musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Monday, February 8, 2010

Avocado Seeds Don't Bounce ~

And how about those Saints?!  What a great game - and AWESOME food!

I took my guacamole to the Suerbowl party, and, as promised, the recipe will follow.   Funny - the seed from the second avocado I used yesterday tried to make a get away.  It slid out of my hand, 'sloooophed' right off my little orange cutting board, onto the tile floor, and left skid marks before coming to an ironic stop against the trash can where it was headed anyway.  I guess it was simply resigned to its fate as trash.  By the way, avocado seeds don't bounce.

Okay.  I know. . . . I could have stuck little toothpicks in it and balanced it over a glass of water to watch it sprout roots.  But I didn't.  I mean, do people still do that?  Actually, y'know, haven't done that in years and years. . . does it really work?  Hmmmm. . . . Maybe next time.

Some 'need-to-know' information about choosing and cutting an avocado before we start the recipe.

To choose an avocado.  The less green the better.  BUT - a ripe avocado sometimes will have a bit of a green hue under it's overal brown-black color.  If it's hard like a baseball - not ready yet.  If it's soft and feels squishy - it's over ripe.  If it has some give (check especially around the stem area - should be a little softer than the rest) - just firm, but not hard, and it's got a nice sheen to its skin, then you've got a good one.  There have been times when I've had the produce manager cut the avocados open to check. . . I would only recommend this if you're going right home to use the fruit as 'the meat' will discolor similar to an apple or banana.

So - on to slicing an avocado - do you have a favorite method? 
      
I like to slice into it with my knife near the stem area and taking it all the way to the seed.  Then I run the knife all the way around and back to the starting point.A firm twist of each half and the avocado should split leaving the seed in one half. 

Half the seeded half lengthwise as before then, and use your thumb to 'pop' the seed out of its pocket. 

Now half the seedless half lengthwise by laying it fruit-side down on your cutting board and slicing down the middle from end to end.
From there, peel the outer skin off with your fingers, starting at the tip of each of the four avocado wedges -




 
 TA-DA!  And look at that - perfect avocado wedges waiting for their next adventure. In this case - guacamole!

I adore eating fresh avocados just simply sliced on my plate.  But, when we want a real treat, I'll make guacamole. 

To make guacamole:  Mash two peeled avocados in a medium glass or metal (avocado will stain plastic) mixing bowl.  I've used a potato masher before, but, actually, a table fork works just as well and is easier to wash.  Once it's mostly mashed, add one can of diced tomatos with chilis (any variety is fine - with cilantro and lime is our favorite - but you can also add those ingredients to your dip yourself if desired.).  Do drain the can first.  In our house, we save this juice- Hubster thinks it's a tasty beverage.  I'll take his word for it.

Add about 2-3 tablespoons of real mayonnaise (a California buddy taught us that secret.  Makes it so creamy.), squeeze in the juice of one half to whole lime, add 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and a tablespoon of Pilsen Latino Seasoning (or more or less as you like it.  Don't worry if you don't have this spice as it's very good without it too!  Sprinkle in taco seasoning instead.).  Feel free to mince up some onion and/or jalepeno as well. 

When I only have plain diced tomatos on the shelf, or am using fresh tomatoes, I will mince up fresh jalepeno to wake up the guacamole.  I imagine you could used pickled ones if that's all you have - but I don't think it would be my first choice. 

Mash and mix the dip with that fork - you don't want it smooth like pudding, but you don't want it chunky, either..  Really get after it - you want all those flavors in every bite. 

This will need to 'marry' for at least 30 minutes.  But first - to keep your tasty dip from turning brown (the lime juice does help, but. . . ) press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole making sure to remove any airpockets; seal bowl with lid or another piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for those 30 minutes.  I've been able to keep guacamole 'alive' for nearly two days using this plastic wrap method.  Just scrape off the bit of discoloration from the top for the best flavor.

When the 30 minutes is up (Did you really wait that long?  Seriously.  Did you?) and you are ready to take it out of the refrigerator - tell NO ONE!!  This is the only way you'll actually get to have some too.  Once everyone else shows up, well. . . . . this guacamole goes F-A-S-T!!

You can dip with any variety of tortilla chips (I prefer the plain baked ones), or flour or corn tortillas - warmed in the microwave, on the stove (just place in a hot pan - with or without a wee-bit of cooking oil of your choice - for a few seconds on each side), or right out of the package.

You can also use this guacamole as a small side at a meal, or dollop some on top of your salad, enchilada, quesadilla - whatever makes you happy.  Guacamole makes me happy!

Have a guacamole kind of day!

Robin

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