Venezuelans have their own version of guacamole called guasacaca. It’s more of an avocado relish, and is made with vinegar instead of lime juice, and lots of garlic. It’s often served with fried plantain and yucca for dipping. There are many variations of guasacaca – some have tomato, some have hot chile peppers, and some are made with green peppers rather than avocado. Some people seem to prefer it as a salsa, with the ingredients chopped and mixed together, while others blend it until it’s very smooth. Serve guasacaca with tortilla chips, fried plantains, and especially with grilled steaks and chicken.
In this recipe, I like my guasacaca little chunky without the olive oil, served on the side, with grilled lamb chops. So Delicious!
For the Guasacaca:
Makes About 2 1/2 cups
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 green peppers, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil
For the Lamb:
Lamb chops, excess fat trimmed
Kosher salt , to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Guasacaca:
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Add the olive oil in a stream with the processor running and process until smooth. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust
seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Meanwhile, heat grill to high.Generously sprinkle lamb chops with salt and ground black pepper. Place on grill and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
Serve the lamb with the gausascaca sauce at room temperature with lamb chops. Cover leftover sauce and store in the refrigerator. Always bring the guasacaca to room temperature before serving.
Sometimes, you have to come out of “shell” and try something new.
Such is the case with me trying out this new Shrimp Taco Seasoning Mix from McCormick®, that caught my eye in the spice aisle at the local supermarket. I usually make my own spice mixes, but I thought this would be easier for a change of pace.I also like using Old El Paso® Crunchy Taco Shells, I have used for Old El Paso® products for years and I just find them ever so reliable. Instead of using shrimp, as the spice packet advises, I decided to used 1 pound of Maine lobster meat, just to give this recipe a twist. I am sure that you could also substitute the shrimp for a white fish like tilapia or cod for easy fish tacos on soft flour tortillas, as well.
For the Pico de Gallo:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
Fresh lime juice, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Cilantro Coleslaw:
1 head green cabbage, sliced thin
1 head purple cabbage, sliced thin
1 small jalapeño, seeded an diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more for thinning
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, barely chopped
For the Lobster:
1 package of McCormick® Zesty Garlic Shrimp Taco Seasoning
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 pound of cooked lobster meat, chopped into chunks
8 6-inch Old El Paso, crunchy corn tortilla shells
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat an oven to 325ºF.
To make the pico de gallo, in a bowl, stir together the onion, jalapeños and tomatoes. Season with lime juice and salt. Set aside.
To make the cilantro coleslaw, combine the shredded cabbage and jalapeño in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add more milk if you like the dressing a little thinner. Pour over the cabbage. Toss to combine. Just before serving, toss in the cilantro. Can mix the slaw up to 2 hours before serving.
For the taco shells, unwrap the store bought taco shells and place them on a baking sheet and pull apart slightly. Bake at 325ºF for 6 to 7 minutes until crisp.
Heat oil and water in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the lobster meat and Seasoning mix an stir for about 2 minutes or just until lobster is heated through.
To assemble the tacos, add shredded lettuce, coleslaw, lobster meat and cheese. Serve on a platter with the pico de gallo on the side.