Friday, June 27, 2014

FFwD: Guacamole with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

It's strange for me to follow a recipe for guacamole. I'm used to winging it, with the same basic flavors: avocado (duh), cilantro, jalapeno pepper, a smidge of finely sliced red onion, and--the holy grail--diced tomatillos. With slim access to decent avocado, scattered access to cilantro, and no access to my beloved tomatillos, I can't say that I make much guacamole these days. However, the stars aligned and ingredients fell into place for this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe: Guacamole with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers.

Let's take a moment to absorb the full weight of what I'm about to say. Ready?

The Commissary had ripe avocado. Not crispy! Not rock-hard! Not, on the other end of the spectrum, rotten and brown with weird stringy stuff inside it! Just soft, fatty, lovely avocado.

I sliced the first, met no resistance, and pulled the half off the pit to find green flesh. I'll tell you, I was this close to weeping for joy.

I prefer my standard, back-in-the-Texas-days guac. Tomatillos, man. Tomatillos. I didn't love the texture that the bell pepper brought to the table. I like my guacamole to be chunky, but don't want to have to chew it. However, since I can't get tomatillos, and was FINALLY able to secure a decent avocado, I'll say that this is the best guac I've had since I've lived in Italy.
The presence of the guac prompted me to make tacos for dinner. I haven't made tacos in a very long time. Charlie ate one. WOOT! Looks like we'll be having tacos--with or without guac--more often.

This week, I also caught up on (Tilapia) with Capers, (No Cornichons), and Brown Butter. Dorie is much more enamored with the cornichon than I am. I'm just not a pickle gal. Once in a while, with a burger or a deli sandwich, fine. I never eat them at home, though, and didn't feel like buying a jar I wouldn't use up before I have to move again (in a year).

I also didn't have sherry vinegar, and used white wine instead.
I'm pretty sure that I turned this into a piccata sauce. A piccata sauce that involves an entire stick of buter. And mustard. Maybe not a direct match for piccata, but the flavor was close. Whether or not it turned out as it was supposed to, it was delicious. I can't quite wrap my brain around that entire stick of butter for 3 pieces of fish, though. For that reason alone, I probably won't be making this again.


  1. Your guac looks perfect...I'd love to try your tomatillo version, too! And nice job catching up on the skate/talapia dish :)

  2. Woo hoo for successful commissary finds.
    Hey - nothing wrong with picatta sauce. It's one of my favorites :-)

  3. It is kinda of strange to use a recipe for guacamole... I agree. I'm not a chunky guac person so this was a challenge... yes, I would have to agree the red peppers where too chewy.

  4. LOL - I love your tales of shopping at the Commisary. Glad you were able to get a hold of a good avocado. And I loved the fish sauce from last week - glad you got a chance to make it because it is fabulous.

  5. Isn't it wonderful to find something you love, and so perfect... yes, that avocado! I'm so happy you found one that was nice, and then you had tacos! Red Letter Day! I also never make guacamole with a recipe, though I don't know that I used tomatillos - so I'm interested in what kind of consistency - fresh, then blanched, cooked, canned...

    Anyway, this wasn't my all-time favorite guacamole, but to be honest, I wouldn't turn it down if it showed up again - I just needed some Mexican hot sauce.

    Your fish looks great too. I enjoyed it, and really thought the same thing - piccata!

  6. Oh that is exciting news. And what great timing too. I'm lucky to be able to find avocados and cilantro without too much searching, but jalapenos are hit or miss and tomatillos would be impossible. Thus my need to eat Mexican food nearly every day when I am in the States.

  7. Glad you were able to find the perfect avocado. I am not a pickle gal also.

  8. I am happy that the guacamole was easy to gather and make up for you this week! Strangely I quite enjoyed the brown butter sauce (but then again I just swing with some butter - not a whole lot of it - and it was good), but love the idea of tilapia covered with it!

  9. So, finally, you're beginning to make nice with the poor, beleaguered Commissary. The government officials who run it can now sleep peacefully at night. And, your husband will probably get a big fat promotion. Butter, every so often, is just fine. Didn't Julia say that? When I made Dorie's skate (well, actually, Pacific Cod), I just decided the nutritioness of the fish balanced out the butter in the sauce. (I can rationalize anything.)

  10. So nice that you had good avocados in time for this recipe. I really loved this guacamole - it's a nice change from more traditional varieties. And I was surprised at how well the cornichons worked with the fish, but I get not buying them when they aren't something you'd use. (My partner made short work of the jar I bought.)

  11. Thank you for the inspiration to forgo the skate and make this with tilapia. I'm all over that! I'm with you on the tomatillos too. Yum!