Chosen Bites: Guacamole, a perfect summer spread

Avocado spreads are a healthy and tasty addition to any summer meal.

Guacamole (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It seems as though we can hardly have a holiday without guacamole showing up on the buffet. I think the only time I haven’t seen guacamole at a festive gathering was during Hanukkah. Of course that would be pretty weird to have guacamole with latkes.
Guacamole is a delicious party starter. The luxurious texture of the avocados and the tart lime really get the juices flowing and the palate opened.
Guacamole originated with the Aztecs and means “avocado-sauce”. Typically made in a molcajete (lava rock mortar and pestle) guacamole has been referred to as the poor man’s butter.
I love guacamole because it’s a good way to get salty corn chips in my mouth. I suppose I could go with the more healthy cucumber and jicama slices, but those crunchy chips really just do it for me.
Guacamole is also the perfect burger topper. The creamy spread marries perfectly with your favorite beef or turkey burger.
Everyone has their idea of the perfect guacamole with some preferring chunky versus creamy textures as well as add-ins like roasted garlic, tomatillos (my own favorite), grilled cactus paddles and more. 
I also love avocado cream on my raw tuna tacos. When the heat is on and I cannot endure the thought of turning on my oven or grill, I like to take sushi quality tuna marinated in a little lime juice and wrap it in a corn tortilla generously lubricated with creamy, tart avocado cream.
Guacamole is a delicious party starter and perfect for any occasion; except Hanukkah.

1 small red onion, minced finely
1-2 garlic cloves grated on a micro-plane
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
3 ripe avocados seeded and taken out of the skin and mashed
2 Serrano peppers (or your favorite hot pepper), minced
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper
Suggested garnishes: sliced radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds
1. Toss all of the ingredients together and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover the surface with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent the avocados from browning.
2. Serve with tortilla chips, cucumber slices and jicama slices

Avocado Cream
2 avocados seeded, taken out of the skin and mashed
1 garlic clove, grated on a micro-plane
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until creamy.
2. Store the cream in the refrigerator for up to one day. Cover the surface with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent the avocados from browning.
3. Serve the cream on tuna tacos, grilled or roasted meats, fish and vegetables.
Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.