Christine’s deck overlooking Island Lake in Chelsea is the perfect setting for any sort of late afternoon summer party. The lake is there, of course, with its gentle breezes and occasional loon calls from some unknown corner. The trees provide just the right amount of shade to keep things comfortable but not to completely block the view of the lake. This year she chose (with more than a little insistence from Norma) to welcome summer to the deck with margaritas.
For me, you can’t have a margarita without some guacamole! The trick to the following recipe is, I think, that the minced red onion is soaked in water for 15 minutes before being added to the guacamole. There’s the onion flavor, without so much the overpowering bite of a raw onion. The original recipe appeared on an old Food Network show called “How to Boil Water”, the one with the French guy, not Tyler Florence.
Let’s call this one Island Lake Guacamole
These amounts can be halved for a smaller party. We served about 12, along with other tortilla chip-type snacks like Wendy’s corn, black bean and avocado salad pictured above with the guacamole.
4 ripe avocados
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 a red onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional really, the red onion and garlic provide enough tang)
1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more to season to taste
1 bag whole grain tortilla chips
First, finely mince the red onion and soak in water for 15 minutes. You can prepare the rest of the guacamole while the onion is soaking. Mince 4 garlic cloves and add the teaspoon kosher salt. Using the flat side of a knife, paste the garlic and salt together by smashing the knife several times against the garlic on a cutting board.
Chop the tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeño and place in a large wooden salad bowl. Drain the onions and add along the garlic. Next add the avocados, peeled and diced. Add the two juiced limes and a bit of the zest if you’re so inclined. Mash it all together with a fork until you get your preferred consistency (I like it chunky) and serve right out of the large bowl. Good thing avocados aren’t conducive to leftovers-there won’t be any!
And speaking of margaritas, the margarita du jour for this girl is of the grapefruit variety. I adapted this recipe from, er, Rachael Ray, leaving out the mint leaves and adding the juice of two limes.
1 large bottle Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
8 shots tequila (or a bit more to make them “boozier”)
2 shots Triple Sec
2 limes, juiced
Blend in two batches until frothy. Garnish with lime and serve.
These are good mixed up in a pitcher and served on the rocks as well. Either way, sooooooooo refreshing!