September 16 might be the official National Guacamole Day as well as the day of celebration for the Grito de Dolores that began Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's fight against the Spanish Crown in the Mexican War of Independence. For some reason, November 14 is National Spicy Guacamole day. While South Floridians might be subjected to the expensive and tiny Hass cultivar, guacamole could be enjoyed during the winter months in South Florida thanks to the region's Choquette avocado.
Granted, not as tasty as its itty-bitty Californian cousin, guacamole's avocado base can always be worked upon by the addition of traditional ingredients like cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes, onion, spices and jalapeños. Making guac at home is easy and far more delicious than the store-bought stuff that usually contains ingredients colorized in some Berol/Crayola nightmare sequence. Click ahead for another avocado-based recipe that can hang side-by-side with the best homemade guacs.
The recent influx of Venezuelan immigrants have brought along some of their tasty culinary traditions. Similar overall to Colombian cuisine, Venezuela's diverse ecological regions allow for varied takes on national dishes like pabellón criollo, pisillo de chigüire, hallacas, and cachapas. Their addition to America's street foods, the arepa, a delicious flour pocket of heaven filled with enough combinations of ingredients to never eat the same one twice in a year has gained considerable momentum outside of South Florida.
But one of the best and perhaps most poorly-named dishes that Venezuelans have brought along is the versatile guasacaca, an avocado-based dish that can work as dip, sauce and/or marinade. On grilled meats it knocks its Argentine relative, the chimichurri out of the park. As a dip, it's a surreal version of guacamole but with a different and unique flavor profile stemming from its acid components. Here's a simple recipe that you can try today as an alternative to guacamole. With the weather getting nicer each day, who doesn't feel like firing up the grill tonight?
Two large avocados
One stalk green onion
One red bell pepper
One green bell pepper
One small white onion
One medium bunch of cilantro
One medium bunch of cilantro
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red wine vinegar
Two teeth of garlic
One Habanero pepper
1. Cut your ingredients in half. Julienne and dice up one half of the bell peppers and onion. Finely slice the green onion and coarsely mince your bunches of cilantro and cilantro. Set these aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, pulse the avocados, habanero, and remaining half of ingredients to a desired consistency with a 3-to-1 cup of EVOO and vinegar. Since the remaining ingredients will be added to this puree, you might want to go for a smooth blend. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a large bowl, add blend and fold in the pre-cut ingredients with a fork or spatula. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving -- you'll end up putting this guac on everything.
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