In honor of that event, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite recipes: Guacamole and Kalua Pork.
First, the guac. I've gotten lots of "I don't generally like guacamole but I like yours" compliments on this recipe. It's not super fancy, and not even much different from the traditional recipes you can find just about anywhere. I basically just paid close attention to our waiter at El Cholo while they made it tableside, replicated it from memory, then played with it til it was my own.
What you need:
3 ripe avocados (or 1 avocado as big as your head, like the one pictured, left)
small handful of cilantro (1/2 cup ish?)
1/2 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
coarse salt (like kosher)
Because I'm often making this for parties, I'll often do the whole thing in the food processor just to save time. If you don't have one or like a chunkier style to your guac, then you'll want to start by prepping all your flavors.
- Give the cilantro a rough chop
- Dice the onion fine
- Dice the jalapeno fine--then WASH YOUR HANDS before touching anything. Seriously
- For the garlic, I do this Rachael Ray style, and grate it into the bowl. All the flavor, no giant chunks of garlic, and no waste from the press. A fine dice will also work here.
Get all your flavors together, then cut up your avocado. This is pretty close to how I do it, although I prefer a proper-sized chef's knife to a small paring knife, and I just scoop the goods out with a spoon once I dice it. (Tip: You can learn how to do just about anything in the kitchen on YouTube.)
Alrighty. Next. Juice your limes into the bowl--this'll help you mush up the avocado better--and stir all your ingredients together. Season the whole thing up good with a couple healthy pinches of salt & black pepper. Then taste & check. I find that if I'm missing anything, it's usually salt, black pepper, and/or garlic, so if it doesn't taste perfect to you, start with one of those three.
And that's it! You can add tomatoes if you really want to, but I don't. Personal preference.
Now the Kalua Pork! I'm sure you're wondering, Why the Hawaiian recipe for the Mexican holiday? Well, we have the tiki bar in the back yard & like to add a little island flavor where we can, of course, but the main reason? It's FREAKING DELICIOUS.
It's also ridiculously easy. Here's all you do: follow this recipe. BUT! The last time I made this, I got it started the night before a party, and when I checked on it the next morning I discovered that A) it was already shredding & falling to pieces in the slow cooker and B) it needed more liquid smoke. So, to do this my way, follow that recipe, but about halfway through, shred the pork and stir in about another tablespoon or so of liquid smoke to taste. If it turns out anything like that last batch, you, too, could have guests picking bits of pork out of the slow cooker with their fingers and making their own doggy bags to take home.
To marry this recipe with our Mexican holiday party, however, I was thinking of creating a "Kalua Pork Taco," putting the pork in a soft taco shell with a tropical salsa made with, like, pineapple and Maui onions. How does that sound to you? I think it sounds deeeelicious!