Here you'll find the component parts of guacamole, chunkier and with crunchy bits of smoked, fried tortilla. It makes for a great appetizer or side dish; try it with scrambled eggs.
If desired, skip the tortilla frying step.
You'll need to soak a half cup of hardwood chips (apple, hickory, cherry, any of them work well) in water for an hour.
Make Ahead: The tortilla can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store in a dry place in a zip-top bag.
Servings: 2 - 3
Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- One 6-inch fresh corn tortilla
- 1 firm Hass avocado, (unpeeled) cut in half and pitted
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the avocado
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped (unpeeled) fresh tomatoes
- 1 heaping teaspoon minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño, or more to taste
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct and indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees) for 10 minutes, leaving one of the burners unlit. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.
When the coals are medium-hot, drain the wood chips and scatter them on the coals. If using gas, place the chips in a smoker box or a foil packet poked with a few fork holes to the let the smoke escape and place it over the gas fire. Once smoke appears, place the tortilla on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and smoke it for 3 minutes, then transfer the tortilla to a plate.
Use a little oil to lightly brush the cut sides of the avocado halves. Cook them on the grill over direct heat, cut sides down for about 3 minutes, until blackened. Cool, peel, coarsely chop and transfer to a serving bowl, along with the tomatoes, onion, lime juice, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss lightly to incorporate; add more jalapeno as needed.
Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When a flick of water makes the oil sizzle slightly, add the tortilla; fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden, but not brown, using the tongs to turn over the tortilla. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain, then break into bite-size pieces.
Just before serving, add the tortilla pieces and toss lightly to incorporate. If you add the chips too early or toss too much, they'll turn mushy. Serve right away.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Jeff Donald.
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