Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cinco De Mayo!!

We don't really celebrate, but I do make a festive dinner. tonight was chicken enchiladas, spanish rice & guacamole. (margarita's for me!)
I really would be ashamed to give you my chicken enchilada recipe because the mole sauce does come from a can. Now I do know how to make red mole, and I have made it from scratch before, but this year Cinco De Mayo also fell on National Scrapbook Day, and I just had to sit down and do something on NSD. (there was also laundry that needed to be done as well) So making homemade red mole sauce yesterday was just not in the cards. I used canned (oh so ashamed!!!)
I do quite frequently make a green sauce with roasted tomatillios, jalapenos, onions, garlic etc. that is not very difficult or time consuming. But my kids don't like the green sauce, (really I think anything that is green they turn their noses up at!)

anyway, so today you don't get my recipe for chicken enchiladas. I will provide my recipe for guacamole which i do make quite frequently (whenever I can find nice avacados and tomatoes).
This guacamole was inspired by my Grandma Alice. She was born & raised in Puerto Rico & is an EXCELLENT cook! When I was a kid she would make fried plantains, oh so yummy!
anyway, back to the guac..
there is one special tool that you will need:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A mortar & pestle. My grandma has one that she used quite frequently, I'd love to have it if she ever decided that she didn't want it anymore.
anyway, this one I found at my local walmart of all places. It's a wooden one, which i like better than the marble ones. I'm just a traditionalist i guess. My grandma's is a wooden one, and it always worked great. This one was about $6 so there is no big expense here.

and here are the ingredients:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
avacados, slightly soft to the touch. don't get super mushy ones.
Nice tomatoes, I got the romas because they looked better than the others & were on sale.
jalapeno, this one is HUGE, I just used half of it for the guac, saved the other 1/2 for my rice
Onion, just one i already had at home
garlic, i usually do 1 clove per avacado, but the cloves i this bunch were massive so i only used 2
juice of a lime, this one turned out to be not very juicy so i used 1/2 of another one as well. this is important because the acid in the lime keeps the avacado from turning the yucky brown color.
and of course fresh cilantro. make sure you wash it good and let it dry before using.

so the first step is to prep everything. You wanna cut the avacado last, just before you mix everything.
Now this may be the odd part to some of you....
Take your garlic and jalapeno and just cut them into pieces. (when cutting the jalapeno I wear a plastic glove to keep the oils from getting on my skin. something about chopping chili's just makes one want to rub one's eyes, not a good thing if you have the oils from the chili on your fingers. and there is no washing it off believe me!) & I am sure I don't need to explain about cutting out the seeds if you want milder flavor. pretty much everyone knows that trick right?

anyway throw the chili and garlic pieces into the mortar, give a good sprinkle of salt and using the pestle, work the ingredients into a paste like consistancy.
Next I chop the tomatoes, seed them first. and then chop up the onion. Lastly I cut open and scoop out the avacado. add the lime juice and mash lightly together. next comes the garlic/jalapeno mixture, if you like at this point I usually add some dried cumin. I think it just gives it that guacamole taste. If you don't like it you don't have to add it. I always taste at this point for seasoning and heat. then fold in the tomatoes and onion. I take a handful of the cilantro and give it a good run through with the mezzaluna, if some stalks sneak in no biggie. they have lots of flavor in them too. fold in the cilantro and you are done!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now a super easy guac, when you don't want to do any chopping or anything.
just get some nice avacados, mash them up a bit with some lime juice, add a little garlic salt (ground cumin if desired) and get a package of ready made pico de gallo from your grocery store (it has all the same ingredients, onion, tomato, cilantro and jalapeno) mix it all up together and you are done!

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!

1 comment: