Is there anybody in America who doesn't like guacamole? It's the perfect example of America as culinary catch-all. Hey, Mexico--we may not like your illegal immigrants and all that drug gang stuff but we damn sure like this avocado dip, and we're going to serve it at every Superbowl party from now until the end of time. Frankly, I don't even think of guac as Mexican anymore--if you'd like an example of how it's become Americanized, get a load of some of the variations The Gourmet Cookbook offers after their base Guacamole recipe:
Guacamole with Tomato
Radish and Cilantro Guacamole
Fall-Winter Fruit Guacamole (with Fuji apple, red grapes and pomegranate seeds)
Summer Fruit Guacamole (with green grapes and ripe peach or red raspberry)
Fruit in Guacamole! I don't know about you but to me that sounds completely disgusting, like a toddler's kitchen experiment that I would pretend to eat and make encouraging sounds about.
But I've been wrong before (once I think) so I'm willing to suspend judgement almost completely until I try it.
ANYWAY. This recipe here has no fruit in it--it features tomatillos. What are tomatillos, you cry? They look like this:
Don't be afraid! They're like sort of sweet-tart tomatoes. More tart than sweet. Once you peel the husks off and rinse them (they're kind of sticky for some reason) you spread them on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven.
I forgot to take a post-charring-in-the-broiler pic but they get kind of soft and smooshy and cooked. Then you stir together onions, chilies, cilantro, salt and pepper with the charred tomatillos, and here's problem number one: skins of the tomatillos don't really mush, do they? I had to do a lot of tomatillo-skin extracting.
Then you peel and chunk the avocados, throw them in the mix, and mira! Charred Tomatillo Guacamole.
How was it? Well, it has avocados in it so of course it was freakin AWESOME, but aside from that it was a bit watery from the tomatillos. My suggestion, if you're going to branch out from good old Guac into tomatillo territory is to peel the skins after charring and before smooshing (they should slip off easily), and then to drain the tomatillos in a fine mesh sieve before adding them in. Easy fixes, but I'm surprised they didn't get caught before the recipe was included in the book.
Gracias to Mexican Foodie for tomatillo pic!