THE WASHINGTON POST – Sometimes a weeknight dinner can be luxurious. There’s no rule against that, right?
I was inspired to make this Seafood Guacamole – with shrimp and crab – after spending time with Roberto Santibañez’s Truly Mexican (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).
After leafing through the office copy, I bought my own and gave it a spot on my already-crowded shelf.
Santibañez’s cookbook is more than a collection of recipes. It’s a reference book when it comes to the vast array of chiles, for example. If you want a deeper knowledge of Mexican food, take it section by section and learn to make salsas, moles and adobos, and then discover how to use each of these sauces, modifying them, for a string of delicious dishes.
The chef does the same thing with guacamole. The classic dip is just a jumping off point for more deliciousness. As he noted: “Any time an avocado is mashed and mixed with other ingredients, you can call it guacamole.” He stressed that guacamole is best made and then devoured right away, so the avocado stays pretty and the lime and herbs stay bright and lively.
I’m a guacamole fiend. So, when I found myself in that rare situation – for me at least – of having a couple of perfectly ripe avocados and wanting to do them justice, I reached for the book again.
For this dish, first you make a classic chunky guacamole with onion, fresh chiles, salt, cilantro and lime. Then, you toss the seafood with more of those seasonings, as well as a little chipotle chile powder and orange juice.
Some of the seasoned seafood is stirred into the guacamole, the rest is scattered on top. We piled it all in a big bowl, warmed up tender corn tortillas and went to town. If you want a side, try the cookbook author’s Fast Mashed Canned Black Beans and rice. Santibañez recommends jumbo lump crab for the dish, but I settled for a lesser grade when I made it. It was still just a weeknight supper, after all.
Active: 30 minutes | Total: 45 minutes
Four servings (makes about 1 3/4 cups guacamole and about 3 1/2 cups seafood guacamole)
For the classic guacamole
Two tablespoons finely chopped white onion
One tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
One tablespoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeño chile, including seeds, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
One large or two small ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted
Fresh lime juice (optional)
For the seafood guacamole
Four ounces crabmeat, picked over
1/3 cup (Three ounces) cooked shrimp or lobster meat, cut into bite-size pieces
Three tablespoons fresh orange juice
Four tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided use
One tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño or serrano chile, including seeds, or more to taste
One tablespoon mild olive oil
One teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or two teaspoons minced canned chipotles in adobo, including sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Eight (Six-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
Black beans, warmed (optional)
Rice, warmed (optional)
Make the classic guacamole: In a medium molcajete or other mortar, mash the onion, cilantro, chile and salt (the coarseness of kosher salt helps you make the paste) to a loose paste. (You can also mince and mash the ingredients together on a cutting board, using the blade and then side of the blade of a large knife.) Transfer the paste to a large bowl.
Using a paring knife, score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern without cutting through the skin. Scoop the avocado out with a spoon into the mortar or bowl. Toss well and mash coarsely with a pestle or a fork. Season to taste with the lime juice (if using) and/or additional chile and salt.
Make the seafood guacamole: In a medium bowl, combine the crab, shrimp, orange juice, two tablespoons cilantro, fresh chile, oil, chipotle and salt and let the mixture marinate for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
Transfer the classic guacamole to a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half of the seafood into the classic guacamole, and stir. Season to taste with additional salt, then, using the slotted spoon to gather it, garnish the mixture with the remaining seafood mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas and optional black beans and rice.
To make Santibañez’s Fast Mashed Canned Black Beans: In a small saucepan over high heat, combine a 15-ounce can black beans, including liquid, 1/4 cup water, one tablespoon mild olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, vigorously smashing the beans with a fork or potato masher for two to three minutes, or until most of the beans are softened.
Nutrition | Calories: 155; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 497mg; Carbohydrates: 5g; Dietary Fibre: 3g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 12g.