Lemon Thyme and Ginger

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

This is just one of those recipes that came to me in the middle of doing something else, that is completely unrelated, like weeding. Surely, my mind was elsewhere and not focused on what I needed to accomplish. Sometimes food ideas and inspiration just grow out of me at the most unexpected times. Clearly, I must have been subconsciously dreaming of the adobo sauce I made from one of my favorite Mexican food resources, Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez. It was so much easier than I expected and now I have a bowlful of this delicious smoky chili purée. What to make? Out of the blue, my mind forced me to stop whatever I was doing and pushed forward an idea for grilled chicken kebabs marinated in a yogurt adobo sauce.

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

Here is my dream come to reality with a recipe for grilled chicken kebabs made using an adobo sauce and yogurt marinade, just because yogurt makes everything so tender, and mixed in with well-seasoned thick pieces of chicken thighs. The chicken kebabs cook quickly over a hot grill and taste remarkable with something fruity, crispy and sweet, like fresh corn and mango avocado salsa.

Trying Something New

I always hesitate when I make a new recipe with dried chili peppers because I never know how hot it will taste. But the more I cook with fresh and dried chilies, the more familiar I get with their multi-dimensional flavors. Every cuisine appears to have a sauce (or two) made with hot chilies and spices that are quite addictive.

Adobo sauce is another one of the great sauces with a pleasing smoky dried chili flavor mixed with vinegar and other spices. It is that acid chili pepper combo that just tastes so amazing and keeps me coming back for more. Adobo is not as acidic as Asian chili sauces like Sriracha. It is much subtler with the chilies as the more prominent taste.

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

Adobo Sauce

To make your own adobo sauce, use dried guajillo and/or ancho chilies if you can find them. They are not as hot as other dried chilies and are the traditional chilies used in adobo sauce. These chilies have mild heat with smoky and fruity flavors. Making the sauce is not complicated. Toast then soak the chili peppers, then purée the chilies, garlic, herbs, and apple cider vinegar until smooth. That’s it. The most difficult part of making the sauce is sourcing the dried chilies. You can find them at well-stocked grocery stores or Mexican markets. Another bonus with making adobo sauce is, you can make it ahead and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or, you can freeze adobo sauce in an airtight container for one month.

I noticed this recipe from Roberto Santibañez is a basic adobo sauce and uses significantly less vinegar than other adobo sauce recipes I’ve read. Also, some adobo sauces include spices like cinnamon and cloves or paprika. You can play around with the ingredients just keep in mind that the chilies are the prominent flavor and the seasonings are in the background.

Store bought Adobo Sauce

However, do not let the extra step of making the adobo sauce deter you from making grilled adobo chicken kebabs. You can make a pseudo adobo sauce with canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. If you can find store-bought adobo sauce all the better. Chipotle chilies are spicier and smokier than guajillo or ancho chilies, so the sauce will taste different, but it is an easy substitute. Just purée the chipotle chilies with the adobo sauce using as much of the adobo sauce as possible. You may not need all of the chipotle chilies to make a half cup of sauce. Most importantly, do not confuse adobo seasoning with adobo sauce. They are not the same thing.

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

Adobo Chicken Kebabs

What I love about the adobo chicken kebabs is they are perfect for many meals. Eat the adobo chicken kebabs hot off the grill with a fruit salsa like my recipe for Mango Avocado Salsa. They also taste great paired with something creamy like Mexican Crema, yogurt sauce or crème fraîche. Anything Goes Potato Salad is another perfect side dish with the sweet fresh corn and bright fresh vegetables to contrast with the smoky chili flavored chicken. Also, try Creamy Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, with grilled adobo chicken kebabs. The lemon cream dressing, jalapeño peppers, and capers will compliment the adobo along with the fresh mozzarella and ripe heirloom tomatoes.

Mix It Up

To mix things up, make fajitas with Adobo chicken kebabs with poblano rajas, sautéed strips of poblano peppers and white onions, instead of bell peppers. Using my recipe (linked above) for creamy poblano sauce, follow the instructions up to the step before you process the vegetables into the creamy sauce.

Adobo yogurt marinade is perfect for any type of chicken either grilled or roasted. Try it with a spatchcock chicken or other bone-in chicken pieces, either grilled or roasted. You can marinate bone-in chicken for a longer time than boneless chicken, but not more than 8 hours. Chicken gets mushy if marinated for too long.

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

Print
Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs recipe.

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs

Grilled chicken kebabs marinated in a yogurt adobo sauce gets so tender and full of flavor. The adobo sauce adds a wonderful smokiness with bright flavors from the chilis and apple cider vinegar. There are so many variations you can do with adobo chicken kebabs. Serve them as is with fresh corn or a fruit salsa. Or, you can use the chicken kebabs and make chicken tacos or fajitas with poblanos rajas and Crema Mexicana or crème frâiche. See blog post for poblanos rajas recipe. 

