I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Negra Modelo and Chef Rick Bayless #ThePerfectCompliment cooking event in Dallas a couple weeks ago. While we sipped on rich, full bodied, cool, Negra Model (a welcome refreshing drink in this scorching Dallas heat) he demonstrated some of his classic Mexican foods that include Negra Modelo or pair perfectly with it. Being a Texan I was skeptical, what could this Chicago based celebrity chef teach me that I didn’t already know? Turns out a lot. Here are some of my takeaways for making the simple, yet quintessential cold beer accompaniment, Guacamole:
- to cut the sharp flavor of an onion, rinse it before chopping. it will also prevent you from tearing up while slicing
- Use a potato masher to gently mash avocados, it’s less tiring for your hands and keep guacamole chunky enough to taste every buttery avocado morsel
- get creative, yet keep it simple. Bayliss demonstrated an unbelievable Bacon guacamole, but even the unexpected ingredients didn’t overpower the main attraction, the avocado. Don’t add too much of anything, lime juice, salt, cilantro, or onions and taste often to ensure you don’t over season.
Below is the guacamole recipe I learned from the evening, but for more recipes featuring Chef Rick Bayless showcasing #ThePerfectCompliment with Negra Modelo get connected on their website or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Guacamole with Bacon, Grilled Green Onions and Roasted Tomatillos (Recipe from Rick Bayless Cookbook, Frontera. Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks)
4 medium tomatillos, husked, washed and cut in half crosswise
4 large green onions
a little olive oil
1 large fresh serrano pepper, stemmed
4 thick (about 4 oz) bacon
3 ripe medium-large avocados
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal grill and let it burn until the coals are medium hot and covered with gray ash. Lay the halved tomatillos (cut-side down) on a rimmed baking sheet or metal baking pan and slide onto the grill. Brush the ramps (or green onions or garlic chives) with oil. Lay them directly on the grill, along with the chile. Grill the ramps (or their stand-ins) and the chile until soft and richly browned, turning occasionally—the ramps will take 4 or 5 minutes, the chile about 10. Cook the tomatillos about 3 to 4q minutes, until soft and browned on one side, then flip them over and cook the other side. Cool everything. Finely chop the ramps (etc.) and chile, then scrape into a large bowl. Chop the tomatillo into small pieces, scrape them in with the ramps, then scrape in any juice that remains on the baking sheet.
While the grilled vegetables are cooling, cook the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat, turning every once in a while, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then chop into small pieces.
Mash the avocado flesh with the tomatillo mixture: Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side. Scoop out the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half. With an old-fashioned potato masher, large fork or back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado with the tomatillo mixture.
Stir in the lime, cilantro and half of the bacon. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When that time comes, scrape the guacamole into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining bacon. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if you wish.
Disclaimer: All views are my own. Roni Proter received compensation for attending #ThePerfectComplement Event in Dallas.