Excerpt from Rick's new cookbook:
Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks
Cook’s notes: I’ve called for “compressing” the watermelon using a vacuum sealer like a FoodSaver in order to compact its texture and flavor; “compressed” watermelon is the most beautiful and delicious watermelon in the world. Sprinkling it with a little tequila before vacuuming sealing forces the boozy flavor into the watermelon, taking the watermelon from Wow! delicious to No Way! delicious. Bottom line: vacuum sealing the watermelon is delicious and cool, but not a deal-breaker. You can simply sprinkle the watermelon cubes with tequila, let them stand for a few minutes and continue making the recipe.
Ideas for serving: Though this is a chip dip that will get your guests really excited, it’s also really delicious scooped onto slices of jicama or seedless cucumber and served as a pass-around appetizer.
Yield: about 3 cups
- 1 cup (6 ounces) cubed small seedless watermelon (1/4-inch cubes)—you’ll need about a 1-pound chunk of watermelon
- 2 tablespoons blanco tequila
- 3 ripe, medium-large avocados
- 1 lime
- A small piece of fresh ginger
- 1 fresh red jalapeño or Fresno chile, stemmed, seeded (if you wish) and finely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb like mint or cilantro
- Scoop the watermelon cubes into a vacuum sealing bag, sprinkle in the tequila, then vacuum seal. Refrigerate while you’re making the guacamole.
- Mash the avocado flesh: 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. Scoop out the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half into a large bowl. With an old-fashioned potato masher, large fork or back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado.
- Grate the zest from ½ of the lime into the avocado. Squeeze in two tablespoons of lime juice.
- Finely grate the ginger, measure about ½ teaspoon and add it to the avocado, along with the chile and the herb. Stir to combine, then taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until serving time.
- Right before carrying the guacamole to your guests, release the vacuum on the watermelon. Gently stir half of it into the guacamole, scoop the mixture into a serving dish and top with the remaining watermelon.