So, here I am sitting on a hotel bed in the middle of nowhere, north-central Washington state, with my laptop out, posting about food. Isn't technology great? I've been home visiting family in Washington state for the last week or so and am currently out on a rock-hounding trip. Being a geologist, I love driving around checking out the rocks in new places... and, of course, bringing some home with me! There aren't a lot of rocks to be had in Florida, so I've been going through a rock-hounding withdrawal.
Tonight we're in Okanogan. Today was a lovely drive, punctuated by a few stops to do some antiquing, eating, and rock hounding. At one stop, I came across a herd of big horn sheep. There were about twelve of the buggers; I've never seen so many in real life before! I picked up some nice rocks too, so all is right in the world.
Unfortunately, the food scene today was only so-so. We had a nice lunch in Cle Elum, but we made the mistake of not going to dinner early enough here in Okanogan. Apparently, the world shuts up early here. Even driving to Omak didn't produce many more options... so, here I sit fondly reminiscing about this past Saturday night's meal.
My brother and his family came to dinner at my mom's, and I made some guacamole. This recipe is more or less pilfered from an authentic Mexican (versus Tex-Mex) restaurant down in Florida my husband and I have been going to. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, I recommend trying it even if you've never really cared for guacamole before. That was me, by the way, up until a month ago.
Here's the cast... a whole bunch of super fresh, tasty ingredients.
Be sure to choose some nice, large Haas avocados for this recipe. They're ripe when they are soft and the skin has turned evenly dark. Run your knife around the outside and twist to pull apart. The giant seed in the middle is nearly impossible to pull out unless you know the trick. Tap your knife into the seed until it is gently stuck and twist; the seed will twist out perfectly!
Just use a spoon to scoop between the skin and the flesh. Look how nice and green and creamy this avocado is! You don't need to cut the avocado, when it gets into the bowl, you can simply use a fork to mash the ingredients together.
Make sure to add the lime juice right away. Avocados oxidize really, really fast and look super unappealing when they're all brown and nasty. The lime juice not only adds great flavor but keeps things nice and green.
Mince the garlic, sprinkle the salt onto the garlic, and then use the edge of your knife to smear the salt and garlic together, forming a paste. Making a paste of the garlic allows the flavor to more evenly permeate the guacamole. Add the remaining ingredients and mash and stir it all together. While you can store this, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days, I like it best right away, at room temperature; I believe this provides the best texture and flavor.
Yield: approximately 3 cups
2 large, ripe Haas avocados
1 large clove garlic
1/4 tsp (or to taste) salt
1/3 cup seeded, diced tomato
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, and scoop the flesh from the skin into a medium bowl. Juice the lime and pour over the avocado. Mince the garlic and then add the salt to the minced garlic while it is still on the cutting board. Using the edge of your knife, smear the garlic and salt together to form a paste. Add the garlic paste and remaining ingredients to the bowl with the avocados and lime and mash and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Serve immediately, at room temperature. Guacamole will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days, but tastes best if used immediately.