Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. ~ CK Chesterton

Howdy Yall! It's time to lick your lips and drool as we discuss yummy vittles and Texas testaments to taste!

I hope you enjoy your time with us. Please be sure to drop by and leave a message or a hello. We want to know how to better serve you!

~Blue Zebra


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rustic Guacamole - A Purist Approach For a Special Treat


When we were kids, we got three special things for our birthday. Every year it was the same and we looked forward to it. In the early years, with five kids in the house and parents who both worked, we actually had chores. As the youngest, I managed to skate by a lot of them but still, inevitably, was caught and pressed into what I thought of as slave labor. So it was that our birthday treats held real meaning!

We were kings and queens for a day! No toil befell us. Not a finger did we lift nor tire with burdensome buckets and cloths. We had zero, zip, nada, N-O-spells-No - chores! No cleaning, no don’t-forget-to’s, no take so-n-so here or there! We had the day to loaf and tarry and do as we pleased and we got to watch the other kids in the house do what we didn’t have to do that day. It was glorious! Really, I highly recommend it! Take the day off! I will write you a note.

We got to choose our birthday dinner and choice of cake or dessert as another treat. We rarely had desserts so getting to have a homemade pie or cake or shortcake was incredible and Mom or WaWa (my dad’s mom who lived with us) sometimes lost their heads as with the case of my older brother and made a birthday dessert for him alone in addition to the one for the family. Long after the family coconut cream pie was gone, he ate his with relish and glee. He did not share. He in fact ate it bite by bite in front of us. The bastard! ;)

But the main treat on our special day was a treat so great that to this day, I still buy for myself and consume bite by bite, slowly savoring each delicious spoonful, melting in my mouth. We got to have our very own ½ of an avocado. Gasp! I hear you gasping! Yes, we got to have our very own HALF of an avocado!

The avocado. Precious. And limited during the ‘60’s and 70’s and so very expensive in Houston, Texas. Such a wicked indulgence. We all wanted that creamy green goodness. It was laced with true decadence. Even our dachshund, Heidi, was green with envy on our special day for she too was allowed to have avocado on her birthday; she too had learned to love the precious green orb.

I do not know from where our fixation with avocados stemmed. I suspect that Mom and Dad, living in Laguna Beach, California after they were first married may have something to do with it. Dad fought in WWII and also served during the Korean War as a gunnery instructor at Camp Pendleton. Avocados and olives, abalone and seafood were abundant in California and cheap. I think Mom fell in love with the avocado then and passed it down to her children, the sins of the mother coming full circle.

Looking back, I still remember those days with fondness. Nothing makes you want something more than being told you only have a limited opportunity for consuming it. I still carry on the tradition of King and Queen for the day: no chores, special birthday dinner of choice that includes dessert and of course a half of an avocado for your very own. Of course now days, avocados are relatively cheap and plentiful (at least in the land of TexMex) but that does not dim it’s allure one bit.

Avocados are such a good source of vitamins and so called “good fats”, the mono-unsaturated fats. I convince myself that it’s a good fat delivery system if you’re going to eat fat. I use them in many dishes, and salads are heavenly when spiked with a bit of their unctious richness. One of my favorite dishes of all times is guacamole and make no mistake. I make a great one! *blush*

I am purist in my approach. No tomatoes. Only a hint of fresh jalapeno and onion. A touch of tart lime to add mystique. A smidge of Worcestershire to add a smoky secret element of depth. A tad of olive oil to gild the lily. A hit of kosher salt and a pinch of fresh ground pepper. It’s a salute to the Carmen Miranda of the fruit world! The queen of sexy, sultry Hispanic culture saluted by supporting cast members but never upstaged! So here without further ado…I give you, Guacamole.

Anything tasting this good and Tex-Mexy should come with its own band of Mariachis playing Guantanamera in the background!

Guacamole – Rustic Style
By Blue Zebra

Serves 4-6, depending on portion size!

