Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Guacamole: The Mexicali 4am Hangover Special

When I signed up for the California Avocado Dinner at Evo Conference two weeks ago, I'll admit that I didn't really read the fine print. My friends were going, I like avocados, there you go. I walked in an found my friends Shannon and Erica at a table. We were chatting when Erica said something that caught my attention about the chefs cooking for us. I don't even remember what it was (you'll see why,) but it prompted me to turn around and there, right behind me, was Susan Feniger.

And I completely, totally, lost. my. cool.

As in I jumped up, started breathing really fast, turned to Shannon and Erica and said, "OHMYGOSHTHAT'SSUSANFENIGERYOUGUYSYOUGUYS." To their credit, they both looked at me as if I was a plaid cow and said, "Who?" "SUSANFENIGER" I hyperventilated, "One of the most famous chefs in the world, she's been on Top Chef Masters, had her own cooking shows, practically introduced haute Mexican to America with her partner Mary Sue Milliken and OHMYGOSH SHE'S RIGHT THERE." I turned around, knocked over a couple chairs, and introduced myself. Susan had the most joyous smile on her face. "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO BE HERE," I said.
"Well, who did you expect?" she said. I didn't have an answer.
"Could I get a picture?" I asked.
"Of course!"

It's probably a good thing that I didn't see Mary Sue Milliken on the other side of the room or I would have fainted dead away. I so, so lost my cool.

Before we dined, we split into teams of four to compete to make the best guacamole. We were judged on taste, presentation, and the name. I turned to Erin, sitting next to me, and said, "I will bury you." I'm a little competitive. As luck would have it, Erica was on my team! We brainstormed some ideas and came up with a backstory and recipe. Our team went up against 11 others, and we WON! WE WON! IN YOUR FACE, ERIN. Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken picked ME! I mean, picked my team.

The Mexicali 4a.m. Hangover Special

You spend the night in Mexicali and some bad, bad stuff went down. It's 4a.m. and you have to be back in L.A. to work by 9. You need something to set you right again, something so that your boss will never suspect the night of you are leaving behind.

4 ripe California Haas Avocados
1/3 c diced bacon bits
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
1 TBL diced tomatoes
1 TBL minced red onion
2 tsp minced jalapeno
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
Dash of chili flakes
Salt to taste

1/3 c sour cream
1 Tbl chiles in adobo sauce
Dash of salt
Cotija cheese
Lime juice
Tortilla chips

Mix sour cream, adobo sauce, and salt together, set aside.
Toss all ingredients except the avocados together, add three peeled and pitted avocados, gently mash them into the ingredients, being careful to keep some large chunks of avocado. Check seasoning, add more salt or more vinegar as needed. Halve the remaining avocado, remove pit, hollow out a little more, gently remove the avocado from the skin. Salt the avocados. Spoon the guacamole into the hollowed avocados, dollop with sour cream, set on top of tortilla chips, sprinkle with cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.

(Sorry about the poor picture quality, I was so busy acting cool I'd forgotten to talk the plastic off the back of my phone. Keep it together, keep it together.)


La Yen said...


Theirs was the first cooking show I ever watched. Remember the pink and blue chef smocks?

wendysue said...

OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH! And they picked YOU!! (Of course they did.) That's freaking awesome.

Jani said...

Your presentation blew everyone a our table away! We saw it, looked at each and said, "They won!" What an awesome night that was!

{natalie} said...

my favorite part of this is the "keep it together, keep it together"