The old smoker has been putting in some overtime! A little get together on Sunday with friends who love to cook (and eat!) had my trusty old smoker chugging away with a few delights - brisket and 2 kinds of salmon, for starters. The smoker also contained some, perhaps, unexpected items. Like avocados.
Just this last week I saw a comment somewhere about smoking avocados and a lightbulb went off...BING! Smoked guacamole! Would it work? I gave it a try.
At the same time, a Facebook cooking group I'm part of was discussing a BBQ competition one of our members (Matt the Butcher...yes, he is a butcher) is judging. The twist of being a judge for this event is that each judge was asked to bring a salsa TO BE JUDGED. The judges being judged...nice twist, eh?
One thing led to another and eventually the idea of smoking the salsa veggies emerged, which led to emphasizing the smoke with mezcal instead of tequila and (somehow) the idea of a Smoked Bloody Maria Salsa was proposed. I HAD to try it.
The results? Wow! Both the salsa AND the guac rocked. And they went onto the menu for the dinner party. The unexpected smoky flavors in two traditional dips were a hit! The guac even tasted like it had bacon hidden somewhere in the ingredients...and it was totally veggie.
Just in case you've got a yen for the unexpected, here are the recipes to surprise your own guests. And good luck, Matt the Butcher...you've GOT this!
Smoked Bloody Maria Salsa With Mezcal
- 4 large Roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
- 1 large jalapeno, cut in half - don't remove the seeds or ribs if you like your salsa hot
Heat up your smoker and use a combo of pecan and hickory chips. Smoke the veggies at least an hour or until soft. Remove and let cool.
Add the smoked veggies to your food processor, then add:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- a bit of kosher salt
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 1 T horseradish
- the juice of 1 or 2 limes - depends on how juicy your limes are, taste and adjust to your own tast
- 1-2 T mezcal
- 1/4 C or so of chopped cilantro - again, to your own taste
Buzz everything in the food processor until salsa consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with tortilla chips.
- 3 avocados, cut in half lengthwise, pits removed - throw the halves into the smoker, cut side down, while the veggies for the salsa are smoking - cool
- 1/4 of a medium onion, finely minced
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely miniced
- 2 T or so (adjust to your own level of heat) finely minced red jalapeno (the red is just for the color, use green if that's all you have or can find)
- the juice of a lime - or more according to your own taste
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1 - 2 T cilantro, chopped
Scoop out the cooled avocado flesh and put into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash well with a fork. The mixture will be extra creamy because the avocados are cooked, so don't expect a chunky guac. YUM! Serve with tortilla chips or use in a wrap or any other way you can imagine.