Is it still Friday? I’m sneaking my post in just under the wire… I have an excuse. I just got home last night from a two-week vacation in Southern California and spent the day doing the things you do when you get home from a trip: collecting the mail, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
I didn’t make this week’s French Fridays dish before I left, and when I woke up this morning, the cupboard was bare. It’s a good thing that this week’s selection, guacamole with tomatoes and bell peppers, was a cinch to put together.
Dorie says that the French are crazy about guacamole, though they seldom make it themselves. I can share their passion. It is so easy to make, though, that I’m not sure I’d be buying it already prepared.
Guacamole is a staple on the snack/appetizer rotation at my house. We make several different variations. The simplest is an avocado mashed up with a few generous spoonfuls of salsa. We are also partial to mango guacamole when Ataulfo mangoes are in season. A couple of years ago, Howard got a molcajete, which makes a gorgeous presentation when making guacamole from scratch (i.e. no jarred salsa).
The guacamole that Dorie makes in her French kitchen uses all the expected ingredients: avocado, lime, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and tomatoes. The surprise additions are the lime zest, diced red pepper, and a splash of hot sauce. Dorie also offers two texture options: smooth or chunky. Our usual guac is chunky, so I wanted to try out smooth for a change. The smooth version is made with a mortar and pestle, but I pulled out the molcajete. By the way, I used just one LARGE avocado but didn’t reduce any of the other ingredients.
It’s a winner! We both loved the flavor and the texture. As you can see, we ate the whole thing. (It was lunch, not just an appetizer.) Without a doubt, smooth guacamole with tomatoes and bell peppers will now be taking its turn in our guacamole rotation.
I want to share a little about my vacation because I’m unlikely to get around to an entire post about it. This was my first trip to Southern California as a tourist. Previously, I’d been for a few business trips in the not very recent past, but was never there long enough to see anything other than the airport, the office, and the hotel.
We visited Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. I would describe myself as an intense traveler, not allowing for much downtime. We made the most of our time in new places. Highlights include: Lotusland (near Santa Barbara), a unique and delightful garden created by a very eccentric woman; a vintage car show in Beverly Hills, tours of the Gamble House in Pasadena and Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and the San Diego Zoo. We were fortunate to connect with so many people. We visited with cousins, reconnected with college friends and former co-workers, and had lunch with the SoCal Doristas (sans Trevor). It was the perfect balance of visiting friends and family and taking in the sights and sites. And, now I’m happy to be home.