OK, here's the deal. I don't really give a hoot about football... unless the Chargers are involved. But it's not what you think: I'm not donning a powder-blue throw-back jersey nor am I placing electric bolt stickers on our car's rear window. Heh. I only sort of root for my hometown's team because one of my brothers is a big fan. He speaks of this team in the collective: "We played a good game." "We had a building year." See, I'm such a good sister that I hope this team does well only because it will make my brother's day. Guaranteed happiness... awwww. Sibling love.
Anyway. This non-Chargers game will be on the TV at our house. I will spend some time in the room. I like a good game. But, truth be told, I really only look forward to this event for the food. By that, I mean, the terribly naughty snacks. I try to eat pretty healthy... vegetables, fruit, blah blah blah. But in my view, the Super Bowl is a totally worthy excuse to plan for some cheesy, gooey, crispy, spicy yumminess.
I thought I'd post a couple of recipes this week that honor this Big Game food ethos.
One of my must-have, go-to dishes for any festive occasion is Guacamole with Homemade Chips. Yes, guac is not groundbreaking -- I think I was explaining to Toby that it's probably a required dish, if one were to consult the Super Bowl Noshing Bilaws -- but I must modestly say that my guac is good.
Although, the homemade chips are really the star of the show. The taqueria near my childhood home inspired me to start making my own. It was either that, or carry them home on the plane. At this strip-mall den of awesomeness, you can order "bag chips" which is actually chips and salsa. The sign used to just say "bag chips" -- and we still order it that way. Anyway, the actual chips part comes in a double-paper bag which is instantly spotty with oily goodness. The chips are WARM and they're liberally salted. The salsa is great, too. Heaven.
Guacamole & Homemade Chips, La Mesa Style
Guacamole: First off, please step away from the blender, the food processor and the sour cream. Their services will not be required. Start by slicing open 4 or so ripe Hass* avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, mash up with a fork until chunky and immediately squirt with the juice of half a lime (prevents browning). Mince a medium-hot (taste to test--if too hot, reduce quantity) Serrano pepper, dice 1/2 a red onion, chop a good handful of cilantro, dice a flavorful tomato (but this is February, so leave it out if you like), and mince a small clove of garlic. Scrape all into the bowl. Liberally season with sea salt. Combine everything with the fork, mashing the avocado further until it's as smooth or as chunky as you like. (I like a nice balance between smoothness and slight chunkiness.) Add more lime juice and salt as needed. Once you're happy, either gobble it up immediately or do the responsible thing and "let the flavors meld" as they say. Press cling wrap onto the surface of the guac (further prevents browning) and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Then, greedily gobble it up.
Oh wait, you need chips!
Fabulous Homemade Chips: In a heavy-bottomed pan or deep pot, heat a half-inch or so of neutral oil that can get REALLY hot (i.e., not olive oil). I like to use organic canola oil. Pile up a dozen or more all-corn tortillas and slice the stack into 8 wedges (like a pizza). Once the oil is ready (i.e., vigorously frying--throw in a sacrificial tortilla wedge to test), carefully lay a single layer of your little tortilla wedges in the oil. Fry, turning over carefully with tongs once they begin to lightly brown. Pull out a test chip and test for crispiness. If it's good, pull them all out and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Repeat until you've turned all your little tortilla wedges into golden, crispy chips (monitor the heat as needed so they don't brown too fast). Serve warm. Ahhh.
I'll post photos of my batch on Sunday!
*Hass are now in season in California and are far superior (i.e., buttery) to other varieties.