Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hasta la Vista (But first, have some guacamole)

We're outta here for the holidays. Jealous?

My in-laws have graciously given us the gift of Christmas in a warmer climate. And by "us" I mean my entire family of in-laws.

Not so jealous now, I bet.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws. I pretty much hit the jack-pot with them. They are kind, generous, wonderful people. But 8 days with everyone is going to be... Let me try to be tactful here... Interesting.

I had planned to set up some posts to go live in my absence but, well, never got around to it. And I figure only about 3 of you actually read this thing so you'll manage.

Have a wonderful "whatever it is you celebrate" and I'll see you soon. This recipe should provide a huge clue as to where we'll be.

Serves 3-4 as an appetizer (or 1 if you're me and can't ever get enough)

Juice of one lime
2-3 TBS finely chopped red onion
1 small clove of garlic, very finely chopped (optional)
2-3 TBS chopped tomato; small dice (seeded)
As much chopped jalapeno as you want; small dice (the heat is in the seeds so it's up to you to determine how spicy you want this to be)
1-2 TBS fresh cilantro, finely chopped (I like my cilantro but I know it's very black and white for most people so feel free to use less or omit it altogether but you can't call it guacamole without it. I kid.)
2 ripe Haas avocados
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Note: Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped before you cut the avocados as they tend to brown when exposed to the air.

To prepare the avocados:
  • Cut around them the long way to divide in half and expose the pit. CAREFULLY (this means you, Josie) insert a large, sharp knife into the pit and twist it slightly. The pit should come loose and dislodge from the flesh as you pull out the knife.
  • Gently bang the knife on the edge of a counter or sink to remove the pit from the edge of your knife. Repeat with the other avocado.
  • Score the inside of each half of avocado into a checkerboard - be careful not to cut through the skin.
  • Using a spoon (a regular soup spoon works best), slide out the avocado pieces by inserting the spoon between the flesh and the skin.
For the guacamole:
  • Mash the avocados until they reach your desired degree of chunkiness. It's all about you!
  • Add in the lime juice, onions, garlic if using, tomato, jalapeno if using, and cilantro (oh, go ahead, use it).
  • Stir to combine.
  • Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Guacamole will keep well for a day or two (but you if you have any left over you clearly did something wrong). To prevent browning make sure that you cover it tightly with plastic wrap and that the wrap is touching the entire surface of the guacamole.

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