Posts tagged ‘avocado’

May 26, 2011

Guacamole-mole-mole

Don’t you just want to bite it?!

Ew. Pretend I didn’t say that.

The Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood makes absolutely the best guacamole that I have ever tried. My friends and I have sat there lingering over each and every scoopful in a desperate attempt to identify that “zing” that the end of every bite.

I am normally a traditionalist when it comes to guac. I don’t like peas or mangoes or whatever other yoohoo ideas you may have getting in on the action and stealing the show away from my avocado. There is nothing quite like opening an avocado at the exact moment that it was meant to be eaten. It is like fulfilling the avocado’s destiny and bring its full potential to fruition. You can’t tell me that tasting an avocado at its creamiest and most flavorful is not one of the best culinary experiences. C’mon, now.

Despite my purist tendencies, this mystery zing has been haunting my culinary (day)dreams for weeks, though, and I thought enchilada night deserved a walk on the wild side.

What’s that Zing? Guacamole

serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 3 perfect avocados
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • generous sprinkle of kosher salt

Method:

  • Mash the avocados in a bowl. Then add the other ingredients and mix well.
  • If you are so inclined, blend the guacamole to a much smoother consistency with the immersion blender. (I did this mainly to disguise how dull my knife is and its inability to properly slice an onion. Nobody wants a giant chunk of raw onion taking over their scoop of creamy guac!)
  • Taste! Does it need more salt? More acid?

Okay, so I’m not the first, nor the last, cook to add garlic to her guacamole. It was entirely new to this kitchen, however, and elevated enchilada night to an entirely different level. These avocados were meant to be the perfect guac and the lime was absolutely ripe for the juicing. Maybe I’m not such a purist after all?

Just don’t go expecting me to add blue cheese to my guac any time soon.

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May 7, 2011

Friday Night BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes, vegetables just won’t cut it. Yeah, I know, I’m the chick who actually craves roasted peppers and spinach smoothies.

On a Friday night when I don’t get home from work until 7:30, though? Pretty sure butternut squash and broccoli can’t fix that hot mess.

I walked in the door ready to chew off my hand. I was tempted to just park myself on the couch with a bag of corn chips and bowl of salsa the size of my face but I decided I’d fight through that crazy hungry moment. Yeah, I wanted something indulgent and greasy (french fries and burger greasy) but I also didn’t want to feel like total crap afterward or, much more importantly, spend any money.

What’s a girl to do with a perfectly ripe avocado, 2 varieties of BBQ sauce, and a few small chicken breasts?

Hello, BBQ chicken quesadilla!

Traditional? No. Tasty? Oh, yes.

One of my favorite Mexican joints in college made a killer BBQ chicken quesadilla. Perfectly toasted flour tortillas and melted cheese, hot and tangy BBQ sauce, and shredded chicken oozing out around the edges. Yellow rice and black beans on the side. I’m pretty sure it did nothing for my waistline to clean my plate but who the heck cares about going up a pants size when you’ve got fresh salsa verde smothering this total bombshell of a meal?

A year after graduation, my friends and I went to a concert near our campus. I’m pretty sure I was more psyched about getting my ‘dilla on than seeing Ingrid Michaelson.

(Side note: My hair was so long!!)

Last night I whipped up my version of greasy restaurant Mexican  – a tad bit healthier, I’d say, but no less delicious! (note: of course there are good Mexican places out there…but ya know what I mean.) I was super psyched that I had the foresight many months ago to divvy up and freeze a large package of chicken breasts in individual single-serving baggies. These little guys defrosted in the mic in no time! No planning ahead! That’s what I’m talking about.

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat flour tortilla
  • 1 small chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces (I used two very tiny ones)
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar because it’s all I had)
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of your fave BBQ sauce (I did half Bone Suckin’ Sauce and half Annie’s Chipotle BBQ sauce)
  • splash chicken stock (or water, but I’ve gotta use up this carton!)
  • teaspoon olive oil
  • almond-sized portion of butttaahhh

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat and add the diced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until beggining to soften.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the BBQ sauce and chicken stock.
  • Once the onions have started to soften, add the chopped chicken and flip periodically until all of the edges are cooked. Add the BBQ sauce mixture and stir until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Continue to the cook the chicken until it is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken and onions to a cutting board and begin to shred with a fork and knife into much smaller pieces.
  • Heat a large skillet (one in which a folded tortilla will fit) over a medium-high flame. While waiting for the skillet to heat, lay out the tortilla and spread the chicken and onions onto one half. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and add a drizzle more of BBQ sauce. Fold in half.
  • Add the butter to the now hot skillet and spread evenly. Carefully transfer the folded, filled tortilla to the skillet and place a second heavy pan on top to press down the tortilla.
  • After about 2 minutes (check so it doesn’t burn), carefully turn over the tortilla and replace the heavy pan on top. Cook until the other side is also nicely toasted.
  • Carefully transfer to the cutting board and slice into thirds. Drizzle a bit more BBQ sauce on top! We’re getting a little wild here, remember?

I ended up not eschewing all veggies and had half of a sliced avocado on the side, as well as a generous portion of baby spinach salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Some spicy salsa on the side!

Don’t let these pictures fool you. I ate this with my fingers while sitting on the couch in my sweatpants and worn out college sweatshirt, BBQ sauce dripping down my arm and avocado shmeared on my fingers. I’ll admit that I used a fork for the salad. Getting up to the get the fork was a bit of a battle, though, and almost didn’t happen….

I went to sleep at 9:45 pm.

My friend called and said his grandmother wants her life back.

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