Friday, November 4, 2011

Guacamole is a Good Decision

I make really strange decisions sometimes. I’m not sure my brain is wired properly. I wear weird combinations of clothes that I swear look awesome before I leave the house, and then later see photos of and have one of those "what the hell was I thinking?!" moments. 

Once for bookclub, I brought two bags of yeast rolls as my ‘plate’ because I (a) had just mastered making a bread product with yeast (!), and (b) I thought everyone would love them as much as I do and of course 7 people would polish off 24 rolls. Heh. What really happened was that not one was eaten, even by me because everyone else brought food that was much more fun than rolls, and since I put the fresh-from-the-oven rolls in a plastic bag and the moisture couldn’t escape they got all soggy and I had to throw the whole thing out later that night. Sorry for the run-on sentence.

This ‘pasta’ (I’m not sure what it’s actually called because the packaging was literally all in Greek) was one such strange decision. I found it in with the foreign foods at the grocery store and thought that the long hollow noodles looked like fun. Wrong! They are slurpy little buggers and you end up wearing half of your pasta sauce on your shirt coz its gets into the noodles and then falls out when you try to eat them. Also, the sauce doesn’t really stick to them, so the meal ends up more like ‘pasta with a side of tomato sauce’ rather than your normal spag bol. I’m sure they have some practical food use, but since I can’t read Greek, I’ll never know what it is!

Guacamole, on the other hand, is always a good decision. Especially technicolour guacamole.  You can't go wrong holding a bowl of guacamole.  Just broke a lamp?  Make some guac.  Need to say sorry to a friend?  Bring a bowl of concilatory guacamole.  'Accidentally' adopted a new pet or three and have to break it to your partner gently?  Yeah, guacamole might not be enough.  But it would make a good start!

So bright, it almost hurts your eyes.

I learned how to make this from a waiter at a restaurant just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. They had a guacamole cart that they would wheel over to your table, with all the ingredients all chopped up, and then proceed to create avocado bliss before your very eyes. It’s so easy and visually stunning and not to mention yummy that you can’t not make it. The hardest part about making guacamole is just remembering all eight of the ingredients – when I’m shopping for the ingredients I pretty much have to walk around holding up however many fingers of ingredients I have picked up. It probably looks like I’m flashing gang signs whenever I do that. I try to ignore the funny looks.

Brightness dimmed by fun filter.  And yes, I did make this funky blue bowl, aren't I clever? :)
Serve this with plain tortilla/corn chips. The best ones I’ve found in NZ are the homebrand ones at Countdown, all nice and salty. None of this cheese-covered nonsense with my guacamole!! *Shakes fist* Also, don’t puree’ the avocado into a paste-like consistency. I’ve seen this done and to me it takes a lot of the flavour out it. I like my guac chunky, with lots of complementing flavours all mingling and getting to know each other in the bowl, not whizzed to greeny-gray gluey stuff.

Mexican-style Guacamole
  • 2 large/3 small ripe avocados (they should be slightly squishy)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 lime or bottled lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander/cilantro
  • Salt
Note: a food processor is useful, but not essential.
  1. Finely chop the red onion and garlic cloves.
  2. De-seed the chilli pepper and finely chop.
  3. Halve the tomatoes and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. Dice up the remaining fleshy bits.
  4. If you have a food processor, pulse the red onion, garlic, chilli pepper, tomatoes and coriander/cilantro a few times, until nicely incorporated but not pureed. If no food processor, just pile them all up on your cutting board and run your knife through it all until you have a uniform size going on. Dump into a bowl and incorporate well.
  5. Cut the avocados in half and use your knife to remove the stones. Scoop out the green stuff into your bowl and use the back of a large spoon to smush the avocado up.
  6. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a good squeeze of lime juice, then mix everything together gently.
  7. Make the guacamole a few hours before or up to a day before serving to let the flavours develop.
  8. Store covered in the fridge to delay the avocado turning brown, then take it out a bit before serving to let it warm up.  Serve at or close to room temperature, not cold.
Gratuitous parting kitty shot: Lucy has a cute little beauty mark on her nose, like the little diva she is.

1 comment:

  1. I love those noodles. Not sure what the Greeks call them, but I think the Italians call them bucatini. Anyway, you're right - not much good for using like you might use spaghetti - very, very messy!! They are great for using in baked and layered pasta dishes, such as lasagne instead of lasagne sheets. The Greeks use them in a dish called pastichio, which is kind of similar to lasagne, but with some different flavourings. Am actually planning a pastichio post on my blog shortly, so keep watching this space :-)
    Sue xo


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