Guasacaca

Look, I have nothing against guacamole. Nobody has anything against guacamole. Everybody loves it. Everybody loves it so much that I know a guy who opened a taco joint and didn’t want to serve it and then was more or less forced to by the braying of his customers. Then he noticed that everybody who sat down ordered guacamole and a round of margaritas before they even looked at the menu and this pissed the guy off because these were not the things he worked very hard on UNTIL he realized he was knee-deep in filthy lucre from serving what amounts to very little more than mashed avocado with a little lime squoze on it. God bless guacamole. But is that all the avocado can do for you? No, of course not. The avocado has got range, range that is no impediment to its creamy, rich appeal. One showcase for that range is this here recipe, guasacaca. It’s a Venezuelan thing, a sauce or a spread or a dip, depending on where you’re seeing it. It’s as friendly a moisturizer to meats as it is to plantain chips, which is how I first encountered it, and how we recommend you introduce it to your friends.

INGREDIENTS

Makes 3 cups
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chili
  • ½ C chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ C chopped onion
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • ½ t + kosher salt
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ C parsley leaves
  • ½ C cilantro leaves
  • ½ C olive oil
  • 2 T water
  • ½ lime’s worth of juice, maybe more

PREPARATION

Pulse the garlic, chili, bell pepper, onion, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor to finely chop. Let stand 15 minutes. Add the flesh of the avocados and the herbs and process until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify, then thin with the water. Stop the machine, taste, and season with salt and lime juice. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. This is best served at room temperature. Reseason with salt and lime juice as needed before serving.

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