January 14, 2005
Chipotle Guacamole

Avocados appear at strange times during the winter. Just a few weeks ago I couldn't find one that wasn't rock hard and cost less than $2 apiece. This last week, I found a batch of great Haas avocados at a small grocery store on Clark south of Fullerton for $1.49/apiece. Peppers, however, have followed the opposite tack. A few weeks ago, there were beautiful poblanos and jalapenos everywhere but this week none of my usual grocery stores had a fresh poblano or jalapeno.

To make use of my avocados, I'd decided to make guacamole, but without a hot pepper, guacamole just doesn't have the bite I look for in the dish. The canned goods aisle of our local supermarket had giardeneria and sport peppers, but no preserved poblanos. I did, however, come across a possible alternative to the poblanos I wanted - chipotle peppers. Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapenos, and like the ones I purchased, are often packed in a vinegary, tomato and pepper based adobo sauce.

What follows here is a recipe for a guacamole with a chipotle/adobo kick. My wife didn't like the smoky flavor of the chipotle peppers in the guacamole, but I loved it. The biggest problem for me was trying to balance my attraction to the adobo/chipotle flavor with my aversion to the pain from the hotness of the peppers. Give it a try and if you don't like this recipe there's probably a neighbor who'll take it off your hands and love it.

Chipotle Guacamole
5 avocados
2 small ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 tablespoons lime juice
big pinch of salt
5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Halve the avocados, remove and discard all but one of the pits. Score the inside of each half into squares. Remove the flesh from the avocados with a spoon and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork, and put one of the avocado pits in the bowl to help keep the avocado from turning brown.

Remove the peppers from the adobo sauce, leaving a little on each pepper and dice the peppers, seeds and all.

Add peppers, tomato, onion, salt, lime to avocado and mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust. If you like it hot and smoky, you may want to add more peppers. The spicy adobo sauce makes a nice change from regular guacamoles.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at January 14, 2005 9:51 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

I love chipotle, I love chiles (all kinds - all levels of heat) and I will try this. I have 2 Haas avocados in the kitchen right now. I was going to make guacamole tomorrow anyway.

Thanks for passing this on.

I used to hate the heat of chiles too but after awhile I started to enjoy it. The hotter the better now. I guess when I turned 36, and i had just had my son, my tongue and my tolerance changed. Now I eat all the jalapenos off the nachos. Before that I would just pick them off and leave them on the plate. So, my suggestion for you is to continue to try different chiles with different heat levels. The more you eat them, the more you'll get used to the heat. It won't bother you anymore.

Just my suggestion as a card-carrying Chile-Head!

Posted by RisaG on January 14, 2005 at 4:24 PM

Risa, I think you misunderstand - I love peppers. I used to eat jalapenos out of the jar and cool off with milk when I couldn't stand it. I used to eat bags of habanero potato chips and drown my fried chicken (back when I ate chicken) in Louisiana hot sauce.

But there's something about the adobo/chipotle combo that transmits tons of both flavor and heat. It's like one of those ungodly sour candies - you're both attracted and repelled all at once.

It may just be that I'm not used to the particular flavors of the adobo sauce/chipotle combo. I'm looking forward to testing that theory and breaking my tastebuds in. :)

Posted by barrett on January 14, 2005 at 7:18 PM

I'm jealous of both of you for having access to such a good variety of peppers! I bring them back from the US in a dried form, but invariably forget to note the name of the peppers I have. That's why in my recipes I'm always pretty vague about what kind to use in a recipe: I have two bags, which are labelled in my mind "hot" and "unbelievably, extraordinarily hot". No idea what their names are!

Anyway, next time I'm in Chicago I definitely want to get some chipotle peppers...and then I can try this recipe. I think smoky/avacado sounds like a great combination!

Posted by Meg in Paris on January 14, 2005 at 7:44 PM

This post makes me hungry, growing up in Austin (Tx), I really appreciate the taste of good chipotle pepper dishes.

But, more importantly, what's the name of the grocery store on Clark/Fullerton carrying good avocados? that Apple store or whatever it is?

Posted by Seth Anderson on January 15, 2005 at 6:51 PM

You know, I don't know the name of the place. It's on the east side of the street south of Fullerton and north of the Walgreen's. All their generics say Centrella and it has a 1960's/70's feel to the store.

Posted by barrett on January 15, 2005 at 7:11 PM
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