Tuesday, August 7, 2007

lar3ry's Guacamole

Although it looks as if I'm on a Mexican theme this week, with this recipe following my Macho Dip recipe, the reality is that I'm just putting in some recipes for which I've been asked for as a way to jump-start this blog.

I guess Mexican was the first "ethnic" food that I learned to cook. When I was living in Miami, I was at a party where a co-worker named Nancy Kowalski made a quick and easy sheet of nachos by putting tortillas on a cookie sheet, added a can of Hormel Chili (without beans), some shredded cheese and a few diced vegetables, and after about five minutes in the oven, she brought out some delicious nachos.

I taught the recipe to Sandra (this was before we were married), and together we learned to love Mexican food. I believe that Mexican is still Sandra's favorite restaurant cuisine. To this day, Nancy's quick and dirty nachos make up a quick and easy meal. We've refined our style (sliced green onions and freshly chopped tomatoes make up the bulk of the "vegetable" ingredients, and we don't always use canned chili--we often heat up some ground or cubed beef with some taco seasoning instead), but it's still basically the same, easy recipe.

When I was learning to appreciate Mexican cooking, I initially avoided guacamole. It was "too green" for my taste, and I never tasted avocados before, and wasn't willing to give it a try.

One day at lunch, I saw a news segment on channel nine (WMUR, Manchester) where a local chef makes a recipe, and the recipe was for guacamole. I believe that the chef was from a Mexican restaurant in Nashua called "La Hacienda del Rio."

The chef wasn't too particular about quantities, saying pretty much that it was all a matter of taste. I watched as the chef quickly and professionally assembled guacamole from avocados, onions, and other ingredients.

A few days later, I needed to whip up something quickly for a company pot-luck (everybody was supposed to bring something). I remembered seeing the chef on television, and decided to make the guacamole. I figured that a lot of people like guacamole, even if I hadn't even really tried it myself. I went to the store to pick up some avocados, tomatoes, red onion, and limes, and at home, my daughters and I did the preparation and combined everything in a food processor. I tasted it and decided it was pretty good—especially considering that I was in charge of what went into it. The kids loved it as well, and at the party, it was a pretty good hit, since there weren't any leftovers.

Over the years, I've read other people's recipes for guacamole and continued tweaking my own recipe, which is reproduced below from my recipe collection:

lar3ry's Guacamole

Source:From various locations
Yield:Serves 4.

I've seen recipes for guacamole online and on television, and I've finally settled on the following recipe, which is one that my family and I like very much. It's wonderful with Tostitos™ Scoops tortilla chips; the scoops are the right size and perfect for dipping.


2 ripe avocados

1 medium red or Vidalia onion, roughly chopped (see note)

1 small jalepeño, stems and seeds removed, chopped

1 fresh lime, juiced

4 tomatillos, halved (see note)

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Peel and seed avocados, and cut in half or quarters, and place into food processor bowl.

Add onion, jalapeño, most of the lime juice, and tomatillos, and cilantro and pulse until the mixture is thoroughly mixed—do not over-process.

Put in serving bowl, and top with remainder of lime juice (to keep the avocado from oxidizing). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Before serving, stir the dip to blend in the lime juice.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Tomatoes may be substituted for tomatillos, but will alter the color from bright green to light brown, which may be unappetizing. Consider dicing the tomatoes and mixing into dip right before stirring.

Sour cream may be added to extend the dip for larger quantities.

I prefer Vidalia onions over red onions, but they aren't available year round. Other sweet onions may be substituted.

Green onions, both green and white parts, sliced thin as well as extra chopped cilantro make good garnishes.

Bon Appetit!

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