Entertain Me: Annette Joseph hosts Cinco de Mayo

Entertain Me - Annette Joseph

Who doesn’t love the tempting flavours of Mexico? With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, it’s a perfect time to set an outdoor buffet and start the fiesta.

Dabble Savvy: Make the décor as texturally interesting as the food with lacy paper banners, rugged wood furniture and smooth burnished metals.



Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo5


  • 4 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 5 drops cholula hot sauce, or your favourite brand

Scoop the avocado into a bowl, and smash with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Serves 6-8


Grilled Pineapple

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo1


  • 2 large pineapples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¾” rings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 fresh red chilies, thinly sliced, or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat a grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, toss the pineapple slices with the oil and sea salt. Place the pineapple rings directly on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn gently and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Arrange the grilled pineapple on a serving platter.

Preheat the oven to 325° F and toast the coconut in a small pan for 3 minutes, or until it is golden brown. In a plastic squeeze bottle, combine the sour cream and lime juice and shake to mix well. Drizzle the sour cream–lime sauce over the grilled pineapple rings, and sprinkle them with the toasted coconut and chilies.

Serves 6-8


DIY to DYE for

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo4


  • 1 fiber-reactive dye kit
  • 2 rubber gloves
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 2 (1-gallon) buckets
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • 3 to 4 yards of fabric


Wash then dry the fabric to be dyed with the soap provided by the dye manufacturer (in dye kit). In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the liquid concentrate: Mix together 1 cup water, 2 to 4 tbsp urea, and 2 tbsp dye. In a bucket, prepare a soda solution by stirring 9 tbsp soda ash into 1 gallon warm water. Wear rubber gloves to handle the liquid concentrate during the dying process.

Place the fabric in a separate empty bucket and pour the liquid concentrate on top, pressing the fabric with your gloved hands so the liquid completely covers the fabric. Press out any air bubbles, and let the fabric sit for 15 minutes in the concentrate.

Add the soda solution, and press the fabric again to completely cover with the liquid. Leave the fabric to soak in the dye mixture for 1 hour. Then, wearing rubber gloves, remove and wring out fabric under running water. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear. Wash the dyed fabric in hot water in your washer, then dry in the dryer. Press with a hot iron.


Coca-Cola Ancho Chili Pulled Brisket Soft Tacos

Recipe Courtesy Annette Joseph

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo2

Photo courtesy Annette Joseph

1 (5- to 6-pound) beef brisket, trimmed of fat (I like to leave a little fat)
1 tbsp sea salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, plus 1 tsp for rubbing on the brisket
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with their juices
1 cup ketchup
2 (12-ounce) cans Coca-Cola
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup ancho chili powder
1/4 cup chili powder
10 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar to serve
16 flour or corn tortillas
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh jalapeños
4 limes, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Rub the brisket all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear all sides of the brisket until browned, about 5 minutes per side.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the remaining sauce ingredients and season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Pour the braising sauce into a large roasting pan, then carefully add the seared brisket to the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and tightly seal it around the edges. Bake the brisket in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300° F and continue to bake for 6 to 7 hours, until fork tender.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, remove the foil, and allow the brisket to rest in the pan at room temperature for 1 hour. Using 2 large forks, shred (or “pull”) the brisket apart. Reserve 2 cups of the sauce from the pan and transfer it to a large mixing or serving bowl. Toss the pulled brisket in the sauce before serving, or serve the sauce on the side.

When you are ready to serve, wrap the soft tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 200° F. Serve the brisket alongside the warm tortillas and bowls of the assorted toppings

Serves 6 to 8