I was thinking of some foods to make with avocadoes including interesting salads, entrees, etc. Also looking for a really good recipe for guacamole. Any ideas?
The best guacamole I have had included the following:
(a recipe from a little place in SF that is no longer around)
2 Haas avocados
1/4 cup finely diced tomatoes
1/4 cup minced red onion
ground pepper to taste
1 t cumin
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
1 T. good quaility balsamic vinegar
minced fresh cilantro to taste
I prefer a little chunky so I mash up some of the avocados and leave some larger pieces.
One of my favorites sauces to accompany crab cakes is a combination of chipotle in adobo sauce, lemon juice, avocado and yogurt/sour cream
-2 ripe avocados (I find that Whole Foods generally has the best ones and the least expensive too)
-finely minced red onion (I've never measured the quantity - just what seems right)
-juice from one lime
-plenty of salt
I'd add tomato AND lemon juice... that's the key. I've found lemon to be much more interesting in avocado than lime, but use both. Salt to taste, of course.
Definitely agree that leaving some larger chunks is a good idea.
ALSO... I'd do a mixture of BOTH the larger "slick green" avocado AND the krinkley-skin Haas avocado. The first has a bit of an edgey, bitter taste, and the chunks are firmer, Haas is sweeter and fatter. Nice combo.
Another key, I think this dish gets better if allowed to set for 20 - 30 mins. "Fresh" guacamole is great, but if it marinates for just a bit it improves.
Interesting variations: finely chopped and smashed jalapeno pieces (throw out the seeds and ribs), a slight touch of garlic powder or garlic salt (not diced clove garlic)
re: Chicago Mike
I agree with you about using both lime and lemon juices, but be sure not to overpower the hearty avocado flavors with these acidic juices.
Also, I like my guac to be just green with all of the flavors not visible, so instead of using chopped tomatoes, use chili sauce which gives the tomato flavors as well as the spices used.
Lots of salt, lots of pepper, and LOTS of mexican all-spice. That's all you need for a guac that you're friends will rave about. Enjoy!
The one with the cumin sounds good, though I think adding balsamic vinegar (especially if it's REAL balsamic vinegar) is wasteful; I find the fresh flavors of lime or lemon provide the needed acidic balance and add a welcome flavor. I'll have to try it, though; it sure would be different.
I'd suggest starting with the basic then adding whatever flavors you like:
2 avocados (Hass variety)
Cayenne pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
Cilantro leaves if you have them
You can always add a little minced garlic or onion. I simply mash the ingredients with a fork to desired consistency.
The actual making of guacamole is easy. The hard part is finding the perfectly ripe avocado, or having the patience to let it ripen at home. (A day or two in a plain brown bag with a banana or apple usually does the job). The perfect avocado gives ever so slightly to pressure (not a lot!) and, when cut in half, offers a flesh soft as butter but without discoloration.
So much of cooking is all about the ingredients!
I prefer guacamole in its simplist renditions: ripened avacados, chopped serrano chiles, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, and diced vine ripened tomato and salt. If these ingredients (particularly the Haas avacados and the tomato) are at their best there is no need for anything else. Thus, it's a seasonal dish, best served toward summer's end thru early fall. I've had a good variation made with tomatillos.