Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homemade Chips and Guacamole Dip

What you're looking at is lunch from today:  turkey, havarti and avocado sandwich with homemade guacamole and homemade oven-fried chips. The bread is Earth Grains 12-grain, which is probably the best commercial sandwich bread I've found so far. 

I've always been quite proud of my guacamole, so I decided to be adventurous and try making some tortilla chips to go with it.  The tortillas are made by hand in the bakery of the HEB.  They still have a few more ingredients than I'd like, so I'll keep searching for good local tortillas (considering the neighborhood I live in, that shouldn't be too hard), but they're still better than the commercial ones. 

 Chips are so stupidly easy to make that I don't understand why anyone would ever feel it necessary to buy them.  These are crispy and fresh and you only have to eat a handful of them to feel satisfied -- it's not like regular chips where you pound through a bag in one sitting.

All you have to do is dip/brush/spray the chips with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake them at 375 for about five minutes.  If they still seem a bit soggy or under-done, pop them back in the oven.  It's as simple as that. You can use the same technique to make taco shells, rolled tacos, etc.  You could also deep-fry them if you wanted, but this is much less messy.

Your method of oil preparation will determine how much fat the chips have in them.  You can also spray them with cooking spray, or just put the oil in a regular spray nozzle bottle.  This allows you complete freedom over what type of oil you use, how much salt goes onto the chips, etc.  You definitely don't have that same flexibility when dealing with commercial chips!

And here's my famous Guacamole. I could eat this plain with a spoon, it's that good.  People get intimidated by guacamole -- I've even seen grocery store guacamole mix, which seems ridiculous -- but it's actually insanely simple.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 large avocado 
  • 1 tomato
  • A bit of diced onion - I use about two tablespoons of finely diced onion
  • A clove of garlic
  • A tablespoon or so of freshly-chopped cilantro
  • Fresh lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Just combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Mash up the avocados as you fold in the other ingredients to be sure your flavor gets distributed evenly.  Everything goes in by taste, so adjust it to the way you like it.  This makes just enough to serve two people comfortably.  You can scale up or down accordingly.

Other than eating with chips, guacamole is a great replacement for mayonnaise on sandwiches.  If you happen to have leftovers (blasphemous, I know) just cover it up with plastic wrap. Be sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the guacamole or else it oxidizes and turns brown.  It doesn't hurt it, but it does look pretty gross.  I've also heard you can freeze guacamole, but I haven't tried it myself so I can't make any guarantees there.

Anyway -- I hope this inspired you to experiment a little. 

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