Tag: Jalapeño

Guacamole

Avocado Dip

Guacamole is a Mexican condiment first made by the Aztecs. The name guacamole translates from the Aztec Nahautl vocabulary: āhuacamolli,which means avocado sauce or avocado concoction.

There are as many versions of guac, as it is affectionately called here, as there are cooks. The two key ingredients in my mind are salt for flavor and acidity, preferably lime juice, not only for flavor, but the acid prevents oxidation. Once the avocado is cut and exposed to oxygen, it turns brown. This isn’t harmful, just unattractive.

Please note that placing on top of the guac does not prevent oxidation. To preserve the dip, press plastic wrap firmly on the top.

Avocado Dip

Garlic, diced tomatoes, minced red onion and minced jalapeños are commonly used and enhance flavor and texture. I’ve also seen recipes that use mayo and sour cream, but in my opinion that only detracts from the delicious flavor, texture and color of the avocado.

Handle any chili pepper, such as jalapeño, carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible. The heat comes from the membrane inside the pepper. It’s not the seeds.

Avocado Dip

Use guacamole for more than a dip. It’s great as a spread for sandwiches or place a dollop on grilled chicken. It also goes well with shellfish, such a shrimp and lobster. Tuna tartar is often paired with a little quac. There are many possibilities for this delicious “concoction!”

NOTES: Placing the pit on top of the guacamole will not prevent oxidation; only the spot covered by the pit is protected. Plastic wrap placed directly on the guacamole keeps the oxygen away and the lime juice not only acts as a flavor component, but the acidity also delays browning.

Handle any chili pepper carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible.Avocado Dip

My version uses red bell pepper instead of tomatoes. Tomatoes are seasonal and most of the year unappealing. The red bell pepper provides color and crunch. Feel free to swap it out for tomatoes.

Watch the Guacamole Video Here.
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Guacamole

There are as many versions of guacamole as there are cooks. The two key ingredients In my mind are salt for flavor and acidity. I love to include onions, garlic, red bell pepper, and jalapeño, which all enhance taste and texture.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

2 Haas avocados
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup minced red bell pepper
¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced jalapeño (1 small)
2 teaspoons minced clove garlic (2 small cloves)
½ teaspoon coarse salt

GARNISH

Chopped cilantro leaves and/or a little minced red bell pepper

Instructions

Slice the avocados in half length-wise and remove pits.

Scoop the flesh into a small bowl and mash gently with the back of a table fork. Make the texture smooth or chunky, as you desire.

Pour a couple of teaspoons of lime juice over the avocado and mix well – this will prevent oxidation (browning of the avocado flesh).

Stir in the pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and salt.

Let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors blend, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, maybe more lime juice for acidity and/or a little salt.

To store: cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Notes

Placing the pit on top of the guacamole will not prevent oxidation; only the spot covered by the pit is protected. Plastic wrap placed directly on the guacamole keeps the oxygen away and the lime juice not only acts as a flavor component, but the acidity also delays browning.

Handle any chili pepper carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/3 cup

How to Seed and Mince Jalapeño

The jalapeño is a green chili pepper commonly used in Mexican cooking. The Scoville Scale measures the heat level of chili peppers and sauces. The jalapeño is on the low end, ranging from about 2500 to
8000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The peppers’ pungency is given in a range because one pepper’s heat may vary from another of the same species. This is due to temperature, water and soil conditions.

Compare this rating to the habanero chili at 100,000 to 350,000 SHU and you might think the jalapeño is mild, but I wouldn’t just bite into one, you are bound to feel some pain!

The high concentration of capsaisin, or heat, lies in the whitish veins, not the seeds. If you want the extra heat, leave it on, if you want to lower the heat, cut it away. Removing the vein does not eliminate the heat, it’s also in the essential oils within the pepper. Be careful when handling chilies because those essential oils transfer to your fingers and rubbing your eyes, even after washing your hands, can be a very unpleasant experience. Wear gloves if you’re particularly sensitive or cutting many peppers at once.

IMG_2503This is the vein that holds the highest concentration of capsaisin.

How to Cut and Mince and Jalapeño

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Slice off the stem end of the jalapeño and cut in half lengthwise.

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Slide the edge along the vein from top to bottom and then under the vein from side to side.

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Slice the jalapeño lengthwise into very thin strips.

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Turn the jalapeño 90 degrees and cut in a mince.

IMG_2599

 

 

 

Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa

This recipe for Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa is a light, easy-to-prepare appetizer. If you don’t have the ceramic spoons shown in the picture above, use taco or pita chips.

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail end, too. If not, just pinch until you hear a slight crack and gently wiggle it off. I prefer to use Wild USA shrimp.

Shelled and deveined shrimp.

If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium frypan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp as directed below.

Cut the green onions on the diagonal and include the green tops, which add color and flavor.

Method

Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.

Marinating shrimp.

Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.

Grilled shrimp.

Cut the shrimp into bite-size chunks and place one piece on each spoon or on each taco or pita chip and top with pineapple salsa. See our post on how to peel a pineapple.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa.

1/2 fresh pineapple, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno,
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Chopped green onions.

Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes. Can be made up to two days in advance.

Salsa ingredients.

 

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Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail shell, too. If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp into the hot pan and cook as directed below.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

  • Pineapple Salsa
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh pineapple
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    1 small jalapeño
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    Grilled Shrimp
  • one pound medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more if you dare!

Instructions

  1. Pineapple Salsa
  2. Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes.
  3. Can be made up to two days in advance.
  4. Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.
  5. Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.