Monday, May 11, 2009

The Guacamole Experiment

I admit, it wasn’t much of an experiment. I mean, it was pretty much basic guacamole, which in my opinion, is the best kind - fresh avocado, with limited additional ingredients, chopped or mashed, and that’s all you really need for a wonderful guacamole. If you’re one of those people who buys pre-made guacamole dip at the grocery store, stop. I’ve yet to try one that’s anywhere near as good as the homemade stuff, and it’s so easy to make – I mean, why?

So anyway, this weekend my husband (I’ll call him Dave) and I were in the mood for guacamole burgers (or, in our case, garden burgers). We felt like something spicy, so I decided to make habañero guacamole. Now, as I’m sure you know, habañeros are pretty high on the Scoville scale. I love hot and spicy food, but nothing so extreme that I can no longer taste the food. I thought if I heated the pepper through and let it char just a little on the outside, it might mellow the heat a bit, so I lightly sprayed a small sauté pan with cooking oil and dropped the whole pepper into the hot pan, turned it a few times, then pulled it from the pan and set it aside to cool.

Just a little pepper juice or pepper oil had collected in the pan, and I didn’t want that distinct habañero flavor to go to waste. So, I thinly sliced some red onion, put that in the pan, and sautéed it until it was soft and just starting to turn brown.

Meanwhile, I combined an avocado with some red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Then I seeded the habañero, finely chopped it, added it to the avocado, and mashed everything together with a fork.

We topped our burgers with the guacamole and caramelized onions, and wow! They were fantastic! I added some cheese to mine too ‘cause I love cheese with everything, but I have to say, this is one time when the cheese really wasn’t needed. I was too busy enjoying my delicious burger to notice what other toppings, if any, Dave added. We had lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard – all the standard stuff on hand. With or without all that, these were damn good burgers. A little on the spicy side, but the avocado balanced the heat well. I have no idea if cooking the habañero made any difference at all, but when I do this again, I‘ll do the exact same thing. It was too good!

Habañero Guacamole  PRINTABLE RECIPE

1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsps chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime wedge (about 1/2 tsp)
1 lightly charred habanero – seeded and finely chopped

Cut the avocado in half, remove and discard the seed, scoop avocado out of the the peel, and discard the peel too. Combine avocado and other ingredients. Mash everything together with a fork. That’s it!

Serve with tortilla chips, burgers, or any Mexican dish.

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