Also, adobo sauce tastes delicious with shrimp or fish so you should have no problem using up the sauce. If you do not want to make the adobo sauce, buy a 7 oz can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce and purée until smooth. Try to add as much adobo sauce into your purée by scraping it off the chilis. You may not need all the chipotles. This sauce may be spicier and smokier than if you made the adobo from scratch.

Adobo sauce recipe is from Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Adobo Chicken, Adobo Sauce, Chicken kebabs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
marinating time 2 hours
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Ginger

Ingredients

Adobo Chicken Kebabs

  • 2 lbs (1 k) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp (3 g) Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (1 g) granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp (1 g) dried onion
  • 1 ½ tsp (2 g) Mexican oregano or Italian oregano
  • 1 tsp (less than a gram) ground coriander
  • A few rounds of black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 ml) plain yogurt or buttermilk (see note)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) adobo sauce or ½ cup (125 ml) of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce puréed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar or more to taste
  • Vegetable oil for the grill

Adobo Sauce from Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez

  • 3 ounces (75 g) guajillo chilies about 12
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) water plus water for soaking the chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp (22.5 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp (4.5 g) Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp (4 g) granulated sugar
  • Rounded ¼ tsp of ground cumin
  • 9 inch 23 cm bamboo skewers or metal skewers for the kebabs

Instructions

For the chicken

  1. Cut the chicken thighs up into 1 ½ inch chunks.
  2. Place the cut up chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in the Kosher salt, dried garlic, dried onion, oregano, ground coriander and black pepper. Mix the spices in the chicken turning the chicken pieces over with your hands until the spices are evenly mixed. Set aside on the counter.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, adobo sauce, and apple cider vinegar. Mix until smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Pour the yogurt adobo sauce into the bowl with the chicken and thoroughly mix until the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate for two hours or up to 6 hours.

  5. 30 minutes before you want to start cooking your kebabs, soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  6. Take your bowl of chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to start grilling to bring the chicken up to room temperature.
  7. When the skewers are sufficiently soaked, thread the chicken pieces on the skewers. I fit 6 pieces of chicken on each skewer. Be careful not to pack the chicken in too tight and therefore will take longer to cook. Set the chicken kebabs on a tray when done.

  8. In the meantime, get your grill ready. Prepare your gas or charcoal grill for a medium-hot fire.

Grill the Kebabs

  1. When the coals and grill grate are nice and hot, add some oil to a wad of paper towels. Hold onto your paper towel wad with long barbecue tongs and rub oil over the hot grill grate.

  2. Place the kebabs on a diagonal over the grate directly over the heat source. Grill the kebabs for 3 minutes then turn them over to the other side. Grill that side for 3 minutes. Continue cooking the chicken kebabs turning them over every 2 minutes until they are done, the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C). You might need to sacrifice one piece of chicken and cut it open to see if it is done. The total cooking time should be around 8 – 12 minutes depending on how hot your grill is.

  3. If the chicken kebabs are getting too charred, move them over to the side of the grill not directly over the coals or heat source. 

  4. When done, place the kebabs on a tray and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Adobo Sauce

  1. Prepare your chilies. Wipe the chiles clean and remove the stems. Slice each chili open down the side and remove the seeds and the veins as best you can.
  2. Heat a heavy-duty skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. (I used a non-stick electric griddle set at 325 - 350°F, (173°-176°C). It was great to fit all the chilies on the griddle in one fell swoop.) Toast the chilies turning them over until they slightly change color, soften and become fragrant About one minute. While you are toasting the chilies, press down on them to get as much of the surface area touching the hot surface.

  3. Add the toasted chilis to a bowl filled with enough cold water to cover the chilies for 30 minutes. Remove the chilies from the water and place them in a bowl of a blender or food processor. Discard the soaking water.
  4. Add ¾ cup of fresh water to the processor with the chilies, the garlic, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, and cumin. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add more water to thin the purée as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you want a smooth and silky purée, press the adobo through a fine mesh strainer fitted over a bowl.

  5. Makes 1 ½ cups (375 ml) of adobo sauce 

Recipe Notes

You want to use plain yogurt, not Greek yogurt for the marinade. It is best if the marinade is not too thick. If Greek yogurt is all you have then thin it out with some milk or buttermilk. You can also substitute buttermilk for the yogurt. 

There is enough marinade for 3 pounds of chicken if you need to cook for a larger crowd. There is no need to make more marinade for the additional pound. 

Grilled Adobo Chicken Kebabs Recipe. A recipe for grilled adobo chicken kebabs. Seasoned chicken is marinated in a yogurt adobo sauce. This marinade creates very tender chicken kebabs with a slightly smoky chili flavor.

