Have you figured out by now that I’m a chips-and-dip junkie? Oh yeah! My addiction is well-documented in many of my Finger Food Friday posts … and there’s plenty more where those came from! I spend the better part of most days playing around with refrigerator finds in the hopes of creating yet another hot, cold, creamy or chunky dip to scoop onto whatever salty, crunchy vehicle I have on hand. Today, for instance, I have an unopened bag of Xochitl (pronounced “so cheel”) thin and crispy tortilla chips–my new favorite–and a handful of perfectly ripe Alligator Pears sitting on the kitchen counter calling my name. Those two ingredients can mean only one thing in this house. Guacamole!
If you’re wondering what Alligator Pears are, well, that’s what we New Orleanians call Hass avocados. That nickname fits considering the fruit’s pear shape and distinctively dark green, bumpy skin. Their mild, buttery flavor and smooth texture make them the perfect avocado for guacamole (especially when compared to those over-sized, bright green varieties). What’s more, they’re nutritional powerhouses which is why I introduced them to my kids as one of their first baby foods.
My basic guacamole recipe calls specifically for firm Roma tomatoes (a tad under-ripe) because once “gutted” (pulp and seeds removed) they have the perfect balance of meat-to-skin. I find that guacamole made with whole tomatoes ends up watery. And if I can’t get my hands on firm Romas, I simply leave the tomatoes out (which just so happened to be the case with the batch I photographed for this post).
While it would seem only natural to enjoy guac with an ice cold margarita on the rocks with salt. I’m not, because I can’t make a decent margarita on the rocks to save my life (and I’ve wasted way too much top-shelf tequila trying)! So, I’ll be imbibing what I consider to be a close second–a Salty Dog. It reminds me of a margarita with its heavily salted rim and tart flavor. Yet, it’s much simpler to mix. If you’re not a fan of the salty rim, skip it and you’ll be enjoying what’s known as a Greyhound. If you’re not a fan of vodka or grapefruit juice, then follow my hubby’s lead and twist open an ice-cold Miller Lite.
Until next week …
4 ripe Hass avocados
2 firm Roma tomatoes, pulp and seeds removed, chopped
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Halve and pit avocados. With a tablespoon, scoop out flesh into a mixing bowl; mash to desired consistency. Add tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cilantro, onion and lime juice; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes approximately 3 cups.
Salty Dog Recipe
1 lime wedge
2 ounces vodka
5 ounces pink grapefruit juice
Pour salt onto a small plate. Rub rim of a highball or pint glass with lime wedge; dip glass in salt to coat rim. Discard lime. Fill glass with ice. Pour vodka and grapefruit juice in glass; stir. Makes 1 serving.Genêt