Thursday, August 18, 2011

Belly Up to the Bar...The Guac Bar

You like guacamole, right?  You must.  Everyone likes guacamole!  I, for one, love it!  There is nothing like a big bowl of guacamole with some yummy salty chips on the side.  There used to be a restaurant in Walnut Creek, CA called the Cantina.  They had a little something called “Made at the Table Guacamole”.  They would bring over a tray that had diced avocado, diced onion, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos and limes on it.  You got to tell them what you wanted and how much of it you wanted.  They would mash it up right there.  I would go there all the time with my bestie Jennifer.  We could easily agree that we didn’t want cilantro or tomatoes.  We were pretty much just straight avocado and onion.  My tastes have grown up and changed since then, but I still remember that place fondly.  I must be the only one because it closed.
Anyhoo, I wanted to re-create the “make your own gauc” feeling.  I decided to do a guacamole “bar”.  This would go hand in hand with a Mexican Cheese Platter (last blog) if you were having a party.  It is basically no-cook….just some assembly.  So obviously, this would be super easy to do for a party. I set out a big bowl of diced avocado, and then a ton of “mix-ins”.  I chose a bunch of things that I thought would be amazing with avocado…..but really, what isn’t good with avocado?
 I will show you how I did it, and you can steal that, or add your own mix-ins!  At the end of this post, I will give you my recipe for the perfect basic guacamole, as well as a fancy version too.
Of course you have to start with avocados.  I cut them I half, and I dice the avocado while it is still in the skin.  I am just careful not to slice all the way through and cut my hand off.  Once it is diced in the skin, you can scoop it out and dump it in a bowl.  I happened to have some bottled lime juice on hand, so I sprinkled the diced avocados with lime to keep them from browning.  Brown avocado doesn’t look appetizing.  Feel free to use real limes, fancy pants.
At one end of the bar, I set out the big bowl of diced avocados.  I set out some salt, pepper, onion salt, chili lime seasoning and hot sauce next to the avocado.  Avocados need a ton of salt.
My thought process here involves a mixing bowl.  You will need a mixing bowl, several actually, for people to put all of their guac ingredients in as they go down the line.  Then you, the host…or the guest…can mash it up with a fork and transfer it to a fancier dish.  So yeah, some work is involved, but it’s not like I asked you to dig ditches or something.
Now for all the mix-ins…..
I set out sliced limes, goat cheese, corn, diced jalapenos…..
Cotija cheese, green onions, verde salsa, diced shrimp……
Cooked bacon, cilantro, pico de gallo……
White onion, Mexican crema, diced tomatoes…..
And lastly, lump crab meat and blue cheese.
Are you already imagining the possibilities?
At the end of the bar, I set out the fancy serving dishes (margarita glasses) and chips.
I went down the line and created my own.  I mashed it up in a mixing bowl….
Here is Chris’s…..I am pretty sure he took a little bit of everything.
Ah-may-zing.  It’s always better when you make it yourself, right?
You know you want some!
How fun does a Guac Bar sound?  So fun for a party!  I think it would impress your guests, and like I said above….it is super easy.  No cooking (except bacon), just assembly!  Plus, bars/buffets ensure that you can mingle with your guests, have some cocktails, and not have to worry about how the apps are.  And buffets are as a rule, always fun.
Coming next week......more Mexican food!
Perfect Guacamole
4 ripe avocados
½ a medium onion, minced
4 ounces diced jalapenos
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
The juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Dice avocados and place in bowl.  Pour lime juice over diced avocado.  Add remaining ingredients and mix gently with a fork, mashing avocado to desired consistency.

Court’s Favorite Guac
4 ripe avocados
½ cup green onions, diced
1/3 cup lump meat crab
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
The juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Cholula Brand)
1 teaspoon salt
Dice avocados and place in bowl.  Pour lime juice over diced avocado.  Add remaining ingredients and mix gently with a fork, mashing avocado to desired consistency.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! Would be super cute fo rhte Cinco de Mayo party we host every year!!