Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO!
There are two types of guacamole eaters in this country—those who would love guacamole every day, and those who only love guacamole during the Super Bowl. This is the week they can all get along! More good news: The news about avocadoes this year was all about how they’re good for you, rich in healthy monosaturated fats and vitamin E, and they even lower cholesterol (see here).
Before we get on to the list, this is a good time for a couple of tips. We’re big fans of Rick Bayless (as you’ll read more of below). He shared 4 Essential Tips for Guacamole with Bon Appetit Magazine and these are golden rules to follow. There’s a tip in the link that you should consider using anytime raw onion is an ingredient. Place the diced onion in a strainer and rinse under cold water before adding it to your guacamole or any other dish for that matter. Why? Because you can actually rinse off the bitter, raw onion taste (the same reason you cry when you chop them). Doing this will give you a nice clean and fresh taste instead. Perfect for your chip!
Now, what are the best guac recipes? That’s actually a hard question to answer since there are endless varieties. Here’s what I’m thinking, from plain to fancy. Happy Super Bowl!
Rick Bayless’ Fancy Grilled Garlic and Orange Guacamole
Oranges are in season and who doesn’t like garlic? Rick Bayless is a genius with Mexican food. His travels through Mexico (and his great PBS show “Mexico: One Plate at a Time“) studying the cuisine and cooking techniques have made him one of the best Mexican chefs and cooking teachers I know of. This is delicious and special. If you don’t feel like turning on your grill right now, fine. Use a grill pan on your stove, or even just a plain old cast iron skillet. You’ll see Rick use cast iron for this on his show all the time. A great way to add just a little extra flavor to the ingredients you’re using.
Tomatillos add a great bright element to guacamole, and if you want guacamole with a little less fat they’re a brilliant idea. Bright, tart, so good. Careful adding serrano chilies as they can be darn hot. But a little spice from chilies and tartness from the tomatillo is a perfect balance with creamy avacado. This is a great guac!
Are you sick and tired of your teenager spending all your money on Chipotle? Well guess what, they gave out their guacamole recipe and now you can make it in the privacy of your own home—heck, make your teenager make it! It’s that easy. Just make sure he/she shares with you.
Bacon and Tomato Guacamole
You want to be the hero of the game? You can be the hero of the game. I mean the game as televised into your living room. Not the actual football game. For that you need a whole other non-guacamole skill set I can’t help you with. But this recipe from Chow, will help you be the hero of your living room. It’s actually quite simple, and has all the wow-factor to get everyone talking! BLT Guacamole! Without the L, of course. Tomato-wise, I’m a big fan of subbing in cherry tomatoes in recipes during the winter – you just have better luck getting a tomato that tastes like, well, a tomato.
Perfect, Simplest Guacamole
How simple can great guacamole be? Really simple. You cannot argue with the classic. A little onion, lime juice, salt, cilantro… and you’re done. The most important thing, however: Ripe avocadoes. This cannot be done with rock-hard ones, or brown-old ones. This might mean you have to shop 4 or 5 days out. The fastest way to ripen a hard avocado is to put it in a paper bag with a banana, preferably a banana on its way to turning brown, and close the bag. They’ll usually ripen in a day or three then. Don’t put them in the refrigerator, that ruins them. Once you have a ripe avocado, you’re in the home stretch. Then everything’s easy! Don’t be shy with the lime and the salt as those, again, help balance that creamy avocado and THAT is what makes you a mean guac!