tomato

The Best, Homemade Guacamole

guac

Guacamole is one of those things that I will never ever buy from any restaurant or any grocery ever again. I have found how I like it, and I will forever be biased towards this guacamole. It’s not a strange, green paste. It’s chunky, it is very clearly avocado with fresh veggies. I love diced onions and tomatoes. Nothing is macerated or processed. In addition, I add in garlic, which I think makes everything better! However, the most important ingredient in this guacamole is cilantro. Cilantro is the pulse of guacamole, the dip just comes alive with a brightness and a freshness after cilantro is added! I advocate very very generous use of cilantro, but I understand that many people do not like the taste of cilantro. I would encourage any naysayers to at least try a little bit in this dish. It really does complete the flavor profile and add depth to the dip.

I also love to add a little lime and a nice heaping serving of kosher salt! These two flavors are incredible with the fatty, smoothness of the avocado. The acid of the lime is great because there isn’t really another fresh, acidic flavor represented here! The lime also keeps the avocado from turning brown so quickly.

Overall, the idea behind this guac recipe is to create a brighter, chunkier version of typical guacamole. Originally, when I came up with this recipe, I just thought: what do I want with my avocado? I decided not to look at any other guacamole recipes, and just to wing it. What resulted (and was perfected after a few tries),  turns out to be something that is reminiscent of traditional guacamole, but with hopefully fresher flavors than you are used to!

The recipe is so easy to make too! It is great with chips but I will even eat spoonfuls of this by itself, because it is that delicious!

 

guac

 

The Best, Homemade Guacamole

 

Ingredients
(makes about 2-3 large servings)

2 medium-sized, ripe avocados (I used one regular and two miniature avocados)
2 roma tomatoes
1/2 small clove of garlic
1/3 yellow onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 lime
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

guac

 

First, I scoop out the avocado into a bowl. I used miniature avocados because I just found out that they exist and I think they are the cutest things, so I had to include them!

guac

At this point, you shouldn’t even worry about trying to mash them.

guac

Next, dice the tomato, and mince the garlic. Then add both of those into the bowl.

guac

Dice the onion and add that in!

guac

Next, chop up the cilantro, and add it in. Then, squeeze out the juice from the lime on top of everything in the bowl.

guac

You can chop the cilantro more finely if you’re not sure about liking the big chunks, but I think it is just amazing this way! Also, the end result resembles all of the ingredients more closely instead of looking like green mush!

 

Mix everything together really well, but not too much! You want it to stay very chunky!

guac

 

Add in the kosher salt and pepper (I usually do about a teaspoon of salt).

 

Enjoy it with chips or by itself!

guac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Shakshuka: Tunisian Tomato Stew

 

shakshuka

Adapted from the amazing, Smitten Kitchen, this recipe is one of the staples of my diet these days. It is hearty, vegetarian, and features poached eggs in tomato sauce. Growing up, I never once ate spaghetti without a boiled egg in tomato sauce. As my Granddaddy always says, “these boiled eggs are a Sicilian tradition.” Believe me, they’re the best thing that ever happened to pasta. But we’ll save that recipe for later!

shakshuka

As for shakshuka, I’ve read that the dish is traditionally Tunisian, but it’s eaten in many parts of the world now. It’s best with fresh pita bread. This recipe can be easily frozen and saved for later, which makes it great to have in the wintertime. I like my food pretty spicy, so if you don’t love some heat on your palate, just decrease the jalapeño count!

shakshuka

Shakshuka

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

4 Servings (though I recommend doubling up and freezing as much as you can!)

1/4 cup olive oil
5 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika (this is a great place to break out the nice Hungarian variety)
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained (I recommend San Marzano)
Kosher salt, to taste
4-6 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving

shakshuka

Heat oil in a large skillet or saucier (make sure you have a lid for this pan!) over medium-high heat. Add jalapeños and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 7 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk.

Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Enjoy!