Monday, May 17, 2010

Gaga for Guac

Come summer time, light, slightly spicy food that does not require too much "cooking" (aka standing over a hot stove in my apartment, which is already so hot that I could probably sear some meat right on my mattress), really hits the spot. It is a well-known mantra in hotter climes that in order to cool down, eat hot. Something about the mouth-watering burn is paradoxically just what you want on a hot day. And nowhere is this more apparent than with guacamole, which has the added boon of being slightly "hot" while simultaneously, deliciously cool. Now if only the weather here in NYC would stop being nasty and rainy and cold....

2 tbsp. finely chopped white onion

3 firmly packed tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. finely chopped jalapeño
1 tsp. salt
3 medium-ripe hass avocados
3 tbsp. diced tomato

1. Grind 1 tbsp. of the onions, 1 tbsp. of the cilantro, jalapeño, and salt together in a molcajete (one of those volcanic "rock" tripod bowels you see in Mexican restaurants) until all the ingredients are well ground. (Alternatively, use a fork to mash the ingredients to a paste in a wide bowl or a mortar and pestle).

2. Cut avocados in half. The flesh will most likely still be caught and "stuck" around the pit. Twist the halves to separate them and remove the pit with the tip of the knife. Place an avocado half, cut side up, in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through its flesh down to the skin, without cutting through the skin. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same fashion.

3. Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the molcajete or bowl you are using. Repeat with remaining avocado halves. Gently fold the avocado into the chili/onion/salt paste, keeping the avocado pieces fairly intact (DON'T make it a smooth mush...I like mine especially chunky).

4. Add tomatoes, remaining 2 tbsp. of the cilantro, and remaining 1 tbsp. of the onions.

5. Fold together all the ingredients. Taste and add a bit more salt, if necessary, and lime or lemon juice if you like, to taste.

6. Serve immediately, directly from the molcajete (or bowl), with tortilla chips.

This recipe is taken from Saveur (greatest food magazine out there) although I've tweaked it a bit to suit my own preferences, but once you have the basics down, go to town! Some people like more tomatoes, less tomatoes, no jalapenos at all (or more!)....go nuts and it's a great treat to bring to parties and buffets. I've even spread this on turkey sandwiches, mmm, or used with left over chicken (sautee up some of those leftover onions from above, chop some lettuce, and you have a nice fajita in the works). Delicious and nutritious, and healthy too! I've included another avocado based recipe in this blog before, for avocado hummus, but this definitely has a bit more zesty kick!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect for the sweet, sweet summertime.

    Bring on the guac! I am already hungry.

    An admirer