It’s interesting…neither Jennifer nor I have posted anything on our poor blog in so long it seems odd (to me) for my first post to be on guacamole and to contain only one picture. It’s not on guacamole exclusively, it’s just that last night’s guacamole was so delicious it finally gave me the oomph necessary to write something. This is pretty important because Jennifer and I are fairly reliant on one another to stay motivated to write, so if I post, she’ll post (historically speaking). We’ve gone through a major life change between our two families and the reality is, we’ve just been too busy to make THK a priority. I’m feeling hopeful we will find some way to get back into a rhythm of posting.
Okay. First off, this is not my guacamole recipe. I love guacamole and up to this point, I just appreciated the avocado for all it’s creamy, fatty, green deliciousness. I’d toss in a little salt and pepper along with a little lime juice and call it done. Last night however, I decided I wanted to make chicken with avocado and spinach for JW and me. Never made a dish like that, but there’s a first time for anything. I also wanted to use shallots in the guac because frankly, I’m a little tired of onions, in anything except the ridiculously processed, but really addicting (for me) Lipton Onion Soup Mix Onion Dip. I love that stuff. I know it’s an issue and not healthy, but I can’t change the fact that I like it.
I found Michael Ruhlman’s How To Make Guacamole. Oh. My. Goodness. So. Incredibly. Delicious. It’s not like I expected it to be not amazing, it is, after all, Michael Ruhlman, but holy mother of somebody is it amazing. You’ll need to look at his pictures, because we ate most of it. The only thing I did a little different is I didn’t mash the avocados. They got a little mashed with all the stirring, but I wanted it real chunky. I left the little remaining with JW so he could make tacos for lunch or something, but seein’ how the man was eating it directly from the bowl with a spoon, somethin’ tells me it might not make it into a taco.
I pan fried the chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne. Squeezed on a little lime juice, too. When the chicken was finished, I wilted the spinach in the same pan, scraping up all the tasty browned bits. Placed heaping spoonfuls of the guacamole over the top of the plated chicken and spinach and sat down. So easy, so fast, so satisfying on every level.
The only dish I actually have a picture of is the apple and raspberry crisp I made for dessert.
After dessert, I gave JW a foot massage that put him to sleep. Now that’s what I call a happy man and a successful meal.
6T Rice starch (or finely ground rice flour)
¼ c. dark brown sugar
¼ granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
¼ salt (but I used salted butter so I just put in a pinch)
5T frozen butter, grated into the bowl (more on that in a sec)
¾c. (give or take) roughly chopped pecan and almond mix
2 ½ c. Fuji apples, but go ahead and use any crisp apple you’d like
1c. Fresh raspberries
Zest and juice from a decent size lemon
Scant 1/4c. sugar
To assemble the crisp topping: Put the all the dry ingredients into a bowl and then grate the frozen butter in using a fine grater. (See note below) Mix this up well, cover it and place it in the fridge until you are done prepping the filling.
For the filling: Spray an 8” square glass dish with a tiny bit of cooking spray or light coat of butter. Put the juice and zest of the lemon into a large bowl and then peel, core and slice the apples. I usually just halve the apple and then cut each half into six pieces. Coat the apples well, add the raspberries and then add the sugar. Again, toss to coat well. Pour the apple mix into prepared dish and distribute evenly.
At this point, you’ve got a couple choices. You can cover it for a little while and make dinner or bake it now. If you want to make it immediately, place it in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the oven up to 400 degrees and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes. You want the nutty topping to brown a little. Let it cool for about ten minutes and then top with whipped or ice cream or both.
***(Note) Don’t use a Microplane style, but something between a coarse box grater and the ultra fine. Alternatively you could use a food processor, but honestly, I think it just makes a big mess for no reason. Plus, we’re off grid and the food processor uses a lot of power I’d rather save for something else. I’ve been grating frozen butter for certain pastry applications for a long time and it comes out great. Really.