Fire Roasted Guacamole

Monday, March 9, 2009

I love playing around with classic dishes and updating them with a new spin. I had a bunch of peppers in my fridge that really needed to be cooked this past weekend, so I decided to fire roast them on a nice charcoal grill. I threw in scallions, my new favorite "grillable" and this recipe sort of developed from there.

I'm very pleased with the results and am anxious for anyone willing to try it at home and give me some feedback. I think the balance of the sweet peppers, caramelized onions, smokey charcoal and heat from the jalapenos add a new and unexpected twist to the traditional avocado - all without compromising the integrity of the avocado and like a good friend, bolstering it instead of overpowering it. The recipe is fluid, so please adjust spice, salt, and acid to your taste. I must caution I like things on the spicier side, so perhaps one jalapeno will do it for most of you out there.

Please let me know what you think!

Fire Roasted Guacamole

2 poblano peppers
2 hungarian peppers
3 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cleaned
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into thick 1 inch rings
vegetable oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1 large, ripe avocado

Place the poblano, hungarian and jalapeno peppers, scallions and white onion slices into a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vegetable oil to just cover, but not drench and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

On a charcoal fire with high heat, roast the peppers, scallions and onion until well charred on all sides. Be careful to turn often enough to not blacken completely - just char nicely on all sides. Remove and let cool until comfortable to handle with hands. Let fire stand uncovered.

Once cooled, discard the stems of the peppers and seeds. Taste a small sample of the jalapenos and determine degree of heat - if very hot flesh, then discard all seeds and ribs inside; if not that spicy, then consider keeping some seeds and ribs to heat tolerance. Roughly chop the peppers, scallions, onion, and garlic cloves and place in food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped but still chunky. While on, slowly stream in olive oil to make a paste consistency. Spoon out into a larger glass bowl.

Cut the avocado in half (leaving the skin on) and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Grill on the same charcoal fire you grilled the peppers on - at this point the fire should be died down to a medium/med-high heat. Grill (skin side up) about four minutes until a good, black char develops and the avocado is warm. Yes - the avocado is almost starting to "cook" and that's ok.

Take off the heat immediately and scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the pureed roasted pepper and onion mixture. Add lemon juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste, and combine well.

Serve warm as a condiment or dip with warmed tortilla chips.

Serving Suggestions:
Top on thinly sliced carne asada, shredded lettuce and monterey jack cheese for a great taco.
Use as a dip with fresh homemade cumin-dusted tortilla chips.
Use as a pesto for crostini with shaved Parmesan or cool buffalo mozzarella.
Add as a topping to a slice of grilled chiabatta bread, layer of thinly sliced steak, topped with poached egg for an updated take on Eggs Benedict.

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