Guacamole is always a crowd-pleaser at any party, but add in some roasted chiles and homemade jalapeño oil (which is easier to make than you’d think!) and you’re definitely scoring all the points from your guests. Check out Gregory Gourdet’s recipe featured in his James Beard Book Award-winning cookbook, “Everyone’s Table” below, and don’t forget to try his Sour Coconut Cream Ranch Dip recipe here!
GUACAMOLE WITH ROASTED CHILES, POMEGRANATE, AND TORTILLA CRISPS
I love guacamole—the way a few key ingredients balance and enliven lush, mellow avocado. My version builds on the classic, swapping charred chiles for raw for another dimension of heat and flavor and augmenting the typical lime with pomegranate seeds for another sort of acidity and a little texture. Make sure you let those avocados get good and ripe—they should be soft but not mushy, giving slightly to a gentle squeeze—to enjoy their full, creamy potential. Nowadays, stores are filled with grain-free chip options, but I recommend buying cashew, almond, or cassava tortillas and crisping them in a little hot oil so they’re warm when you serve them.
For the Guacamole
1/2 small white onion, cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 juicy lime)
2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
2 medium jalapeño or large serrano chiles
2 moderately spicy fresh red chiles, like Fresnos or ripe jalapeños
3 large ripe Hass avocados
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon Jalapeño Oil (optional, see JALAPEÑO OIL recipe below)
Handful mixed fresh herbs, like small cilantro and dill sprigs and oregano leaves
For the Crisps
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 grain-free tortillas (such as cashew, almond, or cassava), halved
MAKE THE GUACAMOLE
Combine the onion, lime juice, and flaky salt in a large bowl, stir well, and set aside for 15 minutes to soften the onion and mellow its sharpness.
Lay the green and red chiles on the stove rack of a gas burner, turn on the burner, and char them over the flames, using tongs to flip them occasionally, just until their skins are blistered and black all over but the flesh is still bright and firm, about 3 minutes. (No gas burner? Broil them in the oven close to the heat, turning occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes.)
Let the chiles cool briefly, then scrape off the skins with a small knife. Remove the stems, halve the chiles lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds.
Discard the skins, stems, and seeds, then finely chop the chiles and scrape them into the bowl with the onion.
Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, stopping at the skin, and use a spoon to scoop the flesh into the bowl with the onion and chiles. Use a fork to mash about half of the avocado to a creamy texture, leaving the rest chunky. Drizzle in the olive oil and use a spoon to stir gently but well until there’s no more visible oil.
Scoop the guacamole into a shallow serving bowl, sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, drizzle with the jalapeño oil (if using), and scatter on the herbs.
MAKE THE CRISPS AND SERVE
Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not quite shimmery. To test whether it’s ready, dip a corner of a tortilla into the oil—when it’s hot enough, the oil will bubble right away.
Fry the tortillas, two pieces at a time and flipping once, just until crispy and golden, about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer them to the paper towels to drain and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat with the remaining tortilla pieces.
Serve the guacamole with the warm crisps.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
Jalapeño chiles are just barely cooked in oil then blended for a condiment that you’ll dream about. More flavorful than hot, the grassy flavor of these green chiles is on full display, adding dimension to sauteed greens, eggs, guacamole grilled lobster, and even chicken soup. Once you have it in your fridge, I bet you’ll expand this list.
1 cup avocado oil
3 large jalapeño chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
MAKE THE OIL
Combine the oil, chiles, and salt in a medium saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and wait until bubbles form around the chiles.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chiles sizzle just until they turn a brighter shade of green, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.
Transfer to a blender, making sure to scrape any salt that has collected in the bottom of the pan into the blender as well. Puree until as smooth as possible, about 1 minute.
The oil keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
From the book EVERYONE’S TABLE by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Copyright ©2021 by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Published by Harper Wave an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos credited to Eva Kosmas Flores.
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