Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gearing Up for Fiesta San Antonio...With Bacon Guacamole & Garlic-Black Pepper Tortilla Chips

I’m not sure why I never thought of it before…I love bacon, and I love avocados. Why not combine them and make bacon guacamole? I’m a bit of a guacamole purist, so it had never occurred to me to combine two of my favorite flavors in one bite. Thank goodness my favorite celeb chef Rick Bayless is a kitchen genius and thought of it for me! I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, Fiesta at Rick’s, this week and was immediately intrigued by his luscious guacamole topped with crispy bacon and diced tomatoes. I decided that I HAD to give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. This stuff is off-the-hook good…even if you’re a guacamole purist like me. What’s not to like about creamy avocado, crispy bacon, and smoky chipotle peppers? A bit of onion, lime, and cilantro adds just enough familiar guacamole flavors. Trust me…this stuff is AMAZING!

The only tweaks I made to the original recipe were to use finely diced purple onion in place of white onion since I had that on hand…and I reduced the amount of chipotle chile and cilantro to suit my personal tastes. This guacamole takes about 20 minutes to assemble, and most of that time is spent cooking the bacon. I paired this guacamole with one of my favorite Rick Bayless recipes that doctors up store-bought tortilla chips with garlic-infused oil and black only tweak is to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for a more assertive flavor.  The technique is so simple, but it really takes plain tortilla chips to the next level. I told you Rick Bayless is a genius!!

Bacon Guacamole & Garlic-Black Pepper Tortilla Chips
adapted from Fiesta at Rick's

Step 1:  Add the following ingredients to a large bowl: 2 large avocados, 2 slices cooked and crumbled bacon, 1 finely chopped chipotle in adobo (seeded), 1/4 cup finely diced purple onion, 1/3 cup chopped tomato, 1 tbs. chopped cilantro, the juice of 1/2 a lime, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir to combine, being careful to leave a few chunks of avocado. Scoop the guacamole into a serving bowl and set aside while you prep the tortilla chips.

Step 2:  Preheat oven to 350. Add the following ingredients to a small saucepan: 1/4 cup olive oil, three grated garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook over med-low heat for 10 minutes. While the oil is heating, arrange tortilla triangles on a parchment-lined 15x10 rimmed baking sheet. 

Step 3:  Use a pastry brush to lightly brush some of the garlic-pepper oil on each tortilla triangle. Sprinkle a few additional grinds of freshly ground black pepper over the chips just before popping them in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes to let the flavored oil cook into the chips. Remove from oven and cool for a minute or two before serving. Serve chips and guacamole to a hungry crowd...or maybe just yourself!

Man, this chip-and-dip combo is out of this world! With Fiesta coming up in San Antonio at the end of this month…and Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you need to put this on your short list of Mexican-inspired appetizers for any celebrations you’re planning. All you need to pair this combo with is a margarita or a cold Dos Equis…and you’ve got a fiesta at YOUR place!!

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