice. Stir to combine, then taste and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until ready to serve. Right before serving, garnish dish with pomegranate seeds and remaining walnuts. Tip: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle to crush walnuts, pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add poblanos and continue to pulse until finely chopped.

Excerpted from "Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamole and Snacks" by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless. Copyright © 2012 by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless. Photographs copyright © 2012 by Paul Elledge. Used with permission by the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.