This month’s cooking column has us dreaming about warmer weather. Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless serves up “a super selection of south-of-the-border delights” to help turn any blustery day into a mini vacation.
Grilled Corn and Poblano Guacamole
Makes about 4 cups
Ideas for serving: Because this is such a substantial guacamole (a fact I emphasize by having you dice part of the avocado), I like to serve it less as a dip for chips and more as an accompaniment to smoky grilled shrimp, chicken, fish or pork. (You’ve already got the grill hot, so you might as well use it as much as possible.)
- 1⁄2 medium white onion, sliced crosswise into 3 rounds
- A little olive or vegetable oil
- 1 small ear of fresh corn, husked and cleaned of silk
- 1 fresh poblano chile
- 3 ripe medium-large avocados
- 1⁄4 cup crumbled Mexican fresh cheese (queso fresco) or other fresh cheese, like salted pressed farmer’s cheese or goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote
Heat a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until medium-hot and the coals are covered with gray ash. Lightly brush both sides of the onion slices with oil, sprinkle with salt and lay on the grill. Oil the corn and lay it beside the onion, along with the poblano (no oil needed on it). When the onion slices are browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes, flip them and grill the other side. Turn the corn regularly until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Roast the poblano for 5 to 7 minutes, turning it until evenly blackened. Let the roasted vegetables cool.
Chop the onion into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Cut the kernels from the corn (you need about 3⁄4 cup). Rub the blackened skin off the poblano, pull out and discard the stem and seed pod, tear the chile open and briefly rinse to remove stray seeds and bits of blackened skin. Cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces.
Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side of each avocado. Remove the pit, then scoop the flesh from 1 avocado into a large bowl. Scoop the flesh from the other 2 avocados onto a cut- ting board and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. With an old-fashioned potato masher, a large fork or the back of a large spoon, thoroughly mash the avocado that’s in the bowl.
Scoop the diced avocado into the bowl, along with the grilled onion, corn, poblano and 2 tablespoons of the fresh cheese. Sprinkle with the lime juice and epazote, then gently stir the mixture to distribute everything evenly. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to serve, scoop the guacamole into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.