Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everyone's Favorite Pre-Dinner Snack

Who doesn't love avocado?

I recently just came back from a week long ski trip to my favorite ski area - Alta. Lots of snow, lots of sun, wonderful company, and fabulous food! The ultimate apres-ski snack, I think, is a strong margarita and spicy/garlicky guacamole. Well, while I'm on the subject of guacamole, I might as well confess that I think it is also the perfect "healthy"-snack-while-I-make-dinner treat, too. 'Cause I made some tonight, while I was famished and making dinner. Mmm...

I've learned a couple of things over the years that makes my guacamole all mine -- and much loved by those eating it.

To start off - if you need to hold the guac a bit, toss an avocado pit or two in the mixture. Not sure why it works, but it helps to keep the oxidation (browning of the lovely green hue) at bay.

More tricks? Finely mince your garlic -- DO NOT use a garlic press! If you have a molcajete (those lava mortar and pestle bowls), you can pulverize the salt and garlic together to make a paste. It's better, trust me, and there is a more pronounced garlic flavor.

Another secret ingredient? Serrano chilies, finely diced (please don't rub your eyelid like I did after chopping! It kind of burns!). I love the hint of spice, and certainly the added depth of flavor these add. One is PLENTY for two avocadoes (unless you're looking to set your mouth on fire).

My good friend from Mexico, Mercedes, will often add finely diced onion (for sweetness) and never diced tomato. But, I like the finely diced roma tomatoes, minus the seeds and pulp, for color.

Many argue whether to add lime or lemon juice. I love adding lime, but in a pinch will add lemon. I don't find the difference too earth shattering.

And what to serve with my guacamole? Considering corn and I have a rocky relationship, I only buy organic corn chips with a little (lot of?) oomph -- favorites being Blue Corn chips and Multi-grain (by Food Should Taste Good). Even better, a hunk of red bell pepper, or a big spoon!

Next time you're a little hungry -- or a lot -- while making dinner, whip up a batch of my guac, and enjoy!

Heavenly Guacamole

1 serrano chile, finely diced
4 small garlic cloves, finely minced
pinch of salt
2 avocadoes
1 roma tomato, finely diced
1/2 lime, juiced
salt, to taste

Mix together chili, garlic, and salt to form a paste (as best you can). Add avocado, tomato, and lime juice. Mix til only slightly chunky. Season to taste and serve as you wish!

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