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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Fresh guacamole nourishes body, spirit

Today it is chilly and raining. Yesterday I was in shorts and T-shirt, walking barefoot to the mailbox with my barefoot children. Yes, we are the hillbillies of Ocean Pines as we see shoes are the devil and as soon as we can whisk them off of our feet, we do. I’m just so glad that my children are following suit, “Delmarva Chicken Fungus” be damned.
And with the summer air, for that is what I’m calling it after the late winter that we just had, comes the miraculous foods from South of the Border, reminiscent of the time that I spent out in California.
It was nothing to hop in a car back in the day and drive down to Rosarito or Ensenada and spent a little money on a lot of food. Of course, we would have to pay off the federales on occasion, but you get used to that.
I’ve written about the street carts before, noting on the bacon-wrapped hot dogs with Italian-style relish in Tijuana. I’ve commented on the five-course lobster dinner in a seaside town for $15, with the freshest seafood and vegetables that one could imagine.
And I believe that I have bored you to tears with the taco joints in Southern California – Roberto’s, Robertito’s, Tijuanito’s et al. They all had very similar menus, and after a few hours in the ocean, nothing was more satisfying to the mind, body and spirit than a stack of fried tacos with fresh guacamole. The combination of fat, protein and carbs was perfect for a post-surf nosh session.
Since we are covering tableside cooking this week in class, I decided to do a throwback to my past and do the old standby guacamole. It is simple, delicious and this memory-invoking concoction is so good for you that I could just burst. With freshly fried corn tortillas (I’ll admit that these are not too terribly healthy for you) there are few matches for the power of the pulp.
In this case, though, I happened to have some leftover grilled sirloin on hand, always a nice item to transform into a delectable dish. Simply shaving it down and rolling it up in tortillas and frying turns this seemingly innocuous combination into the flautas or taquitos of west coast fame.
Flautas are becoming immensely popular, even finding themselves in local store freezers, but often they are made with wheat tortillas, a cardinal sin. Plus, nothing beats freshly made anything, so save those wheat flour tortillas for those horrid wraps.
The focus of what I’m writing about is the guacamole. While the taquitos are the vehicle, they are nothing without the green mush that is known the world over as, ‘oh, that stuff’.
Ironically, a full third of the class raised their hands when I asked who did not like guacamole. But after they made it and sampled it, only two did not like it. It’s just one of those things. It’s green, so it must be gross.
If you have never made guacamole, I beseech you to add it to your menu mix, especially as we are going into the summer months. You will be so glad that you did. And if you have been to the West Coast, you will immediately know what I’m talking about.
If not, you may want to make the trip. Hopefully, this invokes that wanderlust in you. But for now, I guess I have to suffer through another rainy, East Coast afternoon.
Serves 2
10 ea. Corn tortillas
10 oz. Grilled sirloin, rare
Guacamole (recipe follows)
Crema Fresca (optional)
1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 medium tomato, finely diced
1 lime
Copious piles of cilantro

Heat a fryer to 350F.
Gently place the tortillas, one at a time, in the oil for about five seconds; just long enough to soften them. Drain on paper towels.
Finely shave the sirloin and roll 1 oz. in each tortilla, ensuring that you don’t rip the shell.
Carefully skewer five flautas on two skewers so that you have five that can be easily placed in and removed from the fryer.When finished you will have two sets of these. I recommend that you leave a little space in between each flauta so that the oil can crisp the tortilla all the way around.
When ready to serve, deep fry the flautas until crispy and drain on paper towels.
Serve with guacamole and the remaining accoutrements and have a treat that takes you back to the West Coast.

Makes about 1 pint
1 garlic clove
1/2 of the white onion (from above)
1/2 of the tomato (from above)
2 ea. Fresh, soft avocados
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, 1/2 chiffonade
1 jalapeno, finely minced
Juice of 1/2 lime, or as desired
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place the garlic, 1/3 of the onion and 1/3 of the cilantro in a mortar and smash into a paste.
Add the avocado and continue making the paste.
When smooth (or chunky if that’s what you like) fold in the remaining tomato and onion.
Squeeze lime juice to taste
Season with salt & pepper.
Savor in the simplicity that is a perfect guacamole.