When it came time to plan the menu for Isobel’s third birthday party, we wanted to go with something simple to prepare that was still a crowd-pleaser.When Anthony suggested hot dogs, I knew we had to make mixtas to go along side. Mixtas, pronounced meeks-ta, are the Guatemalan version of a hot dog. Sold at food trucks and carts all over Guatemala city, they are sold alongside ice cold beer or soda. I’ve never been to Guatemala, but I’ve been enjoying them at Grandma Juani’s house and have become inspired to make my own. If you can grill a hot dog you can make a mixta. They are perfect for summer and slightly healthier than the American version in that they have fewer carbs and boast cabbage, onions, and avocado instead of ketchup and relish. Mixtas are topped with a guacamole and a cabbage-onion mixture that is very slightly pickled.
I wish I had more precise measurements to offer you for this recipe, but according to every Guatemalan woman I’ve ever talked to, they just don’t use recipes over there. Everything is done by eye, taste, and memory, and woe to the gringa-American who has married into the family and wants to cook their delicious food. Grandma assured me it is very easy to make this mixture even without exact measurements. And it’s always my policy to trust an 80 year old woman who still travels the world and builds homes by hand for children in developing countries.
- corn tortillas
- all-beef hotdogs
- mashed, perfectly ripe avocados
- diced tomato
- lime juice
- white onions
- white cabbage
- olive oil
- white vinegar
- salt & pepper
- Hot sauce, such as Tapatio
- Sliced fresh or jarred jalapenos
Blanched Cabbage Onion Slaw
- Mixtas do involve a bit of prep work but it’s nothing too strenuous. First, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a vigorous boil. You just want to blanch the cabbage quickly, so as soon as the water comes to a boil, add your cabbage, count to five, and strain.
- Add sliced onions to the cabbage and douse with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. This mixture can be served cold or at room temperature.
- Peel and mash avocados and fold in finely diced chunks of tomatoes. Add lime juice to taste. The acid from the juice not only tastes good but helps preserve the green color of the guacamole.
- Use corn tortillas for this, please, and heat through by either adding them to the grill after you cook the hotdogs or wrap in a tea towel and heat a small stack in the microwave for thirty seconds.
- Grandma always makes this with all-beef hotdogs and I forgot to ask if this was just her preference or if that’s how they do it in Guatemala. Perhaps it’s both. If you’re lucky enough to have a grill going, cook them until they are plump and tiger-striped. We usually don’t have a grill at the ready, but years ago I splurged on this baby and it has been completely worth it. Grilled cheese, panini, quesadillas, hamburgers, sausages and hotdogs are now regularly served up on my counter. If you boil or microwave your dogs, however, I will not judge.
- Take your warmed tortilla and spread a layer of guacamole on it. You will be tempted to really pile it on, because it tastes like joyous happiness, but if you add too much it will squirt out the other end and cover your arm with deliciousness.
- Add your cooked hotdog.
- Pile on the slaw and add sliced jalapenos or hot sauce if that’s your preference. Dig in and go back for seconds and possibly thirds.