Independence Day, kind of…

Happy 4th Everyone! In the spirit of Cookouts, BBQ’s or whatever else you want to call them I am providing you all with two quick very tasty recipes this week. These are perfect for cooling off from the expected heat here in the Northeast and won’t demand a lot of time in the kitchen.

First on the agenda is a drink, which is not part of my usual repertoire, but it sounded great and looked even better so here you go:

Blackberry Limeade

Recipe courtesy of

Serves 8

6 cups water, divided
3 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
Lime wedges and fresh blackberries, for serving

Blend the blackberries and 1 cup of water together until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Add the remaining 5 cups of water, sugar and lime juice to the pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish each with a lime wedge and a few blackberries, if desired.



So after committing to the recipe I realized I did not have enough blackberries, because the vast majority had gone bad! So I had to pool my resources and discovered that we still had some blueberries, so they made up the difference. I think the flavors are complimentary and the colors certainly are so I moved forward. I can tell you that the process is very reminiscent of my coulis sauce, which you are sure to see in a future post. I will say this recipe makes a lot of liquid, so make sure you have plenty of guests and I recommend you increase the amount of lime juice slightly. It adds that ever so subtle tang that sets the drink apart. I garnished mine with some fresh mint, which just reminds me of the summer and is a great contrast color.

Now the following recipe is something that I know I will get a lot of slack for but I think it works despite the apparent contradiction. Yes it is a traditionally Mexican dish and yes, I know it’s 4th of July, but it’s a great dish. So contradictions aside, here it goes:

Dos Caminos Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of


2 Tablespoons finely chopped Cilantro leaves
2 Teaspoon finely chopped white onion
2 Teaspoons minced Jalapeno or Serrano (or a mix)
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt
2 Large avocados, peeled and seeded. Stark recommends California Haas avocados.
2 Tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato (cored and seeded)
2 Teaspoons fresh lime juice.


1. Add 1 tablespoon of cilantro, 1 teaspoon each of onion and the minced chili, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a medium bowl or a mortar. Mash together with spoon or pestle until a paste is formed.

2. Dice avocado and gently fold into the paste, leaving some chunks.

3. Add the remaining cilantro, onions, and chilies, and continue to mix.

4. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Gently fold in tomato.

5. Serve with tortilla chips.



So my avocados weren’t completely ripe, which I later found out makes all the difference in the world, but I moved forward nonetheless. Due to my avocados not being completely ripe I actually had to take the potato masher to them, but I imagine you would be able to avoid this step if you were fortunate enough to find ripe ones. I also could not obtain jalapeños or any other type of fresh chili so I opted to use red pepper flakes which worked very well. The process is quite simple to prepare and I must say this is an awesome guacamole! I am not going to lay claim to saying it is on par with the likes of the original Dos Caminos Guac, but wow is it good!

This entry was published on July 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm and is filed under Appetizers, Drinks, Side Dishes. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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