Actually, we’re saving the cocktail how-to for Saturday – pace yourself! Guacamole Day (and Mexican Independence) is officially on the 16th, so you have plenty of time to gather ingredients, procure your own bottle of Los Altos highlands agave, and round up some partakers. If anything like ours, it won’t be too hard to entice friends – mostly Texans in New York, in our case – to sip & dip.
Having lived in Central Texas, we both are quite familiar and somewhat enamored with guacamole. Straight up smashed with a hint of lime and cilantro or full blown with chiles, onions and tomatoes, this dish (which dates back to the Aztecs, by the way!) is excellent for showcasing the unique texture of the climacteric fruit. Here, in a version from Absolutely Avocados: 80 Amazing Avocado Recipes for Every Meal of the Day by Gaby Dalkin, we blended 3/4 of the ingredients until smooth, then topped with some chunkier bits, along with the addition of some chopped jalapeño.
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow sweet onion
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped wild mushrooms (I used Oyster gold b/c found them from the RI Mushroom Co. at the Aquidneck Growers market, but can use other oyster mushrooms or shitake, etc.)
- 1 TB fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 TB olive oil
- ⅓ cup toasted almonds, chopped (I over toasted mine – they were very browned, but it was a happy accident as they had a deeper roasted flavor)
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 2 T sherry vinegar
- ½ tsp hot pepper finely chopped
- 1 tsp mild pepper finely chopped
- Toast almonds for 10 mins +/- til nicely browned – stir often.
- Saute onion and garlic for 3 mins. at medium high in 1 TB of the olive oil
- Add mushrooms, and thyme and saute for 5 more mins. until liquids are evaporated.
- Stir constantly.
- Set aside and let cool.
- In a separate bowl combine the almonds, sherry vinegar, the remaining olive oil and the mushroom mixture using a hand blender or food processor to blend.
- Do not over blend – leave some texture!
- Stir in the fresh chopped peppers at the end.
- Garnish with a radish for color with a sprig of thyme (or not).
Dinner Side: Elote Salad
There’s pretty much nothing you can do to improve on the amazingness that is fresh corn. Jacque’s even been known to tear into a cob plucked right from the field. So maybe we were frenzied after 10 minutes lost in a maze, but still. Sweet, sweet sustenance. For our
outdoor intimate gathering, however, we got all proper like and went for kernels in a bowl mixed with the seasonings of a signature Mexican street snack, elote (roasted corn).
The combo of fluffy mayo with salty cotija cheese and smoky paprika simply screams of summer and maybe a dimly (fondly!) remembered Spring Break vacation years ago.
Entree: Tacos (chicken & tofu)
Dessert: Blueberry Watermelon Shortcake with Avocado Secret
Here’s the thing about avocados, besides being rich in potassium and possessing anti-inflammatory properties – hey, we want you to truly enjoy dessert! – their slightly nutty flavor and creamy (healthful) fat content makes for a suitable butter substitute. Even the first European sailors to reach Central America knew to use avocados in place of dairy. Smooth.