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Guacamole Two Ways: Bacon and Tomato + Toasted Pepita

What would you say if you had to name your favorite dip?  Your favorite spread?  On most days, my answer to both of those questions is the same.  There's just something about avocados that I find irresistible.  You can moosh 'em up until they're chunky.  You can take it even further and make them creamy and smooth.  Slice them to add beautiful green layers to a sandwich or salad.  Chunk and sprinkle them over tacos or nachos.  Puree them and turn them into dessert.  Or, for one of the best dips and/or spreads of all time, smash 'em up with some lime juice, salt, chiles, garlic, onion, tomato, and cilantro to make a simple guacamole.

That last sentence is true.  I go fairly straight-forward with everyday guac, but it's always fun to shake things up a little and try some fun variations.  Rick (Mr. Bayless if you're nasty) has a few pages of variations in the front of his latest book.  I decided it was high time to knock some of them out.  I wound up with a new favorite (I didn't doubt it by the ingredients) and one that was just sort of meeeeh (good for themes or special occasions, perhaps).

Can you guess which was which?
My new favorite that I unapologetically ate the whole bowl of by myself (relax, I only made a half batch) was the Bacon and Tomato Guac.  BOMB!  Seriously.  Thick, smoky bacon combined with the smoky heat of chipotles accented by tomato and enrobed in glorious avocado.  Per. Fec. Tion.

Bacon and Tomato Guacamole

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 20 minutes +
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: appetizer condiment side sauce avocado bacon tomatoes Mexican

Ingredients (~3 cups)
  • 5 strips thick bacon, cut into julienne
  • 3 medium-large (~1¼ lbs.) ripe California avocados
  • ½ medium onion, ¼" dice
  • 3 chipotles en adobo stemmed & finely chopped
  • 1 medium-large ripe tomato, cored and ¼" dice
  • ¼ c. loosely packed fresh cilantro + more for garnish
  • salt
  • 1-2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
Instructions
Cook bacon until just crisp, ~10 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
Peel the avocados and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and place into a large bowl. Mash using a potato masher (or large fork or spoon) until you have a coarse puree.

Place onion in a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water and transfer to the bowl, along with the chipotles, tomato, cilantro, and most of the bacon. Gently stir to combine everything.
Taste and season with salt. Add lime juice to taste.

Serve immediately, garnished with remaining bacon and some cilantro or cover with plastic wrap (directly on surface of guac), until ready to serve.
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My not-so-favorite was the toasted pepita guac.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad.  It was just not my favorite.  The ground pepitas (pepita butter, if you will) lend this crazy, unexpected, extremely pungent flavor that borders on overwhelming the delicate avocado.  So again, good...just not my favorite.  I'll probably make it again in the Autumn, when I'm feeling the whole pumpkin thing.  Don't let me dissuade you from trying, though!  Never know, it could be your new favorite.

Toasted Pepita Guacamole

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Keywords: appetizer condiment side sauce avocado pepitas Mexican

Ingredients (~3 cups)
  • 3 medium-large (~1¼ lbs.) ripe California avocados
  • ½ small red onion, ¼" dice
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, stemmed, & finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. loosely packed chopped cilantro + more to garnish
  • 2-3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ c. pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted and salted + more to garnish
  • salt
Instructions
Pit and peel the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a large bowl and mash up. Place onion in a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water and then add to avocado along with serrano, cilantro, and lime juice.

Place pumpkin seeds into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Scrape down sides of bowl and run processor again until you have a chunky paste. Add paste to avocado mixture.

Stir everything together and then season to taste with salt. Serve immediately garnished with some extra pepitas and cilantro. Alternately refrigerate (w/ plastic directly on surface of guac) until ready to serve. Best eaten within a couple of hours.

slightly adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
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How do you like your guacamole?  And if you don't like guac (I'm sure there's somebody out there...), what is your favorite dip or spread?




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