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RBR Tailgating: Guacamole with an Arguably New Mexican Twist

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I’ve been to New Mexico twice, so I’m kind of an authority on what they like to eat there. Arguably.

Sorry about the lack of a tailgate post last week. Technical difficulties. Special thanks to those that noticed the lack of a tailgate post last week. You guy(s) are what keep me going.

I watched last week’s game at my mother in-law’s house. She’s a Duke alum. My wife was there too. She’s also a Duke alum. Also present was my sister in-law. She’s a Duke grad but had the good sense to go to law school at the Capstone. The sisters were clad in crimson. My mother in-law wore a Krzyzewski delivered championship shirt and her best “Pfft. It’s not like it’s basketball.” expression.

I’ve got a family member acquainted with the enemy this week too.

Three years ago, my sister decamped from Birmingham to head west, settling her family in Albuquerque. They are Alabama fans. My brother in-law gets the occasional “Roll Tide” acknowledgement of a hat or shirt he’s wearing in the grocery or hardware store and they did well to find another couple from Alabama to hang out with, but I’m ignoring that and sending them trash talk texts about the game even though if it came down to it they’d pick the Lobos over the Aggies.

If you’ve never heard of the Hatch Chili, it’s just like any other mild to medium green chili only a whole lot better and native to New Mexico. I found a web site that says “We believe that only what is grown here in the [Hatch] Valley should be labeled ‘Hatch,’ which means that people growing chilis in other areas are labeling theirs ‘Hatch.’” It’s not an official appellation so buyer beware I suppose, but New Mexico is in love with actual Hatch Chilis.

I can’t tell you how many restaurant marquees I saw advertising the things, and I don’t mean just mom and pop joints. Burger King and Pizza Hut both had big lit up “WE HAVE HATCH CHILIS!” signs, although the exclamation point might be my memory editorializing a bit.

My first taste came at a decidedly non-Pizza Hut style pizzeria near the University of New Mexico (Lobos not Aggies) medical center. The place was called Eclectic Urban Pizzeria and Tap House. There were enough of us that we ordered a handful of the pizza specials and shared. I’d never have ordered an olive oil, brie, and Hatch Chili pizza without prodding, but next time I make it to Albuquerque I’m not leaving without another one in my belly.

You can get the real deal fresh Hatch stuff shipped or if you’re vigilant you can find canned or jarred diced Hatch chilis in your local grocery store. I wasn’t vigilant. I made do with similar but improperly sourced chilis. The mild green diced chilies that are always by the taco dinner kits and refried beans at the grocery store will do in a pinch. It was still awesome.

Pseudo New Mexican Style Guacamole if There Is a New Mexican Style Guacamole

- avocado

- yellow onion, diced

- garlic, roughly diced

- Roma tomato, deseeded and diced

- cilantro, chopped

- ~ Hatch chilies, canned

- salt

- cumin

Nearly monochromatic goodness

I didn’t put measures or quantities because this is very much a taste as you go and fix as needed dish. I started with two avocados, the juice of one lime, one Roma, a third of a yellow onion, a small handful of cilantro, four heaping tablespoons of chilies, and four cloves of garlic. I added lime juice as needed for texture and then added cumin and salt, tried it and added more as needed.

Start with the avocados. Slice them in half and drive the knife into the pit with a quick strike.

Twist to remove the pit and cut the flesh in a crisscross pattern making sure not to cut through the avocado skin. Flesh means avocado in this instance, not your hand.

Remove the flesh from the skins and put in a bowl. Add the lime juice and mash. Add the tomato, garlic, chilies, cilantro, and onion and stir.

Salt and cumin to taste adding lime juice as needed.

This can be made the night before and refrigerated. If you are packing it away for the next day though, it may turn brown - that’s just what avocados do. If that happens just scoop off the thin layer of brown and enjoy the nice green below.

We’re 55 point favorites over a massively overmatched opponent and we are not UT. This should be cakewalk. There’s not much to say about this one.

Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.