Guacamole – How to make awesome guac

Many people are intimidated by guacamole. Here’s the Heymanator, sure-fire method of getting awesome guacamole every time.

  1. Start with good avocados, typically Haas, and they should be ripe (i.e., soft). We have had great luck with Costco avocados.
  2. Half the avocados, seed them, and scoop them into a bowl with a flat surface.
  3. Mash them up until they are relatively smooth. I like to use a potato masher (hence the flat bottom).
  4. Here’s the secret. Add lime juice, more than you think you’ll need; salt, more than you think you need, and freshly ground pepper. Mix well and taste. Your avocados should be seasoned to taste before you add any other ingredients.
  5. Add in minced onion and small diced tomatoes. (You can rinse the onions under water to deflame them and get rid of that hot raw onion taste.) For two avocados, I usually add half a medium onion and one medium tomato. You want the ripest, most flavorful tomato possible.
  6. Taste again and add more lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. Eat.

Optional ingredients

  • Cilantro: some people love it
  • Mayonnaise: helps make it smoother, but it’s not necessary if you followed step 1 and 3.
  • Other spices: garlic, cumin, coriander, diced jalapeño, diced serranos, cayenne pepper, whatever

Oh, and please use fresh lime juice from real (small, thin-skinned) limes whenever possible.

Liberty Classroom

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Tom Woods is one of my favorite speakers (and authors). He’s a libertarian historian with a PhD from Columbia (undergrad at Harvard) if that’s possible to believe. He has an interest in economics and is especially good at explaining the implications of economics on historical events. He is very entertaining. If you’re only going to listen to one of his speeches, the one embedded below is the one (just because of the first two stories).

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Jen’s Green Thai-ish Curry

This little concoction is the product of Jen’s experimentation with Thai curry paste. It’s quite flavorful and with a light, fresh taste, and unusual vegetable composition.

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk (approx 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry paste (available from most Asian food stores; we have used yellow and panang paste with good results
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter (or 4 1/2 tbsp peanut butter powder plus 1 1/2 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp salt (more to taste if you like)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger (sliced or minced) or 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 3/4 bunch of cilantro (stalks included)
  • 1/4 tsp red or cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Stir fry:

  • 1 pound ground pork (we’ve tried chicken, turkey, and ground beef, but pork is the best tasting)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets cut small
  • 1 bell pepper diced (we prefer red)
  • 1 squash or zucchni diced

Should be about five cups of vegetables total when diced.

Heat saute pan over medium heat. Place small amount of coconut oil in pan and brown pork with a pinch or two of salt. Dump meat in a bowl, and add a little more oil. Place harder vegetables in the pan (carrots and sweet potato) and add pinch of salt. Saute until they just begin to soften. Dump in bowl with meat. Repeat the process with broccoli and squash. Then repeat again with celery, onion, and peppers.

Place pork and all vegetables back in the pan and pour curry sauce over the meat/vegetable mixture. Stir occasionally until warmed through. Serve over jasmine rice.

Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt

This is an adaptation of Alton Brown’s Lemon-Ginger Frozen Yogurt Recipe. You can use store bought yogurt, but that’s expensive, so I make my own.

Step 1: Make Yogurt

  1. Pour 2 quarts of milk into a 3 quart container and add one packet of dry powdered milk (enough to make one quart).
  2. Turn oven on for two minutes
  3. Microwave milk until it is 120 degrees (about 6-8 minutes)
  4. Cool milk until it is 110 degrees
  5. Add 1 cup live culture yogurt and stir
  6. Place container in oven
  7. You’ll need to monitor the temperature of the mixture. You want to try and keep it between 100 and 115 degrees. (Turning the oven on for two minutes every two hours does the trick for me. Helps if you have a probe thermometer.)
  8. Remove when done 4 -8 hours. The longer you leave it the gellier it will be but the tarter it will be.

Step 2: Make Yogurt Cheese

  1. Pour Yogurt into a colander lined with cheese cloth. Place a weight plate and small weight on top (can of soup works).
  2. Place colander over large bowl and refrigerate over night.
  3. In the morning, the bowl will have whey which you can use for protein shakes
  4. The colander will contain the yogurt cheese (add some chives and garlic powder, and you have an awesome dip.
  5. But we’re going to use ours to make frozen yogurt.

Step 3: Make Frozen Yogurt

  1. Empty yogurt cheese into a large bowl and add
  2. 4 Cups Yogurt Cheese
  3. 3/4 Cup Sugar
  4. 1/2 Cup agave nectar (or Light Corn Syrup)
  5. 1/2 cup passion fruit juice (about 10 fruits worth)
  6. Whisk to combine and add to your ice cream maker.
  7. Eat yogurt

Mean Mean Pat Chili

Everyone loves chili. Here’s my original take on the stuff. I now make my own chili powder according to Alton Brown’s Homemade Chili Powder recipe. This chili is mean mean not because it’s hot, but because it’s so good you can never go back. The recipe is very flexible and can give you anything from a non spicy stew all the way to inferno hot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1.5 lb ground beef (to make veggie chili, just leave this ingredient out)
  • 0 – 4 cans beans to taste (I like to use 2 cans of kidney and 2 cans of black beans)
  • 4 – 8 garlic cloves thinly sliced or minced
  • 2 medium to large onions
  • 10 Roma tomatoes (seeded and diced)
  • 6-8 Tomatillos
  • 6 – 10 Bell peppers (use any combination of colors you feel like)
  • 3 – 5 jalapeño peppers
  • optional peppers*
  • Spices: chili powder, cloves, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Dice all veggies. Seed the bell peppers. (Seed hot peppers and remove membrane if you don’t want it too spicy.)
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, sweat the garlic in small amount of oil
  3. Add meat and brown meat with salt, black pepper and 1 tbsp chili powder; drain (or not)
  4. Add all veggies and beans to pot and mix thoroughly.
  5. Begin to heat the mixture on a medium-low setting. (You don’t need to add any liquid, as the veggies will release their water providing the liquid, but don’t turn up the heat too quickly or it will scorch.)
  6. Add spices to taste. Here’s my suggestions:
    • 2 – 3 tablespoons of Chili powder
    • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 tablespoon cummin
    • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • dash of cinammon
  7. When chili begins to bubble, turn down the heat; cover, simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Taste. I like it like this, but Jen thinks it’s too concentrated and prefers add some water to thin it back out.

Congratulations. You have just made Mean Mean Pat Chili. Serve with cheese and your choice of bread, corn bread, crackers.

Notes: You can also use additional peppers. One of my favorites is to add in an habanero pepper.

Notes: Nowadays, I make my own Chili Powder according to Alton Brown’s recipe.