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo. What to feed the Groomsmen Part Two

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Part two of my quest to figure out what to feed the groomsmen, I decided to make grilled skirt steak in addition to the grilled chicken. As I mentioned earlier this week, at Evan’s request I am not making a lot of different foods like dips, salsas or desserts, so the sandwiches need to be the star of the meal. After all, they are the only food offered besides chips and beer.

Because the grilled chicken is marinated in a classic garlic and herb marinade, I decided to use Mojo de Ajo to flavor the grilled skirt steak. This way both the grilled selections have a similar garlic flavor, but in their own unique way.  The grilled chicken has a garlic herb profile with an Italian American flavor and the grilled skirt steak has a Mexican cuisine flavor profile from the simmered garlic, chilies and Mexican oregano. Both grilled foods are different, but they complement each other because they share similar ingredients and the same cooking method.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

My hope is the grilled skirt steak sandwich with mojo de ajo will give the groomsmen a taste of something unexpected as well as delicious. Mojo de Ajo has a prominent garlic flavor but it is not strong and lingering. I feel like I contradicted myself by saying it is prominent but not strong, yet it is true. By not strong I mean the garlic behaves and like a polite guest knows when it is time to home. This is not the type of garlic that you taste all night long when your want to go to sleep. Roasted garlic is the most significant flavor, but because of the orange juice, tomatoes and arbol chilies it comes across sweeter with a kick. Grilled skirt steak in mojo de ajo is both has a familiar taste yet, it is new at the same time.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Grilled Skirt Steak

Skirt steak takes no time to grill, either on an outdoor grill or on the stove in a grill pan. My skirt steak finished cooking in 4-5 minutes on a grill pan for medium rare. However, they were thin pieces of meat. Depending on the thickness of your skirt steak and how much you want your steak to cook, it could take a minute less or a couple of minutes longer. If you have never cooked skirt steak before, start with the recommended time in the recipe and test it to see how done it is. Skirt steak tastes better when it is rare to medium rare and because my pieces were very thin, probably should cook them for less time. Additionally, it is important to rest the steaks for 10 minutes before you slice them. This way the juices will soak into your steak and not flow all over your cutting board.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Mix it up

Now, I am using grilled skirt steak to make sandwiches, but this steak makes an easy weeknight dinner as well. Last night we ate it for dinner with a green salad and devoured it. We liked it so much, we could not stop picking at it. Both of us repeatedly commented, “I’ll just have one more sliver please.” Eventually, we had to remove the grilled skirt steak from the table before we ate the whole thing.

Grilled skirt steak with mojo de ajo makes the perfect steak taco. Actually this is how I first became acquainted with the garlic sauce in the cookbook Taco.

Make fajitas with grilled skirt steak with mojo de ajo and poblano rajas, which is sautéed strips of poblano chilies and white onions. Get the recipe from my poblano chili cream sauce. This creamy poblano sauce will also taste great with grilled skirt steak.

Make a grilled skirt steak salad with arugula, avocado, oranges and baby radishes. Drizzle some of the mojo de ajo on the steak and dress with a citrus vinaigrette. My favorite is a combination of orange juice and lemon juice with a little honey, a touch of Dijon mustard, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and finished with fresh herbs like mint or basil..

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Print
Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo

The mojo de ajo gives grilled skirt steaks a whole new flavor. It is perfect for a steak dinner with a green salad, or beef tacos, or make into steak sandwiches.

Add some mojo de ajo in the mayonnaise for your sandwiches for extra flavor. 

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Ginger

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the skirt steak in a baking dish just large enough to hold the skirt steak in an even layer. Sprinkle the skirt steak with Kosher Salt on both sides, about ½ teaspoon total, possibly a pinch more.

  2. Separate the oil from the solids of the Mojo de Ajo and pour about 1/3 cup over the skirt steak. Turn the steaks over and rub them with the oil to get and even coating. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the skirt steaks rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  3. Prepare your grill. Oil the grill once the coals are in place. 

  4. Place the skirts steaks on a 45° angle over the grill and sear for 2 minutes. Rotate the steaks towards the opposite 45° angle and grill for one minute. Turn the skirt steaks over and repeat on the other side. If you have a thicker piece of skirt steak try 4 minutes  side. The steaks could be done anywhere from 5-8 minutes depending on how thick they are. 

  5. Remove the skirt steaks from the grill and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
  6. Slice across the grain in thin slices and serve garnished with the minced garlic and tomatoes from the Mojo de Ajo.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Mojo de Ajo recipe. A sublime recipe for grilled skirt steak with sweet garlic flavor from Mojo de Ajo, a citrus garlic olive oil from Veracruz.

