A short while ago, I had some co-workers over to our house for dinner. A member of our first grade team is retiring at the end of this school year and we wanted to honor her before her last day. Her request was for a Mexican themed dinner-- which is certainly not my specialty! I needed to make something that didn't need a ton of last minute work as my husband was out of town and I was on my own with both kids. I decided to do a 'taco bar' with all of the fixings and also made chicken fajitas. I need to give special thanks to my other team members who brought some sides, dessert, and drinks. It was a really nice opportunity to catch up and relax a little in the middle of what is typically a hectic time of year!
I wanted to have some appetizers ready that my guests could work on while waiting for dinner-- and figured that I couldn't go wrong with some homemade salsa and guacamole. I wish I had more time to play with homemade tortilla chips, too! That will be my next project! I knew I had to make Pam's salsa once I saw it. It looked and sounded just like our favorite restaurant salsa and I was not at all disappointed. I tend to be a little weak when it comes to spice, so I did not make mine too 'hot'. This would certainly be an easy thing to adjust when making yours. For my guacamole, I had to go with my mom's old standby. It's a classic and still my favorite. Both dips come together very quickly and go far-- they'd be great outdoor appetizers with a great big margarita!
10 tomatoes (I used vine ripened)
2-3 green onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
Handful of cilantro
2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Clean tomatoes, remove stem, then gently cut an X on the bottom of the tomatoes. Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add the tomatoes and boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove from water and put into an ice bath. Once the tomatoes have cooled, gently peel off the skin. Place tomatoes, garlic, green onions, cilantro, jalapenos, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree until thoroughly mixed. Taste and re-season if necessary. (Pam recommends letting the salsa sit in the fridge for a bit for the flavors to combine. I highly recommend this as well. My salsa tasted even better the next day.)
Source: For the Love of Cooking
4 ripe avacado
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
White pepper and garlic salt to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro (leaves only)
Mash the avacado in a medium sized bowl. Add the chopped onion and tomatoes. Finely chop the cilantro and add to mixed guacamole. Season to taste. Sprinkle with juice from one lime.
(No matter what you do, your guacamole is going to turn brown after sitting for a while. If you stir it up, it will return to it's green color. To try to prevent this from happening, you can store the guacamole with one or two of the avacado pits placed in the center of the bowl-- be sure to remove them before serving. The lime juice will also help with some of the color change.)
Source: Adele Fine