Tuesday, July 15, 2008

do you love guacamole??

first i should say that i love avocados..pretty much in any form. when i was a kid, my aunt lena had a really big avocado tree in her back yard in southern california. this tree produced massive amounts of avocados..my memory may be faulty..(ya think?)..but i seem to remember avocados year round. she used to give bushels of them away to everyone in the family..so i ate avocados all the time. it wasn't until i was older..and met people from outside of california..that i realized not everyone was familiar with them..many people i met had never even tried one..now, with the popularity of guacamole, most people know of avocados..but still have questions regarding their use..their fat content...and the on-going controversy of the world's best guacamole recipe...happily, we now know that the fat in an avocado is the good fat, that they are full of fiber and vitamins..and that there are countless ways to use this fruit (yes, an avocado is a fruit although it is used more like a vegetable) ..
i still use avocados all the time..i will spread mashed avocado on toast with a sprinkling of sea salt and eat for lunch or as a snack..i slice and add to salads, omelets, taco topping..cut them in half and fill with tuna, chicken, shrimp, crab or lobster salad, add to sandwiches, make avocado salad dressing..avocado soup...hundreds of recipes. but..more than all of these options..i make guacamole. i must admit..i am pretty addicted to guacamole..and have tried many different recipes. i have found that people are pretty passionate about their guacamole recipes..and everyone thinks their version is best. i have my own favorite..but like to try different recipes too. my friend shesh came to dinner sunday and brought over a few avocados. she decided to make her guacamole..which is the simplest version i have ever tasted. she just mashed up the avocados..added a bit of cilantro, salt and pepper..and served...it was really good. the avocados were perfectly ripe, the cilantro had a bit of a bite and the flavor was really pure...we gobbled it up.

my version uses avocado, finely diced red onion, cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, sea salt and diced jalapeno. i don't really used a recipe..i just add the ingredients to taste... but i do ensure all the ingredients..including the avocado..stay chunky..i like texture in my guacamole.... for those of you that have never cut up an avocado..here is a classic..and my favorite..technique. cut the avocado in half lengthwise. there is a big seed in the middle so you will need to cut around it. the seed will stay in one of the halves. use a chef's knife to gently whack the center of the pit so that the knife is slightly embedded in the pit...don't whack too hard or you will cut through the pit...twist the knife, pull out the pit and discard. (note..for safety's sake, put a kitchen towel in the palm of your hand and place the avocado on the towel the first few times you try this technique...be careful!).
slice each half of avocado lengthwise into 1/8 to 1/4 inch strips, and then cut across forming a grid. use a spoon to gently scoop out the avocado flesh.

combine the diced avocado with the onion, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and jalapeno. serve immediately...i finely dice all ingredients except for the avocado and keep a lot of texture in mine.

i spent all day today trying out different versions of the basic recipe (i have a tough life!)..i substituted lemon juice for the lime in one batch..and took at least one of my ingredients out of each option to see how it would impact the final result..they all worked..so adjust the recipe based on what you like..if you dislike onions..leave them out..hate cilantro?..skip..(i find that people are seldom neutral regarding cilantro..you either love it or hate it)..you will always need salt and the lemon or lime..otherwise..go for it...

a twitter friend @emilyolson reminded me of the guacamole at rosa mexicano...i have ordered guacamole at numerous restaurants throughout the united states and mexico...while i have had many really good versions the absolute best restaurant guacamole i have ever had was at rosa mexicano in manhattan. their guacamole is prepared tableside in a traditional molcajete, which is a mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock...i have included the rosa mexicano recipe to get you started.... if you have never made guacamole before...give it a try..it may become your favorite too...but don't be afraid to experiment with ingredients you like...i challenge you to create your own "signature guacamole recipe"...oh and since this requires salt and freshly squeezed limes..can you say "pitchers of margaritas"??!!

rosa mexicano guacamoleIngredients:
1Tbsp white onion
salt (i use sea salt)
3 hass avocado
3 tbps diced tomato
2 tbs chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips

1. Grind 1 tbsp. finely chopped white onion, one firmly packed tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tsp. finely chopped jalapeƱo, and 1 tsp. salt together in a molcajete until all the ingredients are well ground. (Alternatively, use a fork to mash the ingredients to a paste in a wide bowl.)
2. Prepare the avocado using the method described above
3. Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the molcajete. Repeat with remaining avocado halves. Gently fold the avocado into the chile–onion paste, keeping the avocado pieces fairly intact.
4. Add 3 tbsp. diced tomato, 2 firmly packed tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 tbsp. finely chopped white onion.
5. Fold together all the ingredients. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
6. Serve immediately, directly from the molcajete (or bowl), with tortilla chips.
Makes 4 servings.

we are having guacamole tacos for dinner with refried black beans, spanish rice, homemade green chile corn tortillas..and margaritas.. want some?
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™


Anonymous said...

Your pictures are beautiful and your guacamole looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a good margarita recipe?

Suresh said...
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Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

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Anonymous said...
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Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

sorry bob..not gonna happen...

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi janet, in keeping with the rosa mexicano theme..here is their recipe for a traditional margarita..enjoy!

1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
3/4 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp superfine sugar
A lime wedge
Cooking Instructions
Prepare a salt-rimmed glass if you like; a 10 ounce glass if serving on the rocks a 6-ounce cocktail glass if serving up.

Put 6 ice cubes in a tall cocktail shaker. Pour the remaining ingredients (except the lime wedge) into the shaker and shake vigorously. Pour ice and all into the larger glass or strain into the smaller glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

KKJD1 said...

I love guacamole on chips and taco salad, tacos and things like that, but have never really tried it on anything else. I will have to try and use them more thanks for the great article. Karen

KKJD1 said...

Just wanted to let you know Im having a book giveaway over on my blog, so when you have time come over and check it out. Have a great weekend, Karen

Anonymous said...

Guacamole and margaritas on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks for the recipes, and for your beautiful blog.