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Condiment, The Pantry | June 13, 2018 | By

Lets talk. What I have here is something that will turn your homemade food from good to spectacular, Mojo de Ajo, [MOH-hoh day AH-hoh]. Some people call this sauce “liquid gold” because of its’ gold color from the minced garlic and priceless flavor. The name essentially translates to garlic sauce, but some people believe it is more of a condiment than a sauce. While the garlic simmers in olive oil, the raw brashness mellows to a sweet roasted garlic flavor that permeates the olive oil. Mojo de Ajo is worth making and transforms any food it touches.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Liquid Gold is different from garlic infused olive oil you can buy at the store. There is a prominent roasted garlic flavor with a subtle citrus note. Fresh squeezed orange juice sweetens the olive oil and cuts down on any heaviness associated with oil based sauces.

This recipe is from Alex Stupak’s cookbook, Tacos, and is different from other mojo de ajo recipes I’ve seen. His recipe has extra flavor from minced tomatoes. They add a nice texture and makes it more of a condiment, like a salsa. The tomatoes compliment the garlic infusion like the orange juice, and the toasted spices adds just the right amount of heat.

liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe

Read my review of Tacos here.

Special Ingredients for Mojo de Ajo

Most of the ingredients in Mojo de Ajo are readily available at any grocery store, but there are two ingredients that need some tracking down, Arbol chilies and Mexican oregano. You can get both of these ingredients at Latin Markets, well stocked spice stores, and some grocery stores. Arbol chili is usually sold dried whole, retaining its shape and red color. It adds a subtle heat to the Mojo de ajo and worth sourcing.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Mexican oregano is different from Italian oregano, in fact they are two different plant families. I do not believe they are interchangeable, because they taste and smell so different. Italian oregano has a mintier flavor and I think is more bitter. Mexican oregano is grassier with a slight citrus flavor. When I toast Mexican oregano, it smells like you just walked into a Grateful Dead concert, so you might not want to make this the same day you have your in-laws over for dinner. Despite the distinctive smell, it does not taste like pot but has an herby flavor that compliments many Mexican meals. If you like to make Mexican cuisine it is a worthwhile herb to have in your spice drawer. I promise you it is not marijuana and I use it in all my Mexican food recipes.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe with skirt steak.

Best Uses for Mojo de Ajo

  • Mojo de Ajo is trans-formative and adds great depth of flavor to any dish it’s paired with.
  • Drizzle it over grilled meats, chicken, fish or vegetables.
  • Braise baby artichokes in Mojo de Ajo instead of the anchovy caper sauce.
  • Use the oil to marinate steaks, then drizzle the garlic and tomatoes over the sliced meat.
  • Roast Shrimp smothered in Mojo de Ajo, and switch up the cocktail sauce with some of the garlic sauce.
  • Add to hummus for extra garlic flavor.
  • Spoon into soups especially ones made with winter squash.
  • Drizzle over grilled tofu.
  • Smear it over toasted bread.
  • Marinate goat cheese in the Mojo de Ajo for a special cheese course.
  • Mix into ground turkey for a turkey burger or meatloaf.
  • Mix into an aioli or mayonnaise for a great sandwich spread or dip.

The possibilities are endless.

Print
Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo

An amazing condiment made with olive oil, minced garlic, and orange juice. This recipe is from Alex Stupak's book, Taco'sHis version includes diced tomatoes with the minced garlic which adds a lovely texture and subtle tomato flavor.  Mojo de Ajo is delicious drizzled over grilled meats or vegetables, stirred into grains, or smeared over toasted crusty bread. 

Makes about 1 1/2 cups (375 ml). 

Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Ginger

Ingredients

  • 2 arbol chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup (250 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1 plum tomato, diced

Instructions

Make the spice blend

  1. Slice the arbol chilies in half lengthwise and shake out the seeds. Discard the seeds. 

  2. Heat a small heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the arbol chilies, Mexican oregano, and black peppercorns and toast the spices. Shake the pan back and forth so the spiced do not burn. Toast for about 15 seconds and quickly pour the spices onto a plate to cool. 

  3. Pour the spices into a spice grinder and grind them into a fine powder. Set aside. If you do not have a spice grinder, pour the toasted spices onto a cutting board, and mince with a sharp knife to as fine a texture you can get. 

Make the Mojo de Ajo

  1. In a two quart sauce pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Simmer the garlic until is just begins to get a golden brown, about 8 minutes or longer. Be careful that the garlic does not get too brown or burn. 

  2. Add the orange juice, diced tomatoes and ground spice powder and simmer for a couple of minutes or until the tomatoes are soft n thoroughly cooked. 

  3. Turn off the heat and let the mojo de ajo cool. Pour the whole lot into a glass container with a tight fitting lid. 

    Store in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for one month as long as the garlic and tomatoes are thoroughly cooked through. Before using, bring the Mojo de Ajo up to room temperature.  

Liquid Gold: Mojo de Ajo recipe. Mojo de Ajo is a garlic sauce used in Mexican Cuisine. It is delicious drizzled over meats, chicken,, fish and vegetables. A great sauce to have in your culinary repertoire.

