April 2, 2019 by Nicole Collins
Ooo La Taco…
I promise this will make sense in a few minutes. Though, my brain is kind of in squirrel mode this morning, and I feel 100 different tangents coming.
Me = Trying to focus…
Ok, ok. So, have you guys ever had a song that you will always and forever associate with a particular thing? It could be something personal like a person, a moment, a place. Or, it could be broader…like when you hear the Rembrandts song, you’ll always and forever think of Friends. Whatever it is, hearing the song just immediately puts this “thing” in your mind.
Music is a really important part of my life (not from a talent perspective, but from a feeling perspective), so I have dozens of these songs that spark a memory the second I hear them. I’ve been binge watching Party of Five on Netflix for the past couple of months, and I heard a song in one of the episodes that will always make me think of all 90’s dramas in my mind.
The song is As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins. “As I lay me down to sleep. This I pray. That you will hold me dear. Though I’m far away.”
Did you just transport to Dawson’s Creek, or what?!?
So, this song came up on one of my playlists while I was working from home a couple weeks ago, and I said something to my friend, Shannon, about how this song takes me back to the 90’s. And then, we started talking about song lyrics that we’ve “rewritten” or gotten wayyyyyy wrong because we can’t understand what they’re saying. Then, she proceeds to tell me her version of this particular song.
Ooo La Taco!
There’s a background whisper surrounding the chorus in this song; and per the Google machine, the actual lyrics are “ooo la kah koh”. THOSE AREN’T EVENT WORDS! It’s an innocent mistake to think they’re singing “ooo la taco”; and honestly, I prefer Shannon’s rewrite! I’ve been walking around for the past week singing “ooo la taco” on repeat!
And you know what goes great with ooo la tacos? Ooo la GUACOS! So, that’s what we’re making today.
Today, we’re making Southwestern Guacamole!
Was that the best transition in history, or what? #squirrel
So, we’ve already established on more than one occasion that I love avocados. And, I love avocados even more when they’re in guac form. I used to be skeptical about loaded guacs with all the things (kind of like I was a skeptic about loaded Deviled Eggs until these Crabby Devils), but then I realized more ingredients equals more deliciousness!
First off, we need some perfectly ripe avocados. Finding the perfect avocado can be tricky, but I am definitely not shy about touching every avocado in the bin until I find the right one. In fact, when I bought the avocados for this recipe, none of them were ready yet. There was another woman standing next to me going behind me a squeezing every avocado that I had just tossed back…like she didn’t believe that I knew how to pick a good avocado. How rude!
But ultimately, I compare the feel of a good avocado to the feel of a good peach. It should not be hard. It should give in when you put some pressure on it by squeezing your fingers, but it shouldn’t be totally soft to the point where it takes barely any pressure to feel the insides of the fruit. If your avocados are hard, like mine were, toss them in a paper sandwich lunch bag, fold the top over to close, and check them every day until they feel ready. The paper bag helps to speed up the process a tad. But, you’ll have to give yourself an extra day or two before the avocado is ready to use. I did some research on the hack circulating around the internet to soften a hard avocado in the oven, and the results I read were not satisfying enough for me to try it. So, I’d recommend waiting it out.
Anyways, to our mashed avocado, we’re going to add lots of goodies: roasted jalapenos, juicy roma tomatoes, sweet corn, tangy red onion, black beans, cilantro, fresh squeezed lime juice, and a generous pinch of salt. Adding all of these components give our guac the opportunity to have lots of textural components. Each bite has a pop of freshness, and it really is insanely delicious.
When you’re ready to eat this guac, think outside of the ooo la taco! Not only is this delish on a tortilla chip, in a taco, or straight from the bowl; it’s also totally delicious on top of some scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast. That’s how I’ve been eating it the past few days.
Alright guys, I’m feeling much more centered than I did when we started this conversation. And, remember…ooo la taco!
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Serves: about 2 cups Print
2 jalapeno peppers
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
¼ corn, thawed if frozen
¼ cup black beans, rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
¼ cup red onion, minced
¼ cup cilantro, minced
juice of ½ a lime
generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to broil and place top rack 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Spritz all sides of jalapeno peppers with cooking spray, and place on prepared baking sheet. Broil for 5 mins, flip peppers, and broil for 5 more mins until the skin is charred. Remove from the oven and place the jalapenos in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to steam for 15 mins. Peel the outer skin off of the peppers. Discard stem and remove seeds. Chop jalapenos in to a small dice.
In a mixing bowl, mash avocado with a fork to your desired texture. Add jalapenos, tomatoes, corn, black beans, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Stir to combine. Serve immediately!
*Guacamole is best served fresh, because avocados get funky when they're in contact with oxygen for too long. You can store leftovers for 2-3 days by storing guac in a glass container and placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the guac before placing the lid on the container. You may have to scrap off the top layer, but it stays bright green below!
*To choose a perfectly ripe avocado, give the avocado a light squeeze with your fingers. You want it to have a little give, but you don't want it to be too soft when you apply a little pressure. Too soft means it's past it's prime. Too hard means it needs a few more days before it's edible. It's the same process and feel as picking the perfect peach. Another trick is to pop off the nubbin at the top of the avocado. If it's still green underneath and the avocado has a slight softness when you squeeze it, the avocado is perfect! If it's brown underneath, move on to another avocado.
*A lot of sources suggest wearing gloves when working with spicy peppers, because the oils in the pepper can really burn or irritate your skin. I choose not to do this. However, when you're finished working with spicy peppers, rub a generous amount of table salt into your fingers and hands (whatever touched the pepper). Wash your hands with soap and water after. Rubbing the salt in to your fingers helps to extract the oils from your skin.
*If it's fresh corn season, roasted corn would be really nice here. Place the corn still in the husk on a baking tray, and roast at 350 degrees for 30 mins. When cool to the touch, add cut the kernels off the cob, and add them to your guac! Grilled corn would taste great too!