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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Holy Guacamole!

When reading Brown Eyed Baker yesterday, her post about reasons to bake in September made me crave guacamole... seriously I think I just have to see the word guacamole to want Mexican food. Tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa could be my favorite snack. I think I could probably live on them. I had already started the prep for last night's dinner (see below) when I read the blog, so too late to take action on my craving. Tonight Todd's parents are taking us out to dinner in return for some plumbing work we helped them with this weekend and he chose Olive Garden as his restaurant of choice. (God help the guy, he loves chain restaurants - its the way he was raised but its hard to get him to go anywhere new.) Anyway, no Mexican satisfaction tonight either - and if I have it for lunch, I'll be falling asleep at my desk by 2 - so I thought I would share my simple guacamole and salsa recipes with you for now. Leave a comment with your recipe if you have one (and everybody always seems to.)

Guacamole
(Serves way more people if you go by what you're supposed to eat rather than what actually happens at my house)

3-4 ripe Haas avocados
Juice of 1 lime (you can use the bottled lime juice if that's all you have - about 1 T.)
Garlic salt seasoning to taste (I always use Lawry's and use about a 1/2 palm full)

Optional:
1/4 red or white onion, finely chopped
1-2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped

Remove the pits from the avocados and scrape the insides into a bowl. Gently mash with a fork, add lime juice, garlic salt, and any optional ingredients and stir/mash together. You don't need to make it smooth - some lumps are good. Serve with tortilla chips and cold beer or margaritas!



Salsa
(Makes about 5 quarts)

2 large cans of Ro-tel original
1 can of diced tomato, garlic and onion
1 large white onion, diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 small cans green chilies (find them in the Mexican food section at the grocery store)
3-5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T of ground cumin
2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper to taste (depending on how hot you want it and how hot the peppers are)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro and cayenne in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmer for at least 1 hour - the longer you cook it, the hotter it gets. After an hour, test the flavor and add cayenne pepper if desired. Just before you remove from heat, add the cilantro. I usually bottle mine in quart sized Mason jars and share them with friends and family. If you plan to keep them for more than about a month, you should use a canning process or freeze.

Tip: I like to blend the tomatoes, 3/4 of the peppers, and 3/4 of the onion in batches in my food processor to make the salsa not as chunky before adding to the stock pot, the remaining peppers and onions I leave finely chopped for some chunkiness.

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