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

A Family Favorite, Guacamole!!

Family Favorite Guacamole recipe

Guacamole is one of my all-time favorite foods, ever. I loved it since I was a child and have never stopped. My love affair with guacamole comes from an even greater appreciation for avocados. They are on my desert island list of food that I can’t live without. It is just so hard to imagine what life would be like without them. Avocados remind me of California and eating them is one way I stay connected to my home town.

For most of my lifetime, I have made guacamole and never look at it as a recipe, but something that is fluid and develops into a moment depending on place and time. There is a foundation to build on, but each time I add or omit an ingredient whenever I see fit. Over the years, my guacamole recipe is the one food that people always ask me, “What is my secret for making delicious guacamole?” My answer is not one they expect or want to hear but, I feel like I am stating the obvious. The secret to good guacamole is, making it with perfectly ripe avocados.

Family Favorite Guacamole reicpe

Ripe Avocados make the Best Guacamole

Ultimately, guacamole is only going to taste as good as the avocados you make it with. So, it pays to learn how to identify when they are ripe. It is rare to find them ripe at the market so, it is important to let your avocados ripen to that sweet spot at home. Too hard and the flesh will look pale in and taste bland. Too soft, and the avocado gets gray veins and has bruises on the flesh and tastes over ripe.

The sweet spot is when there is some firmness in the body, but also has some yield when you press on the north and south poles of the avocado. It is like Goldilocks, looking for the right chair to sit in. One that is not too hard, or not too soft. Just right. With experience it gets easier to identify that perfect state of ripeness and learn which store sells the best avocados.

Family Favorite Guacamole. How to make delicious guacamole. Start with the foundation recipe, then adjust the flavor with roasted tomatillos, or salsas for the perfect guacamole every time.

Living in New York, avocados travel long distances to reach our markets and usually are as hard as a granite counter top. Typically, when I buy avocados I let them rest on my window sill for 2 days before I use them. On occasion, they need more time, sometimes less. First, remove them from any bag, even the mesh bag, but especially a plastic one. Then place them in an area where they will get some sun and air circulation. Never put avocado in the refrigerator unless they are cut open. Check them daily and handle them carefully so they do not bruise.

My kitchen windows do not get a lot of direct sunlight, and two to three days usually is enough time. If your kitchen streams with sunshine all day, your avocados may take less time. None of the tricks, like putting them in a paper bag to quickly ripen avocados, work.  Time, warm air and sunlight are essential for ripening avocados.

Family Favorite Guacamole recipe

How to Make Guacamole Without a Recipe

When your avocados are ripe, begin making guacamole with the foundation ingredients, avocados, garlic, lime juice, pinch of salt, and minced cilantro. As you make guacamole remember this rule, start with less and add more if needed. It is a lot easier to add seasoning then take away. My preference for guacamole is create a nice balance of all the ingredients to enhance the flavor of the avocados without any one flavor coming on too strong. There are other traditional ingredients in guacamole like white onion or chopped tomatoes, but I prefer a smoother guacamole. Plus, I am not a big fan of raw onions. Feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of chopped white onions or tomatoes if you wish.

Once you get the foundation mixed together, taste and assess what the guacamole needs if anything. With perfect avocados it doesn’t take much to make good guacamole. Sometimes, the avocados lack some flavor and need some boosting. The easiest way to boost up the flavor is by adding a tablespoon of salsa, either tomato salsa or tomatillo salsa. Also, a small spoonful of mayonnaise helps make the guacamole creamy. Even a scant amount of Dijon mustard can offer the right amount of tang when the guacamole needs some acid to brighten it up. However, be careful not to add too much because you don’t want to taste the mustard or mayonnaise, these flavors should be in the background.

Family Favorite Guacamole recipe.

Extra Tidd-Bits for Boosting Guacamole Flavor

Just like adding a spoonful of salsa to your guacamole, you can achieve the same effect, if not better if you roast a tomatillo, jalapeño or serrano pepper, and garlic then add them to the guacamole. Personally, I love adding these roasted vegetables to guacamole, especially the garlic. The roasted garlic becomes sweet, and the harsh bite disappears. These roasted vegetables bring a slight tangy smokiness to the guacamole that just fits, like bacon and eggs.

Learn how to roast tomatillos and chili peppers by reading, Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce or White Chicken Chili.

A couple of years ago, I discovered how fresh fruit like strawberries is delicious with guacamole. Either serve strawberries on the side or chop some up and mix in the dip. You may need to add more salt and adjust the other seasoning, so taste and build the flavor as you go.

Family Favorite Guacamole recipe.

How Many Avocados?

3 avocados are a good place to start. It should make enough guacamole for 5-6 people. However, if your family is like my family it will disappear in less than 5 minutes and you will feel like you did not make enough. Avocados are expensive, at least in NY, so buy as many as is within reason. The most avocados I ever used to make guacamole are 6-7 avocados. It was for a decent size party of 15 or more people. However, if there are several appetizers in addition to the guacamole, there is no need to make so much.