Ingredients:

2 Avocados, ripe but firm
3 Tbsp Onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno, Fresh, chopped with seeds
1 Clove Garlic, pressed or minced
½ Lime, fresh
2 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste
Fresh Cilantro, to taste (optional)
12 Grape Tomatoes, whole (optional)

Method:

Halve avocados lengthwise and remove the seed. Reserve seed. Using a large, thin-edged spoon, scoop pulp out of peel and place in non-reactive bowl.

Add chopped onion, chopped jalapeno, minced garlic, Worcestershire, and olive oil and gently mix to combine. You do not want to break the avocadoes up too much. You still want to retain big chunks of the fruit.

Squeeze the juice of ½ of a lime over the guacamole and fold to combine.

Season with kosher salt and pepper and add cilantro if desired.

Again, fold to combine and taste.

Adjust seasoning and lime juice as necessary.

Serve with a bowl of grape tomatoes on the side and crunchy tortilla chips.

If you are not serving immediately, you may add the seeds back to the guac and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of it, smoothing out as many air bubbles as possible. This helps keep the avocado from going black with oxidation. Serve as soon as possible but in a pinch, this method will hold it with only minor darkening for about 12 hours.

Blue Zebra NOTE:
I like to serve guacamole as a feature attraction of Tex-Mex Tapas. I hear you asking! What are Tex-Mex Tapas?? I serve accompanying bowls of Tex-Mex treats, just little nibbles like nachos, bowls of grape tomatoes with lime and sea salt, bowls of fresh jalapenos, red and green salsas, sour cream, marinated shrimp, bowls of refried beans, succulent bites of spicy albondigas (meatballs), spicy cayenne toasted pecans, marinated onions, marinated carrots, watermelon fire and ice salad cruda, hot bowls of crispy tortilla chips. It’s a great summer feast. Great with tangy margharitas or festive sangria served over mountains of ice. Equally decadent with a full bodied Zinfandel or one of the spicy Chilean cabs. Ole’!

10 comments:

Kristen said...

You are such an excellent writer!

I, too, am the youngest of 5 children and can totally relate to the "slave labor" :)

What a treat your birthday was. Interesting that an avocado was special to even your dog. I can totally see why!

Such special memories.

browndog said...

I, on the other hand, am the youngest of six and there was no chore for me even if I asked for one! (ducks the flying egg and tomato..) Not because they were all used up--Louise was a very disinterested housekeeper; my sister (sixteen years my senior) seemed to find her niche in mother-henning me and the younger brothers, and did alone the little bit of maintainence seen as basic at our house.
Avocado may be my favorite food on the planet. To my dogs it's just another option in a world where carrion, excrement and lasagna grace the same menu...
Are we allowed to put sour cream in guacamole, or is that like catsup on sirloin? And here in the Northeast they go from an un-buyable nearly two dollars down to a dollar apiece, where you scoop up five at a time.
Do you really say "wuacamole"?

Blue Zebra said...

Hi Kristen the slave labor gulag was the bain of my existence growing up! ;) (Have I told you lately I adore your blog?!!) People you must visit quickly because it will make you smile! http://dineanddish.squarespace.com/dine-and-dish-blog/

Hope you will return soon!

{{browndog}} I heart your sissy! My oldest is about 12-1/2 years older than me and was also a surrogate momma and cooking instructor most of my life. What a neat memory for you to have of her!

I agree on the favorite food on the planet being avocado...I almost wrote a love song for it! ;)
Hysterical about the puppies! You may put sour cream "in" your guacamole, just not in my house. :D That's why I serve it "on the side" :D ;).

And yet it's really Wuacamole' or Wah-camole' with a silent G from the Mexican pronunciation..."Gua" = "wah", but gosh I've heard it said so many ways! You will hate me of course, our large ones are about $1.79. I adore those. So buttery. But the little Hass are sometimes 4 for a dollar! Can't beat that with a stick!

