Thursday, March 3, 2011

Simple Guacamole with Potato Pancakes

Guacamole is a simple avocado based dip from Mexico. You mash avocado in a mortar and pestle with little salt and lemonjuice along with optional additions like chillies,tomato etc. There are several versions with different ingredients, and this is a simple one which I have been making based on the recipe by chef Rick Bayless. Normally it is served as a dip with tortilla chips,but can also used as a spread  with a pancakes as well.Chef Bayless serves it with a simple potato pancake which makes the dish all the more hearty.



Ingredients:
Ripe Avocado: atleast 1

Garlic: 1 small clove,finely grated.
Salt

To make it more herby:
Cilantro : finely chopped 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice: 1-2 tsp

Additions:
Fresh Green Chilli: Jalapeno or serrano :1finely chopped
Onion: 2-3 tbsp : finely chopped : preferably white,but I used red
Tomato: finely diced: 2-3 tbsp :seeds removed



Preparation:
Make sure your avocado is ripe. To check for ripenness,try gently squeezing the avocado. IT should be firm,but must give in a little under pressure. Rock hard avocado is not ripe and if you have one,wrap it in brownpaper cover/bag and let it sit outside for atleast 1-2 days.It will be ripe enough to be mashed into guacamole. Unripe avaocado must not be used for guacamole .

Cut the avocado into half,running the knife around the pit from stem to end and back again.Twist the two halves in opposite direction to free the pits and pull the halves apart.

With a spoon ,scoop out the flesh in a bowl.Adding little lemon juice (to prevent discolouration of avocado) and salt mash it finely.Add in finely grated garlic and other ingredients and mash well to get guacamole.Adjust the salt if needed.

The raw garlic will be overpowering and hence keep it to the the bare minimum.If using onions,rinse the finely chopped onions,squeeze them to remove the water and then add to the avocado.This is done to remove the excess onion flavour it may lend to the dip.You can do the entire process in a mortar and pestle.

If not using immediately,plastic wrap the dip -with the wrap pressed directly on the surface of the dip- and chill in the fridge where it may stay for a few hours.

As per the source recipe ,I served it with potato pancakes.


Potato Pancakes:
Peel and grate 2-3 medium sized potatos.Squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands.Heat a skillet on medium heat.Lightly spray with oil.Take handfuls of potato mix,squeeze again,shape into pancakes and put on the skillet.Sprinkle with salt and pepper.Press flat with a spatula.When browned,turn over and brown the other side too. Serve with guacamole.


A simple appetizer or breakfast,depending on how you serve this.Else you can also serve the guacamole as a dip for chips/fritters/veggies.





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