As the Patriots and Falcons get ready to clash in Super Bowl XLIX, home cooks are also prepping for what experts say is the second biggest food day of the year.
Dips, chips, beer, sandwiches, chicken wings, nachos and sliders, you name it and chances are you will find it at somebody’s football watching party on Sunday. But what kind of party would it be without a heaping bowl of creamy, spicy and tortilla chip-loving guacamole.
Yes, that tasty green dip has become nearly synonymous with watching sporting events, like the Super Bowl.
“And it is no wonder, people like it because it’s fast, easy and always a big crowd pleaser,” says Pete Ramirez, head chef at O’Sullivans Irish Lounge in Fresno. “I plan to make a big bowl of it.”
And don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your recipe. Even simple things like cottage cheese or mint instead of cilantro can perk up the flavor. Ramirez adds roasted cherry tomatoes, apple-wood smoked bacon and goat cheese to his guacamole recipe.
“I love it because the cherry tomatoes give you that earthy, charred taste while the goat cheese gives you a little bit of a sour taste and the bacon adds just the right amount of smoky and saltiness,” says Ramirez, who will soon be launching his own food truck, Meltdown Bistro.
He also recommends mixing up your chip selection by adding pita chips, or blue corn tortilla chips. And don’t think guacamole is just for chips, Ramirez uses it on a lulu burger, turkey burger and his personal favorite, pork belly tacos.
As for the texture of the guacamole, that is entirely up to you. Some like it creamy; others prefer it chunky. Television star Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney, who are partnering with Avocados from Mexico, shared their favorite recipes. He likes a more traditional spicy guacamole while she prefers a chunkier dip with the addition of feta cheese for another layer of flavor.
Also, to make good guacamole you need to know how to pick a ripe avocado. The California Avocado Commission says that the best way to tell if the fruit is ripe is to gently squeeze it in the palm of your hand. Ripe fruit will be firm yet yield to gentle pressure.
If your fruit is a little under ripe, you can speed up the process by placing the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature 65-75° until ready to eat, about two to five days. Place an apple or banana in the bag to accelerate the process. These fruits give off natural ethylene gas that helps ripen your avocados organically, according to the avocado commission.
Feta cheese guacamole
2 avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
lime juice and salt to taste
Very gently, combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl for a chunky guacamole.
5 ripe Hass avocados
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 Serrano chile, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, remove the flesh from the skin. Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork or spoon, mash the avocados into a coarse puree, or consistency to your liking. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and taste, then mix a little bit more to combine thoroughly. All ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste. Pair with corn chips.
Bacon, goat cheese and fire roasted grape tomato guacamole
6 ripe avocados
1 pint of grape tomatoes
2 Serrano or jalapeño chiles (deveined, seeded & minced)
1/2 bunch of cilantro; chopped.
2 shallots or half a red onion minced
The juice of 2 limes.
4 extra thick sliced applewood bacon (cooked & julienned into strips)
1, 3.5 ounce container of fresh crumbled goat cheese.
Salt & pepper to taste
Fire roast your grape tomatoes directly over the stove top flame (I use a kitchen torch). Then halve and set them aside. Cook bacon till crispy then julienne into little strips. In a bowl smash your avocados (I like to leave some chunks for texture). Add the shallots, cilantro, chile peppers, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste (remember the bacon will add more saltiness). Then gently fold In the goat cheese crumbles, bacon strips and tomatoes. Garnish with more bacon, tomato and goat cheese.
East meets west, Asian inspired guacamole
1/4 cup finely chopped jicama
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion, plus additional for garnish
1 lime juiced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh lemon grass
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
2 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, divided
1 large clove garlic, minced
Combine all of the ingredients except for the avocados in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add avocado to the bowl and break into smaller chunks with a spoon, combining with the other ingredients. Continue breaking it up and mashing it with a spoon until it is reached your desired consistency. Spoon the guacamole into a service bowl and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds and a pinch of scallions. Top off with additional Sriracha, if you like. Serve with tortilla chips or wontons.
East Meets West, Asian Inspired Guacamole recipe created by Leslie F. of DashofLes.com, 2014 California Avocado All-American Recipe Contest First Prize Winner in the Guacamole, Salsa and Dips category. Recipe and photo provided by the California Avocado Commission.
Baked kale chips
12 large kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut in half lengthwise, center ribs removed and discarded
1 teaspoon TAJIN Clásico Seasoning
Olive oil cooking spray
Guacamole (recipe follows)
3 ripe, fresh avocados, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon TAJIN Clásico Seasoning
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lay the kale leaf halves on a sheet pan and lightly spray with the olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle the leaves evenly with the TAJIN Clásico Seasoning. Bake the kale for 25-30 minutes until crispy.
While the kale chips are baking, prepare the guacamole. Spoon the avocado into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mash the avocado mixture with a fork until smooth with small chunks. Spoon guacamole onto kale chips and enjoy.
Baked Kale Chips with Guacamole, California Avocado Commission
Pineapple chipotle mango guacamole
4 ripe, avocados, seeded, peeled and diced
½ medium sweet onion, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
1 medium ripe mango, seeded, peeled and diced
½ crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
Place diced avocado in a medium bowl and coarsely mash. Add onion to avocado along with chipotle peppers, salt, cilantro and pineapple juice. Gently mix in mango and pineapple. Serve immediately. Serving suggestions: Serve with tortilla chips or try as a topping on grilled fish.
Pineapple Chipotle Mango Guacamole recipe created by Trisha Kruse, 2010 California Avocado Best Guacamole Contest Most Original/Creative Category Winner. Recipe and photo provided by the California Avocado Commission.
California avocado country guacamole with bacon and queso fresco
2 ripe avocados seeded and peeled
3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled into small pieces
2 tablespoons diced tomato, (¼-inch dice)
2 tablespoons diced red onion, (¼ inch dice)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
½ cup queso fresco
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Put avocado into a medium mixing bowl and mash with a fork, spoon or potato masher. Add remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine. Chef’s tip: if guacamole isn’t being served right away, reserve bacon and add just before serving so it remains crisp. Also, place plastic wrap directly on top of guacamole to prevent browning.
California Avocado Country Guacamole with Bacon and Queso Fresco recipe created Chef Jeff Rossman. Recipe provided by the California Avocado Commission.