life in the basement has come and gone. we loved living underground, but are excited to practice maintaining a home. join me as i journal chapter two of our life, as we save up, look forward, and plan for a home in the city. as we seek after our great God to glorify Him daily, join in as we figure out what it means to radically pursue Him in "everyday life"

16 July 2011

avocado relish

so not long after we got married, nathan bought an incredible grilling book by bobby flay to inspire us to make more unique and tasty burgers and milkshakes. we love this book- its call burgers, fries, and shakes, and of course- it is a book about all three. this book is awesome- many times we have turned to it and never have we been let down! in fact- for nathan's first birthday as a married couple, i surprised him with burger and shake birthday party and we had all our friends over. our dads helped us grill the burgers, and we even got a great gift of a new milkshake maker! i had ensured that we had all the ingredients we needed to make some of our favorites. nathan was so surprised, and everyone had a good time.

we continue to use many of the great recipes that we have found in the book, but i must say, my all time fav is snuggled in at the bottom of one of the burger idea pages. mentioned only as a topping to add to the "nacho burger," bobby flay's avocado relish recipe is one that i think of, crave, and eat often. while it is great on a burger, it is also great on its own at any time of day. even now, my mouth is watering thinking about it!

i mean, how good does that look? now you might think its just a guacamole recipe, and it is of sorts. but no guac compares to this goodness. last night, nathan and i were enjoying a chill night in, watching some season 2 of house and a movie, when the craving hit. it often does on chill nights. i wanted some relish. i tried to not think about it. i looked through all the cabinets and the fridge and freezer, hoping something else would catch my eye and satisfy my tummy. after fighting it for about an hour and half, i finally gave in. i had to have some avocado relish. nathan and i ran down to our local kroger and grabbed the ingredients we would need and hurried home, and i went straight for the cutting board. within 10 minutes, i had the object of my desire. and it was soooooooooooooooooooooooo good. it always is. and its one of those things thats even better than you think it will be. of course it helped that i had picked out some perfect avocados and the limes are juicy. we ate almost the whole bowl. 

is your mouth watering yet? are you craving some limey, cilantro-y, a touch spicy, avocado goodness? my friends all agree that this recipe is pretty much i mean its just that good. so, i share it with you now- hoping you enjoy it as much as i do. my only rule is that you dont make it for something i'm coming to, unless you consult me first. this is one of my go-to recipes, and when i can, i love to bring it. a warning though, once made, you will begin to have these cravings like i have, and just like i experienced last night, nothing else will do. 

one more thing, this recipe is somewhat exact, but because all it contains is fresh produce, you really have to work with it to get the taste you want. depending on the ripeness and your fancy, i suggest starting with a conservative amount of the cilantro, jalapeno, and onion, and tasting, and adding more. i've listed what i use, but you can adjust. sometimes, it takes more or less lime or other things. also, this recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc to feed as many folks as you need. we served a huge batch (with 15 avocados) at our christmas party. pretty easy to increase!

here's the recipe (taken from bobby flay)

3 ripe hass avocados (you want them a little soft, but not squishy)
2-3 limes (not key limes though because the juice is never enough, and also, you want pretty good sized ones that are really juicy. i recommend pushing and rolling them on the counter to loosen up the juices before you cut them open)
1 jalapeno
1 medium red onion
1 bunch of cilantro
sea salt and pepper, to taste

then get ready to get to work. i start by chopping my red onion- i like it diced real small because i'm not a huge onion fan. you really need it though, as it adds the perfect complimentary kick to the peppers. a tip here, if you onion is strong and causing you to cry, i have found a few tricks. if you have loaf bread, stick a big chunk in your mouth while you chop and suck on it- this helps. if you don't, or if that doesn't work, try chopping near an open flame. this is what i did last night. although its a bit dangerous, it works like a charm. we have a gas stove, so i just light an eye and chop close by and end up with tear-free diced onion. 
guac) and if you put them in your storage container with the left overs, your guac will stay pretty and green. once the avocados and lime juice are in (and a note on that- you want to squeeze enough juice that before you stir it starts to puddle in the bowl. i think you can't have too much lime juice), add a good couple dashes of salt and pepper, stir, and taste. you'll know when it needs more of something. as i mentioned before, i'd start light on the onion, as you can always add more but you cant take it out. also, i probably use about 3/4 bunch of cilantro, but i'd start with 1/2 and add more when you make it the first time. i always use all the avocados and the whole jalapeno.

once you have adjusted to taste, its time to enjoy! i think this relish is best served room temperature with good hearty chips- i prefer mission tortilla strips. they are sturdy enough to not break in this chunky goodness and they are just salty enough. 

this relish is great as a dip, as a topping on nachos or fajitas, or on a burger- really, on anything. we've even put leftovers on eggs before for a tasty tex-mex breakfast treat. seriously, once you've had it, you'll crave it on anything.

so that's what we did last night. there was just a little bit left which i am fixing to go devour. enjoy!

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