Archive for June 25th, 2012

Grill an avocado? Blasphemy? Try this recipe before you dismiss the notion. Grilling the typical guacamole ingredients (onions, garlic, and jalapeño) develops their sweet flavor. Even the avocado benefits from a brief searing on the grill. The lightly caramelized flavors are a welcome addition to what is traditionally a very mild mash. Besides, guacamole is usually warmed up when added to hot dishes like fajitas anyway. Why not serve it warm in the first place? We love it served warm as a chip dip, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: About 12 minutes.

– Grill screen (optional)
– 2 skewers or 4 toothpicks (optional)
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled spatula.

– To pit an avocado, cut it in half from top to bottom through the peel and around the pit. Twist apart the halves and put the half containing the pit in your palm or nest it in a towel. Whack the pit with the knife blade, then twist the knife to lift out the pit. Knock the pit off the knife with a spoon.

Gas: Direct heat, medium (350°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

Oil for coating grill grate and screen
2 avocados, halved and pitted
1 small tomato
1 jalapeño or 2 serrano chiles
1 thick slice onion
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
No-stick spray oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of ½ lime
½ teaspoon kosher salt.

1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Spray the avocados, tomato, jalapeño, onion, and garlic with oil. If not using a grill screen, push skewers or toothpicks through the jalapeño, onion, and garlic to keep them from falling through the grill or falling apart. Put the vegetables cut-sides down on the grill or on a heated, oiled grill screen and cook until nicely grill-marked, 6 to 12 minutes, turning a few times. The tomato and avocado should still be fairly firm and will be done first. The pepper skin should be blistered and will take the longest.
3. Scoop the avocado from its peel and mash in a medium bowl. Peel the grilled garlic, and remove the cores and seeds of the jalapeños (or leave in the seeds for more heat). Finely chop the garlic, jalapeños, tomato, and onion, and add to the bowl. Stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Serve immediately, or let cool and then cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

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