Go-To Guacamole

Go-To Guacamole 2014To me, guacamole is one of those foods that doesn’t really need a recipe. In fact, I think that perhaps writing down what you put in your guacamole might even be like putting this fantastic condiment in some sort of food jail. I believe it’s meant to be an expression of the cook, a playful conversation between the different ingredients that you choose to put in, something that can be changed on a whim. It really depends on the flavors of the individual ingredients too. Is your avocado more or less ripe? Is your onion sweeter or spicier? How strong is your garlic? Plus I think it might also be that avocadoes are so incredibly delicious, you have to try really hard to mess it up. At least in my opinion. So go for it! You might even surprise yourself.

That being said, a few years ago I was at a friend’s house and she had become somewhat of a guacamole aficionado. She shared a recipe, or rather more of a technique, that had come from her brother-in-law and ever since that day, this has been my go-to guac. I might do something different when the mood strikes – a little more lime, some cumin or coriander, orange or lemon as the citrus component, extra garlic or other combinations that stray even farther from the base – but when I just want a straight-up, no-nonsense guacamole, this one never fails. Thanks, Lauren and Raf!

Go-To Guacamole

1 large avocado or 2 small avocadoes

3/4 Tbsp. lime juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion

1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno

1 Tbsp. minced cilantro

6-8 little cherry tomatoes, diced

1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste

Directions

1) Start by cutting the avocado in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop each half out in one piece and place pit-side down on a cutting board. Cut each half in half again, as if you were cutting at the equator. Then slice lengthwise into very thin slices, 1/4 in. or less. Finally cut the slices horizontally. The goal is to have very small little chunks that hold their shape while also getting a little creamy when mixed with the other ingredients. Put the avocado dice in a medium bowl.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very gently. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice or salt, a little more jalapeno, whatever makes it taste right to YOU.

3) Dollop on everything, use as a dip for veggies, eat next to eggs at breakfast, lick the spoon!

 

 

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Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream

I love pork for its incredible versatility. Depending on the spices you use, you can travel the world with this meat – and that makes me happy. Tonight I wanted to make an avocado-citrus cream I’ve been thinking about, so I went south for the flavor profile. I served it on top of butternut squash noodles but it was also great on its own. Depending on your chili powder, this can be quite spicy or not at all – so feel free to add more spice if you need to kick it up. Either way, the cooling avocado cream will round everything out perfectly.

Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream 2013

Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew

3 lbs. of pork loin, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 T. ground cumin

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. salt, divided

1 T. + 1 tsp. coconut oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

28 oz. diced tomatoes

2 c. water

Directions

1. In a large bowl, massage cumin, garlic, and 1 tsp. of salt into the cubed pork loin.

2. Melt 1 T. coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pork without crowding the pot and brown well. This may take several batches. Set aside.

3. Melt 1 tsp. coconut oil in the pot and add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and 1 tsp. salt, stirring and scraping up any brown bits until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, then add the chili powders and coriander. Return the pork to the pot with its juices and pour in the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium to keep a lively bubble.

4. Leave the lid off and allow the mixture to bubble until most of the liquid is gone for a thick stew. This will take about an hour. Check the tenderness of the pork and when ready, serve with a generous dollop of Avocado-Citrus Cream (recipe follows).

Serves 4-6

Avocado-Citrus Cream

1 avocado

1/2 c. cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1/2 an orange

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 t. salt

2 T. water

Directions

1) Place everything in a blender and blend until very smooth and silky. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could even mash it with a fork. A little chunkier but still tasty!