Blue Zebra said...

Here is KYHeirloomer. Still having login problems:
________________
Nice photo. You seem to be getting better at it.

One trick for making chunky avocado: Instead of using a spoon, score the half-fruit lenghwise, going down to, but not through, the skin. Then score it crossways. What you'll have is a "cup" of avocado cubes of whatever size you want.

Turn the cup upside down over a bowl and, using thumbs in the middle, index & middle fingers on the edges, turn the skin inside out. The cubes will fall into the bowl; although sometimes they will need a little assist.

You can, for other recipes, use the same technique for making slices.

Sad to admit, but I'm not real big on guacamole. Friend Wife, on the other hand, adores it. So we have it more often that I care for. But what can you do.

______
Hi KHY, thanks for the technique tip. I do use both the cube and slice techniques for other avocado presentations. It's just for this to turn out chunky and rustic at the end, you must really start with the pieces being as large as possible, hence the spoon. I do not like guacamole smooth and homogenous, which happens when you have to combine ingredients starting from cubes...it looks too much like dog vomit. *blush*

Also, thanks for the compliment on the photos...have never been a photographer so it's an adventure. Thanks for bearing with them!

lynn said...

Your guacamole sounds excellent. Avacado, even though plentiful, is still a treat food for me, too. And yes, on your birthday, you should be queen for a day!

Dianne said...

Blue Zebra

I too am the youngest of 5, and laughed my self sick becaue it's so so true about slave labor and older siblings :)

I love your recipe for guacomole I have one similar but yours looks better, most likely will start using yours.

I use avacodo another way too. I use it on sandwiches and spread it like mayonaise, for instance: Ham, Turkey & Swiss Cheese sandwich and a few slices of avocado, if I am able to spread it like mayo I do or just have the slice on the sandwich. You have no idea! how great that is. I am a tuna fish fanatic and avacado is great even on tuna and chicken salad. Give it a try, it really is great :)

neil said...

Ah, the secret ingredient, Worcestershire sauce, sounds like a nice touch. My daughter called the other day and asked if I would come over and help her make geniune Mexican food and apart from a couple of books I really have no idea what constitutes genuine!

I'll share my similarity in childhood - we had a dachshound too.

Blue Zebra said...

Hi all! Sorry for the delay in answering you!

Lynn- I hope you will give it a try. The taste of the avocado really comes through in this recipe. :D

Dianne - I love your idea of using avocado as a sub for mayo! I'm guilty of having avocado and tomato sandwiches *blush* - yes I don't like the tomato squished in the avocado but I love them separate together. Weird huh? And I put mayo on the sammy! *blush*

Neil - I won't guarantee that my Mexican food will be "authentic" to any region in Mexico but I will place it up against any TexMex you want to try! So hope you will stick around! We had lotsa dachshunds growing up and they all had people names. When mom was mad she would forget our name and start calling out random names including the dogs names until we answered! LOL. All our dogs loved avocados...and scotch. Mom & Dad drank scotch & water back then.

Dianne said...

Blue Zebra,

I think your mother & my mother were identical twins. Hahaha you got me with the names calling at random. My mother did something so similar and I use to think it was so unique. When one of us kids were in trouble she would call your name, middle name, then started adding different names until that person answered and TRUST ME ON THIS ONE the more names she added the more trouble that person was: for instance my name is Dianne Mary, she would say in her roaring voice: Dianne-Mary-Francis- (I usually answered by the time she got to this name and eventually took it for my confirmation name)- Elizabeth-Alice-Joan-etc. etc. hahaha, I had forgotten about that - Thanks for the memory

Blue Zebra said...

dianne weren't mothers funny!?! My mom made us pick our own "switches" on those rare occasions we got a whippin'. Mostly we just got sent to our rooms but I don't remember there was even a lot of that goin' on. Not that we were awesome kids...it's just we were outside playin' with our friends most of the time and didn't see our moms or the inside of the house too often!