Thursday, February 17, 2011

Carne Asada Tacos and a Guacamole Smackdown

Before I learned that I have mad cooking skills don't suck as badly at cooking as I orginally thought, the only thing I could make was guacamole.  Literally....under no circumstance could I cook anything else that even resembled something edible.  It was also pretty much the only thing I could contribute to any social situation involving food.  Cinco de Mayo party?  I'm your woman!  Thanksgiving?  A little awkward, but its either guacamole or cranberry sauce in the can with those weird stripes.  Because of this, I've perfected my guacamole recipe and I'm convinced there's no one who can make it better.

To illustrate this point:

Last Fall, Andrew and I went to Oregon to drive down the coast, visit wine country, and stay with our friends in Portland.  One night they invited a bunch of their neighbors over to play Bunko (So fun!  I loved it until the game was over and 2 8-year olds ended up winning all the money) and everyone was required to make something to share.  I decided on, surprise, guacamole and mentioned loudly to our host and my good friend, Kara, that I kicked butt at making guacamole.  She's all, "Really?  It might be good, but there's no way its as good as mine.  Mine is the best ever".  So the guacamole showdown begins.  We decide to have a blind taste test when all the guests arrive...they simply taste each guacamole and write which one they like best on a piece of paper (they don't know which guacamole belongs to which fine lady), fold it up, and put it in a hat.  Then the winner will be announced at the end of the night.  Easy enough!  We prepare the guac, talking smack to each other regarding how the other is going to lose a public and embarassing battle. 

The results?  My friend Kara is going to be really mad at me for publishing this on the internet.  Actually, I'm not really even sure she reads this blog or has ever even visited it....SO, this is a good way to find out, don't we think?  I think I'll put the results in bold in case she is reading.  I WON IN AN EPIC SHUTOUT.  Yep, that's right...every single vote was for MY guacamole, and I swept my dear friend in the first (and probably last) guacamole showdown.  Her own husband didn't even vote for her, and of course he KNEW which one was hers because they looked very different and therefore he could easily recognize the work of his lovely wife.  Its sad but true.  I.  Am.  Awesome.

I'm not, however, awesome at Bunko.  As it turns out, as referenced above, 2 third graders took all of our money and the adults were left with full bellies and a heck of a buzz.

I usually post sources for the recipes that I post, but who really invented guacamole anyway?  They pretty much all use the same ingredients, and I think the quality of the finished product depends on the mix of the ingredients, not the actual ingredients themselves.  I will give credit to Rachael Ray, though, since she introduced me to the garlic paste concept, which is what I think makes my guacamole extra delicious.  I also never measure anything, so I'll just guess.

Ann's Guacamole Smackdown Guacamole

4 ripe Haas Avocados (these are clearly the key...they have to be good, and they have to be perfectly ripe)
4 cloves garlic, pasted (just mince really fine, sprinkle kosher salt on it, and then "smash" it into a paste with the back of a chef's knife)
1/2 a white onion, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Jack's Special chunky salsa (medium heat)....can be found at Kroger with the cheeses near the deli
big handful cilantro, chopped
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper
bit of garlic powder

Mix everything together, but LEAVE IT CHUNKY.  Why waste a perfectly perfect avocado by mashing it to pieces?

Eat until you feel sick.

Last night, I served the guacamole on carne asada tacos.  I totally cheated and used Trader Joe's carne asada meat and put in on flour tortillas.  That's pretty much it.  Except that I also used taco rice from a box on the side.  I know the Cooking Gods are ashamed of me.


  1. I picked up your blog from one of your links on Facebook. I was hoping to get to the bottom of this post and see a comment from Kara..LOL! I am going to try the guac recipe this weekend. Take care, Dana

  2. Guess it just goes to show that she does NOT read my blog!! I'll have to talk about her more now!