Some friends were in town last week and we hit a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food is amazing and the chef greets you like you are a guest at his dinner party. He brings the special table side to view and he describes the food so emotionally, it is always hard to decide what to order. I decided on the Chile en Nogada, a stuffed poblano chile pepper. The pepper is stuffed with a very finely ground spicy beef, topped with a creamy walnut sauce, and when in season it is finished with pomegranate seeds on top. The pomegranate seeds are the Pièce de résistance on the dish, the tang works perfect with the spicy meat and the slightly sweet sauce. Such a great dish! They make a tasty pomegranate margarita too.
In the grocery store this weekend I couldn’t pass up buying a pomegranate when I saw them in the produce section, though I had no clue how I would use it. Luckily dinner at a friend’s house provided the perfect opportunity. I was put on guacamole duty; I already had everything in the house for it so it was easy. Avocados are delicious just as is, which makes whipping up guacamole pretty fool proof. Simply mashing avocado, salt and maybe a bit of lime juice or even your favorite salsa will usually do. But since I had some goodies on hand, particularity the pomegranate seeds, and time to invest I thought I would make a more elaborate guacamole.
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 chile (Serrano or jalapeno)
- 1/4 large onion, diced
- 4 T. cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 4 avocados, halved
- 1 t. salt
- pomegranate seeds
- Mash all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Transfer to serving bowl and top with pomegranate seeds.
The amounts don’t have to be so precise with this recipe. Any of the ingredients in the recipe can be used to taste or left out together, I know some people don’t like onions, my oldest included. I prefer a chunky guacamole, but it can be mashed as smooth as you prefer.
The pomegranate seeds add a punch of color to the dip as well as a little bite of tang. I find the best way to get the seeds out of a pomegranate is to cut it half and tap the outer shell with a wooden spoon over a bowl of water. The seeds will float to the bottom and any lose membrane will float on top to be easily removed. Not difficult, but perhaps a bit labor intensive. The seeds are also great in salads, on top of a spicy soup or chili, or mixed in with Greek yogurt.