Keep in mind, guacamole does not keep well. No matter how much lime juice is in the guacamole, eventually it turns gray from being exposed to the air. The oxidation also effects the flavor. Guacamole is a dip to serve right away and at room temperature.

Need more appetizers for your party? Try, Roasted Shrimp with Sriracha Cocktail Sauce and Deviled Eggs.

Print
Family Favorite Guacamole recipe

Family Favorite Guacamole

The secret to delicious guacamole is using perfectly ripe avocados. Avocados are ripe when they are still firm but there is some give in the top and bottom of the fruit. I find it is best to buy avocados a couple of days in advance and let them ripen on a sunny windowsill. 

This is a foundation recipe to build your guacamole as you make it. Adjust any amount of your preferred seasonings to enhance the flavor of your avocados.  

This is not a recipe to make in advance. Guacamole is best served at room temperature and immediately after it is made. Serve with corn chips or some fruit like strawberries and vegetables such as jicama, carrots, cucumbers or bell peppers.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Author Ginger

Ingredients

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 -2 cloves garlic peeled and green germ removed
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tea Kosher Salt
  • 2 TBS chopped cilantro
  • 1 roasted jalapeño chili optional
  • 1 medium roasted tomatillo optional

Instructions

  1. Cut each avocado in half by holding the avocado in one hand and with the other hand make a slice with a 6-inch chef's knife though the top of the avocado towards the middle until you reach the pit inside. Rotate your knife around the perimeter of the avocado. Set down the knife and hold the avocado in both hands then twist the avocado halves in opposite directions until they separate. Pull apart the avocado halves. 

  2. Securely hold the avocado with the pit like it is resting in your palm and the pit is facing up. Make sure your fingers are away from the edge of the avocado. Carefully, but firmly, take your chef knife and hit the sharp edge of the blade in the center of the pit until the knife sticks. With the knife blade secure in the pit, twist your knife counter-clockwise to loosen the pit from the flesh. Lift your knife with the pit still attached and remove the pit from the flesh. Whack the side of your knife against the edge of your cutting board, or the rim of a garbage pail, to loosen the pit from the knife and falls off. Repeat until all the avocados are cut in half and pits removed.

  3. Use a soup spoon and scoop out the avocado flesh. Run the spoon around the inside edge of the avocado to loosen it free from the skin. Scoop out the avocado flesh and place it into a mixing bowl. Repeat until all the avocados are scooped out. 

  4. Mash the avocados with a fork until all the flesh is mixed together but still chunky. Add lime juice from half a lime. Stir to mix with your fork. 

  5. Mince or press the garlic and place into the mixing bowl. Add a pinch (less than 1/2 a teaspoon), of Kosher salt. and the cilantro to the avocados. Stir to mix. 

  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Too bland add more salt or garlic. Needs more acid add more lime juice or tomatillos or salsa. Start with less and add more if needed.  

  7. Optional Ingredients:

    The roasted tomatillo, process in a food processor first then add it to the guacamole. 

    The chili peppers, remove the stem and scrape out the seeds and white pith according to how spicy you want the guacamole. 

    Instead of the roasted tomatillo or chilies, add a spoonful or salsa verde or tomato salsa.

    For extra creaminess, add a spoonful of mayonnaise. For extra tang, add a half teaspoon of Dijon mustard. 

    Sliced fresh grape tomatoes for garnish or in the dip. 


  8. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Best eaten immediately with corn chips or cut up vegetables and fruit. 

Family Favorite Guacamole. How to make delicious guacamole. Start with the foundation recipe, then adjust the flavor with roasted tomatillos, or salsas for the perfect guacamole every time.

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

Taste of Mexico: Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeño

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno recipe.

Cocktails, Recent Posts | April 30, 2018 | By

Let’s celebrate Margarita Week 2018. This is a social media event with food bloggers and enthusiasts across the virtual stratosphere, honoring margaritas and Cinco de Mayo. It is an annual event hosted by Kate Ramos of Hola Jalapeno, where we share margarita recipes with the world. Over the last couple of weeks, I tested recipes and tasted delicious margaritas and finally decided to share a recipe for Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeño. It is a floral and spicy remake of a traditional Hibiscus Margarita.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeño

My recipe for raspberry hibiscus margarita is made with a juice of raspberries and hibiscus herb tea, infused with jalapeño peppers and orange peel.  A small amount of sugar is added to the juice because I like to taste the tequila and fruit in my margaritas, not sugar. The juice recipe makes about 1 quart (a shy liter), which makes enough for 16 cocktails using equal proportions of juice to tequila.

