Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who doesn't love guacamole?

I am a huge science nerd. I love finding out how things work, and how they work together. That is what makes recipes so interesting! You get to see how all these random ingredients can be thrown together in a bowl and create deliciousness. One of my husband’s favorite foods is avocado, and he likes to try and put it on EVERYTHING with mostly positive results.

All photos were taken by me in my
kitchen without assistance since
I can't seem to find my tripod.
Since we live in southeastern Wisconsin, we don’t get avocados year-round (or at least not on sale!), so we rely on California to send us their Hass avocados during summer. Wisconsin just doesn’t have an avocado-friendly climate. The trees don’t tolerate the cold well, and we do have the “frozen tundra” here.

Random fact: although avocados are green and they aren’t what I would consider a sweet food, they are actually the berries of an avocado tree.

OK, so back to science here. One of my kitchen crushes who also loves food science is Alton Brown who, if you’ve seen his show Good Eats or read his books with the same name, seems to know all things historical, scientific and pop-cultural about food. It’s awesome.

He has a great, simple recipe for guacamole and I have a party to go to tonight, so I made a variation of his recipe for guacamole which you can find here

His recipe calls for:
  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
I used:
  • 2 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil
I’m not the biggest fan of cilantro so I left that out. Also, I have neither cumin nor cayenne pepper in the house, so you make do.Since dicing tomatoes and onions are pretty easy to do, I am skipping that in the pictorial part of this post and just show you a picture of all the ingredients prepped except for the avocado. That’s the tricky part.

So, how do prepare the avocado? First, cut the avocado lengthwise working around the rather large seed/pit. Then, in order to get the pit out, you really chop into it hard and then twist the knife so that it spins the pit out. The pit should be stuck to your knife. You can just toss that in the garbage unless someone knows of a way to reuse it. If you do, please post it in the comments!
Be careful when you take the pit from the knife to throw it away.

Once you’ve got the pit out, cut a grid pattern in the avocado. You should do this gently so that you don’t cut through the peel right into your hand. It should look like this:
Note how I did not slice my hand... this time.

Serving suggestion: eat with chips, spread on a burger or
on grilled chicken.
Scoop out the pieces with a spoon by following along the edge of the peel. Once you’ve got that all in the bowl, stir it so it is well coated with the lime juice and oil. This will help keep the avocado from turning brown. You can always pop this on a blender or food processor if you like your guacamole smoother, but I am a fan of the chunky version of this dip. Grab a bag of tortilla chips or make your own if your ambitious and then dig in!

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