Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 51 - Raw

Considering that the Week 51 challenge was supposed to fall during the middle of December, I was a little perplexed as to why they would go with a raw theme. When it's cold outside, I think about warming stews and soups and casseroles, not light and refreshing salads or raw dishes. Apparently it was for the anniversary of Eddie Murphy Raw. Luckily for us, it was pretty warm for the first half of Week 51 (in the mid-60s!), so the raw theme didn't seem too out of place.

I decided to make guacamole for the raw challenge. I just wasn't in the mood to make a salad this week (which I wish I would have recognized prior to buying the Costco pack of romaine last weekend), and guacamole's raw. I started out by looking at The Kitchn's recipe for the "perfect" guacamole. Although we've made guacamole before, I figured that could be a good starting point, if it was supposed to be perfect. The ingredients I used were:

- 3 avocados ($2.50)
- 1 red onion ($0.82)
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro ($0.50)
- 1 jalapeno pepper ($0.10)
- salt ($0.05)

Outside of the guacamole ingredients themselves, we also ate a bunch of chips and a couple of panko chicken tenders, since this was dinner and not just for snack. Neither of those are really "raw," but whatever, the main part of dinner was. Those probably added on about $5, making the total for the guacamole-based dinner about $8.97. Not too bad.

I started out by scooping out the insides of the avocados and then chopping the onions, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper. I made sure to wear gloves this time when chopping the jalapeno, since I had a really bad hand burning incident a couple of months ago during the Week 42 challenge. No issues this time, thankfully.

Once all the ingredients were chopped, it was time to mix it together, add some salt, and then keep adjusting the seasoning to taste. By adjusting the seasoning, I mostly mean that I was trying to decide whether or not to add lime. The recipe for the perfect guacamole included lime but I remembered reading this Epicurious article recently about why you should leave lime out of guacamole. I eventually decided not to go with the lime. A likes lime in guacamole, and he includes it in his version, but I thought this time maybe we would experiment without it and see how we liked it. (Of course, we had already bought the lime, so now I just have to remember to use it in something else.)

(Not sure why the coloring is so off in this photo, but it was definitely greener than that.)

The guacamole was pretty good. I did understand what they meant when they said that leaving the lime out of guacamole helps the flavor of the avocado stand out more, and I think it did do that. We kind of like it with lime though, so we might include that in the future. A also usually includes garlic in his guacamole, and likes to let the guacamole sit for a little bit to soak up all the flavors and meld a little bit more. Maybe we'll do it his way next time.

While this guacamole was good, I don't know if I would call it perfect. Then again, I'm not sure there is one perfect guacamole for us, since we like all types. We even liked the spring pea guacamole from ABC Cocina that caused so much controversy with people calling it an abomination. Whether or not this was perfect, it was good for dinner and we were pretty happy with it.

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