I prefer margaritas made right before I drink it, as margaritas taste best after they are just shaken. If you insist on mixing the margarita ingredients together, to speed the cocktail making process along, do so right before your guests arrive. Later as you offer each guest a drink, add enough margarita mix to your ice filled cocktail shaker for 2 margaritas. Then shake and serve.

Another bonus from making the raspberry hibiscus jalapeño juice, is the juice makes a delicious nonalcoholic beverage.  Whenever I entertain I always offer a choice of cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks for my guests to enjoy. To make a Hibiscus Margarita mocktail, mix together, using a one to one ratio of  juice to either seltzer or ginger ale. Garnish the same as you would the Margarita. Your guests will be delighted at having a refreshing drink that is healthier than soda.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno, recipe.

 

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno recipe. A Mocktail substitute recipe.

For each recipe, a margarita or mocktail, this drink tastes best with the rim of the glass coated in salt and ground chili powder. The spiciness in the juice and from the salt-chili rim, compliments the hibiscus and tequila perfectly. If you really do not like the glass coated in salt, add a small pinch of chili salt to the cocktail shaker or glass and mix.  Just like a pinch of sea salt on dark chocolate, salt paired with the hibiscus juice and tequila is the finishing touch that makes a big difference.

Family Celebration

A year ago, I wrote a post congratulating my son Evan, for finishing his actuary exams on Cinco de Mayo. In his honor I published a recipe for a “Classic Margarita.”  Evan prefers his tequila straight up over ice, but I don’t believe he would refuse a refreshing remake of a classic Margarita. A year later, I get to wave my proud mama flag again, but this time it is for the whole family.

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita reicp

This year on Cinco de Mayo we have the honor to celebrate with my oldest son, Andrew, his wife Amanda, and his in-laws at the wedding of Andrew’s brother-in-law. As we raise our glass to toast the newly married couple, we also will congratulate Andrew for finishing his MBA. These past two years and a half were jam-packed from working full-time, getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, going to graduate school, brewing award-winning beers, and a hurricane through the state of Florida this fall. Steadfastly moving forward without looking back, Andrew did it and now looks forward to growing his career. Andrew continues to impress me how he manages to clearly see his goals ahead and maintain a positive attitude, even when things don’t always go his way. His positive attitude comes from within, but also from his love for and from Amanda. Together, their love for one another is a foundation of respect, caring, and fun.

This year, Amanda also had her proud moments by getting a job promotion with a lot of responsibility and travel.

More Family Celebration

As Evan comes upon his anniversary of passing his professional exams, he is about to begin a new adventure and is getting married in 6 weeks. His fiancée, Emily, is finishing a major accomplishment of her own when she finishes her Master’s in Education in two weeks.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno recipe.

We are blessed with three wonderful sons and I cannot finish my post without mentioning my youngest son, Taylor. Upon college graduation he toured Europe over the summer, then upon his return moved to New York City and started his career.  The kid just hasn’t stopped moving and he likes it that way. The extended working hours are grueling, but he remains positive and happy with his work and colleagues.

What this adds up for us is our boys are all grown up and make us proud everyday. Our family is growing, and we are so excited about the love and happiness they found. Once we were 5, now we are 7 strong and couldn’t be more thrilled.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno recipe.

What to Eat with your Hibiscus Margarita?

Enjoy your raspberry hibiscus margarita with your favorite Mexican food or with any type of cuisine from around the world.

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo SauceGrilled Chicken with Creamy Poblano Rajas Sauce. Rolled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. Roasted Cauliflower with Kale Parsley PestoZucchini Basil Frittata.  With dessert of Double Coconut Pie. Lemon Saffron Syrup Cake., or Bitter Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake

Margarita Week

Cinco de Mayo is becoming an auspicious day for my family, and I will gladly keep that tradition going. Join me on this May 5th in a toast, whether you are celebrating Mexico’s victory over Napoleon in the Franco Mexican War in 1862,  your cultural heritage and identity, your family, fulfilling dreams , accomplishing your goals, love, good will, peace, or just sharing a recipe around the world, by raising your glass and give thanks. Cheers my friends. May your life be filled with many celebrations and joy.

Check out all the recipes from the talented individuals Margarita Week participants. Follow the #maragritaweek on Instagram, and Hola Jalapeno’s Margarita Week web page.

Print
Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno recipe.

Fresh raspberries, hibiscus herb tea, orange peel and jalapeño steep together making a bright floral juice that is not too sweet and has a lot of spunk. Combine the juice with 100% pure agave, blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime juice (optional), for a refreshing hibiscus margarita. Or, mix the juice with seltzer or ginger ale for a nonalcoholic beverage. For either version, don’t skip on salting the glass rime.  The salt and extra ground chili pepper compliments the hibiscus and tequila perfectly. Trust me it makes a big difference. 

For make a nonalcoholic Raspberry Hibiscus Jalapeño beverage, stir together a one to one ratio of Hibiscus juice to seltzer. Too sweeten up the drink mix the juice with some 7-Up, or ginger ale. I recommend a ratio of two parts juice to one soda, so it is not too sweet.  

