With the opening of Sofia’s Taqueria right around the corner and summer knocking at our door, join me in a serendipitous celebration of a seasonal superstar: the avocado

by Chef Peter Botros

THE SOFTER SIDE
One of the keys to perfecting at-home guacamole is using ripe avocados. They should be soft to the touch but not overly squishy. If you’re shopping for tomorrow’s party but only find fi rm avocados at the supermarket, fear not! A simple trick is to put avocados in a paper bag with a banana, then roll the bag tightly and set it in a dry place. Bananas release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process, softening the fruit in one to three days.

IT TAKES TWO TO MANGO
Every guacamole’s favorite adult sidekick comes with tequila and lime, and this fruit-forward twist on the classic margarita pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the grilled corn in the guacamole recipe below.

RASPBERRY-MANGO MARGARITA (SERVES 6-8)
12 oz Don Julio Blanco • 6 oz orange simple syrup • 8 oz mango nectar • 4 oz raspberry puree 8 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Combine all ingredients, shake with ice, then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with dehydrated lime and fresh raspberry. To salt or not to salt along the rim – the choice is yours.
GRILLED CORN GUACAMOLE (SERVES 6-8)

One of the most popular shareables on the planet, guacamole has origins dating back to 16th century South Central Mexico, when the native Aztecs mashed the fatty fruit with spices and chilis, dubbing the mash “ahuacamulli,” or avocado mixture. Today, the mixing bowl leaves ample room for imagination and experimentation. This recipe is one of my summer go-tos, using grilled corn for a welcomed dash of sweetness and smokiness.

INVESTORS SPREAD

GREEN ENERGY
A QUICK PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Although this guacamole is sensational, it is not the recipe for Sofia’s Secret Guac!
4 ripe avocados
2 diced plum tomatoes
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup grilled corn (o the cob)
¼ cup chopped jalapeño
1 teaspoon chipotle puree
¼ cup roasted garlic (smashed or pureed)
1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 3 limes
1 tablespoon of coarse ground sea salt
Lightly smash two of the avocados, and fully smash the other two. Combine all ingredients except the tomatoes. Once all incorporated, gently fold in the diced tomatoes before serving. Serve with warm tortilla chips.