Friday, August 7, 2009
Almost Award Winning Guacamole
A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I would be attending (and entering) a Salsa-Off, and possibly taking a few photos and blogging about it, depending on how I felt after running a half-marathon. Honestly, what I really felt like doing after running the half-marathon was sitting on my couch, eating brownies and watching “Mad Men” on DVD, but I managed to make some guacamole and attend my friends’ second annual salsa-off. I didn’t get very many pictures, but I did manage to take a couple of my favorite salsas. Below is the Best Overall, which I, and apparently most other people voting, was drawn to because it had spiced raw chocolate – definitely an innovative concoction.
My other favorite was this one with nuts and cheese – yum! I was happy it took the Best Other category this year, since I remembered it from last year and thought it was robbed of a victory due to mis-categorization.
In the two years of the salsa-off’s existence, our household has only come home with one ribbon and the recipient was Mr. Penpen for his awesome mango salsa last year. I have been the runner-up in the guacamole category both years. The first year I unwittingly competed against myself by entering two very good guacamoles (one with bacon and one without) and this year we showed up so late that the voting was pretty much over. This was especially unfortunate since there was only one other guacamole this year. Nonetheless, I think this is an excellent recipe. I learned to make guacamole from my mom, and then last year right before the competition, I saw a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, which was fairly similar (I mean, really, all guacamole recipes are pretty derivative), but gave me the tip of not mashing all the avocado. This guacamole has a bit of a kick, but not it’s not terribly pungent and won’t overwhelm your palate – trust me, I wouldn’t be able to handle truly spicy guacamole. I give it a 9 for Deliciousness and a 2 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 4.5. Maybe the third time’s a charm.
Almost Award Winning Guacamole (click HERE for printable version)
3 medium ripe avocados
¼ cup minced red onion
1 roma tomato, seeded and cut into small chunks
2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed through the garlic press
1 small jalapeno chile, minced
1/3 cup minced cilantro leaves
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
generous ½ teaspoon ground cumin
scant ¼ cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice
Halve 2 avocados, remove pits and scoop flesh into medium bowl. Add the garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne, most of the cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and smash it all together chunky with a fork or kitchen utensil of your choice (pastry blenders or potato mashers both work). Cut the remaining avocado into small chunks; then add that to the bowl, as well as the onion, tomato, and the rest of the cilantro and mix with a fork. It should be well-combined and smooth, but still have some good chunks of avocado. Season with salt to taste and the rest of the lime juice.