Monday, June 17, 2013

spring pea guacamole.

As of late I’ve been a terribly strange eater.  Sit down meals with one main dish no longer interests me.   Instead I’ve become a person who solely wants to snack and graze on little assorted bites of food which is why our dinners have been composed of various vegetable dishes, a hunk of cheese, crunchy grilled bread, and if we are feeling particularly splurge worthy some prosciutto or salami.  I call this style of eating California style or European alfresco style and it perfectly suits the summer months (and begs to be served with a chilled glass of wine).  Most meals of this nature have taken on an Italian spin but lately I’ve been leaning towards a more Mexican style (since it goes so well with ice cold tequila and lime) which is why this guacamole is now in heavy rotation.  This version is the perfect elevated rift on the classic dish of mashed avocado.  The peas add a subtle sweetness that plays off the charred jalapeno and the topping of toasted pumpkin seeds provides a little crunch and smoky flavor.  I love serving this with homemade salsa and chips or wedges of melted cheese quesadillas and a large margarita on the rocks for the epitome of superb summer eating and the perfect end to a long hot day. 

Spring Pea Guacamole
Recipe from ABC Cocina via Tasting Table

The boy took me to ABC Cocina for my birthday (or rather I told him I wanted to eat at ABC Cocina for my birthday and I made a reservation and he was kind enough to pay).  We ate this guacamole there and I feel in love and then was lucky enough to find out that Tasting Table scored the recipe.   I highly recommend going to ABC Cocina if you get the chance  - they are doing some really amazing things with vegetables and Mexican/Spanish flavors.  I also recommend consuming as much of the hot sauce as humanly possible as it’s the perfect combination of citrus and heat.  Oh and the restaurant itself is beyond gorgeous and unbelievably romantic. 

¾ cup shelled sweet peas
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 medium jalapeño
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 ripe avocados--halved, pitted and peeled
3 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
Pinch sea salt
Tortilla chips, for serving

Fill a large bowl with ice and water. To a medium saucepan of boiling water, add the peas and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the whole cilantro leaves and cook just long enough to wilt them, about 5 seconds. Strain both the peas and cilantro into a fine-mesh sieve and plunge the sieve into the ice water to stop the cooking. Once the peas are cool, transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Place the cilantro in a few layers of paper towels and wring dry.

To a skillet set over medium-high heat, add the sunflower seeds and toast until fragrant and golden-brown, about 1 minute. Transfer the sunflower seeds to a medium plate. To the skillet, add the whole jalapeño. Cook, using tongs to turn it often, until the jalapeño is charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chile to a small bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes. Peel the charred skin from the jalapeño, remove the stem, halve the chile lengthwise and remove the seeds with the tip of a paring knife.

To the small bowl insert of a food processor (or using a small capacity food processor), add all but 2 tablespoons of the cooled peas, the blanched cilantro, the charred jalapeño and ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely chopped, about 20 one-second pulses. Transfer the pea mixture to a medium bowl.

To the peas, add the avocados, scallions, lime zest, lime juice and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mash with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, the remaining peas, the chopped cilantro and the pinch of sea salt. Serve with the tortilla chips.

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