how we're not alike {and the best guacamole, 3 ways}

My dad counsels engaged couples. 

Though never intentionally, John and I, are sometimes on the receiving end of my dad's counsel and nuggets of marriage observations.

“You know you and John are a really uncommon couple,” he said to us one day at lunch. “You guys are a lot alike and have a lot of similar interests. There’s a lot of couples out there who are not like that. Where one is painfully shy or introverted, and the other is an extrovert, always wanting to go to parties or out with other people.”

“Yeah, we have a lot of similar interests and like a lot of the same things, except that John hates guacamole.” I gave John a mad face. He rolled his eyes. My dad laughed. “That doesn’t matter!” 

Oh. Oh. But it does. Did I mention we happened to be out to lunch at our favorite Mexican place dipping into some guacamole at that very moment? 

Whenever John and I go on a date to ahhhmazing Mexican food there’s no point in ordering an appetizer of guacamole because I can, and will polish off the entire thing by myself... and such eating does not put me in a good mood, nor leave me hungry for dinner. So, it’s usually skipped. 

No guacamole date nights.

When my cousin and I were in college, we would go to our favorite Mexican restaurant every Thursday or Friday as a reward for “surviving” college and without a doubt, the guac was what we always looked forward to most. GUAC, was most often the only word exchanged in our text messages when one was waiting for the other to get home. 

Still, as much as I try REALLY HARD not to give John a hard time about NOT liking guacamole, he equally tries just as hard to like it. 

This 3 different kinds of guacamole day, was no exception. I texted him that day and said, "I MADE SUCH AMAZING GUAC, 3 DIFFERENT KINDS!!! I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO TRY THEM." And then, feeling like a royal idiot, I quickly replied with a straight face emoji saying, “Sorry, I was in denial again, I forgot that you hate guac… AGAIN.”

He came home and dipped into all three of them. I couldn’t watch. I felt like I was a grownup trying to force feed their child vegetables. 

“I love the mango one,” he said. “That one is bomb.” 

I did a happy dance. “Probably because it doesn’t really taste like guac huh?” 

“Exactly.” 

For you and your guac eating pleasure, recipes below. Love to you my friends. xo (Disclaimer, the mango one was my dad's favorite too.} 

 

the best guacamole, 3 ways: 

 

mango and pomegranate guacamole with candied walnuts 

serves 2-4

I first had this combination at one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Puesto in La Jolla. I tried my best to re-create it. I probably added a little more mango than they do... if it seems like too much add another avocado. In fact same rule applies to all three of these dips. All guacs are perfectly bold and flavorful, so if you want to mellow them out, just throw in another avocado. ;)  

1 ripe avocado 

3 tablespoons fresh mango, chopped plus more to top  

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons tomato, chopped   

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, plus more to top

2 tablespoons candied walnuts (more if you like)  

pinch of salt and fresh black pepper to taste

 

for the candied walnuts: (this makes plenty and lots of left over nuts. You'll eat them all I promise. ;) 

1 cup / 113g walnuts (halves and pieces) 

⅓ cup / 73g brown sugar or muscovado sugar 

½ teaspoon salt (this makes for a sweet and salty nut - if you want them less salty, add less salt) 

In a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat, toast the walnuts, salt and brown sugar stirring almost constantly until sugar is melted and nuts are coated.  tip: As soon as you see the sugar completely melted, turn off the heat and continue stirring until nuts are coated. 

Remove from heat and set aside. Crush or chop nuts into smaller pieces once cooled. 

Scoop the inside of the avocado from its skin in to a medium shallow bowl. Slightly mush avocado into chunks with a fork. Mix together avocado with remaining chopped ingredients, reserving the nuts to generously sprinkle on top. Top with more generous amounts of pomegranate.

Serve with salted corn chips, preferably organic.

 

the best guacamole you’ll probably ever have (aka, the parmesan guac

serves 4-6

Parmesan guac was inspired again, by one of my favorite restaurants on earth, Puesto. I tried my best to re-create what I'd been served by them. This is hands down one of my favorite ways to eat guacamole. Try to get the best parmesan cheese you can afford, it will make a big difference in the best way. 

1 ripe avocado 

⅓ cup / 35g parmesan cheese, finely shredded, plus more to top

1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped 

2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped  

1 tablespoon roasted poblano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped  

½ teaspoon orange juice  

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice  

pinch cayenne pepper 

pinch of salt  

You can roast the poblano pepper a number of ways. I threw mine over a high flame grill and turned it over until all sides were charred. No oil or anything required, just throw that sucker on a flame. While the pepper is still hot, throw it into a brown paper bag to “steam” it a little further, this helps the skins to come off easily. Peel off the skins, cut off the stem, de-seed it, and then chop finely. Set it aside. 

If you don’t have a grill, you can throw it directly onto a gas-flame or broil it in your oven, turning it carefully with tongs until all sides are charred. 

Scoop the inside of the avocado from its skin in to a medium shallow bowl. Slightly mush avocado into chunks with a fork. Mix together avocado with shredded cheese, and other chopped ingredients including the juices, pepper and salt. 

Serve with salted corn chips, preferably organic.

 

the best original guac

serves 4-6 

adapted from rocco's tacos

I first had this guac at the famous Rocco's Tacos in Palm Beach Florida years ago. My dad emailed me the recipe few weeks ago saying, "Look what I found," and I swear in that moment, all of my dreams came true. (I dream big). This is the BEST guac. Like if you’re looking for a good guac to replace all other recipes, look no further. The only thing I sometimes teeter on leaving out is the chopped tomatoes… otherwise, it's perfect to me as is. Of course feel free to experiment as you wish. ;) 

2 ripe avocados

1 tablespoon roasted poblano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 tablespoon roasted jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped 

1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped 

2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped, more to top

2 tablespoons tomatoes, chopped, more to top

½ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced (optional) 

pinch of cumin 

pinch of salt

You can roast the peppers a number of ways. I threw mine over a high flame grill and turned them over until all sides were charred. No oil or anything required, just throw those suckers on a flame. While the peppers are still hot, throw them into a brown paper bag to “steam” them a little further, this helps the skins to come off easily. Peel off the skins, cut off the stems, de-seed both (careful not to mix the seeds), and then chop finely. Set peppers aside. 

If you don’t have a grill, you can throw your peppers directly onto a gas-flame or broil them in your oven, turning them carefully with tongs until all sides are charred. 

If you want your guac to have more heat, add the jalapeño seeds.  I like some heat but I don’t want my mouth on fire, to me, I leave the seeds out and it's perfect. 

why is this good for me? 

avocados - Are amazing. They're like nature's savory pudding. Did you know that they are an anti-inflammatory food rich in omega-3 fatty acids? They also help women with fertility issues (in fact all foods rich in omega-3s help balance a woman's hormones and are good for women's health) and are good for our joints and brain. The greenest parts of the avocado are the best parts for us, so make sure to scoop close to the skin so you can get all that deep green goodness. 

tip! how to pick the perfect avocado: Do you see that little avocado belly-button above? When it's green, and your avocado slightly gives at the lightest press of your finger, you've got yourself a winner. This is my avocado secret. If I don't plan on using them that same day, I pop them in the fridge. Their ripeness will hold for a few days at this stage. I hope I just changed your life. ;)