Use any herbal tea with hibiscus listed as the first ingredient. I tested this recipe with Red Zinger Tea by Celestial Seasoning, but Lemon Zinger, Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herb Tea by Stash, or the equivalent amount of dried hibiscus flowers are all good substitutes. Once the juice is finished, it will taste spicy, but keep in mind for the final product, the juice will get diluted with other liquids. If you wish, control the heat by how much of the white pith and seeds in the jalapeño pepper you add to the raspberries and hibiscus juice. 

Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Servings 1 margarita
Author Ginger

Ingredients

Raspberry Hibiscus Jalapeño Juice

  • 1, 10 oz (283 g) bag of organic frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 6 Hibiscus tea bags
  • 1 jalapeño stem removed and cut in half
  • ¼ cup (53 g) 53 g granulated sugar
  • 3, 2-inch (5 cm) long strips of orange peel
  • 5 cups (1.25 liters) water

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeño

  • Coarse salt like Kosher salt
  • 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon ( a pinch) of ground chili pepper
  • 2 oz (60 ml) raspberry hibiscus jalapeño juice
  • 2 oz (60 ml) 100% agave blanco tequila
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Cointreau
  • A squeeze of lime juice from half a lime
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 basil leaves

Instructions

Raspberry Hibiscus Jalapeño Juice

  1. In a medium sauce pan, at least a 2-quart (2 liter) capacity, combine the thawed raspberries, hibiscus tea bags, jalapeño pepper, orange peels, granulated sugar and water. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and keep the juice at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the juice steep for another 20 minutes.

  2. Strain out the solids from the juice. Pour the juice into a fine mesh strainer resting over a bowl with at least a 2-quart (2 liter) capacity. Hold the strainer over the bowl and gently press out any remaining juice in the strainer. Dispose of the solids in the strainer.
  3. Cool the juice before refrigerating it. Fill a large bowl with ice and rest the bowl with the juice in the middle of the ice. Stir now and then for even cooling. It could take about a half hour for the juice to cool enough to cover and refrigerate. If you keep the juice in the ice bath for at least an hour the juice might be chilled enough to make a drink. Keep in mind margaritas or juice tastes best when they are nice and cold.

  4. The juice makes about 1-quart, (1 liter). Store covered in the refrigerator until needed. The juice will last for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeño

  1. Pour some salt about a 1/4 cup, 75 ml, onto a plate wider than the diameter of your drinking glasses. Add the ground chili and mix. Take out your margarita glasses or double-old fashioned glasses and wet the rim of each glass with a piece of lime. Turn the glass upside down and dip it into the salt and chili mix. Make sure the whole rim is coated in salt. If you are using double old-fashioned glasses, add 5 ice cubes to each prepared glass just before you pour in the margarita mix. Set aside.

  2. In a shaker filled half way with ice, add the tequila, hibiscus juice, Cointreau, and lime juice if using. Add the mint and basil leaves by placing the herbs in the palm of your hands and clap. You want to smash the herbs to release their aroma. Rub your hands together and let the herbs fall into the shaker. Add more orange zest if you like.

  3. Shake for 15 seconds a good and hearty shake like you are dancing the salsa. Then strain into your salt rimmed margarita glass. Garnish with a slice of lime, a slice of jalapeño and orange zest.

Large batch and ahead of time preparation:

  1. If you are having a large party and want to mix the ingredients before your guests arrive, mix the Margarita ingredients without the herbs, into a pitcher just before your party begins.

  2. FYI, I did not test out the proportions as it was just the two of us over the weekend and I did not want to drink or waste a whole liter of tequila. I did the math for you. Taste and adjust the ingredients as you prefer. 
  3. In a pitcher, stir together 1-quart (1 liter) raspberry hibiscus jalapeño juice with 1 quart (1 liter) of 100% agave blanco tequila, one-pint (600 ml) of Cointreau, and ¾- 1 cup (185 ml – 250 ml) fresh squeezed lime juice, if using. Add less lime juice then specified and taste. Adjust the margarita mix as you see fit. Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator before mixing in a cocktail. When ready, pour enough margarita mix for two drinks, 8 -10 oz (250 – 300 ml), into a cocktail shake then add the herbs. Shake well and serve. Garnish with lime wedges, jalapeño slices, orange segments or zest. 

  4. Additionally, you will need to make extra juice for a nonalcoholic beverage.

Raspberry Hibiscus Margarita with Jalapeno. Traditional hibiscus margarita recipe gets a spicy remake with infused jalapeno chili for a bright and refreshing, raspberry hibiscus margarita. Also included in the post is a non-alcoholic variation using the raspberry hibiscus jalapeno juice.

 

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

Food Blog Theme from Nimbus
Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: