Lazy Chef Recipes: Guacamole

Guac

2 ripe avocados*

2 Roma tomatoes

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

1 small jalapeño, seeded and quartered**

Juice from half a lime***

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tsp salt

  • Ripe avocados are soft. If the avocados at your grocery store are hard, you can ripen them at home by putting them in a paper bag on your kitchen counter for a day or two
  • I like mild guacamole, so I actually don’t add the jalapeño.
  • You can use 1-2 tablespoons of bottled lime juice instead of a fresh lime
  1. Put the ingredients into your food processor in this order: garlic, onion, jalapeño, tomato, salt, and lime juice. After adding each ingredient, pulse the food processor a few times.
  2. Cut the avocado: insert a knife into the skin near the top and draw a line down to the bottom and then up the other side. Be careful not to insert the knife too deeply or you’ll hit the pit in the middle.
  3. Now pull the avocado apart into two halves. Remove the pit with a spoon and throw it away.
  4. Using the spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and add it to the food processor. Pulse the food processor a few times, until the guacamole is as smooth as you want it.

Servings: 1-12, depending on how much guacamole you eat at one time…

Overall Appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: Great! This recipe is super easy.

 

Fancy vs Lazy Recipe: Hummus

Fancy Hummus

Fancy Hummus

https://pixabay.com/en/hummus-chickpeas-appetizer-812675/

https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

2 cups dry chickpeas*

¼ cup tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

1 large clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

*For authentic hummus, DO NOT use canned chickpeas. Only lazy Americans use canned chickpeas.

 

  1. Put the chickpeas in a large pot and fill the pot completely with warm water. Let soak overnight.

 

  1. In the morning, drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse with cold water.

 

  1. Put the chickpeas in a different large pot and fill the pot completely with water. Boil the chickpeas, uncovered, for 90 minutes.

 

  1. Reserve some of the cooking water for thinning the hummus later. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse again with cold water.

 

  1. Rub the chickpeas as you rinse them to remove the outer skin. Discard this skin. Using chickpeas with the skins on will give your hummus an unpleasant texture.

 

  1. Put the tahini and lemon juice into a food processor and blend until smooth.

 

  1. Now add the chickpeas, salt, garlic, and olive oil, and pulse the food processor 3 or 4 times, or until the mixture has a creamy consistency.

 

  1. If the mixture is too thick, add some reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse the mixture again, until the desired consistency is reached.

 

  1. Serve on a shallow platter with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. Eat with flatbread that you’ve purchased that day from a local Middle Eastern market.

 

 

Servings: a bunch

 

Prep time: 8 hours of soaking the chickpeas, which isn’t so bad because you’re asleep while that happens, then like 20 minutes of peeling the skins off the darn chickpeas, and another 10 or so pouring things into the food processor and pressing the pulse button. And then you’ll have to wash all the dishes, including not only the food processor, but also two pots and a colander.

 

Cook time: 90 minutes, but you don’t have to do anything during that time, so it could be worse.

 

Overall appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: Meh. Seriously, I feel like having slightly grainy hummus is worth not having to peel the skins off of every single frickin’ chickpea.

 

 

 

Lazy Hummus

Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained*

¼ cup tahini**

Juice of 1 lemon***

1 clove garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup water

 

*Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are usually in the aisle with the beans at the grocery store.

 

**Tahini is roasted sesame seed paste. It looks kind of like very liquidy peanut butter. My grocery store has it, and since my grocery store is the most bare-bones, unfancy grocery store ever, your grocery store probably has it, too. At my grocery store, it’s in the kosher food section, since that’s where they stick everything Middle Eastern.

 

***If you want to be really lazy, you can buy lemon juice in a bottle instead of squeezing your own lemon. In that case, use 3 tablespoons of juice.

 

  1. Put the garlic in your food processor or blender and pulse a few times. Many recipes call for you to chop up the garlic before putting it in the food processor. This is silly. That is what the blades in the food processor are for.

 

  1. Plop all the rest of the ingredients in the food processor. Hit blend.

 

  1. Let the food processor run for about thirty seconds, until everything is smooth. Ta-da!

 

 

Servings: a bunch

 

Prep time: maybe 10 minutes. The biggest chunk of time for me is trying to scrape the last bit of hummus out of the food processor.

 

Cook time: none!

 

Overall appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: Great! It’s easy, it’s healthy, and it tastes good. Hooray!

 

Fancy vs Lazy Recipe: Pesto

Fancy Pesto

mortarandpestle

https://pixabay.com/en/plunger-herbs-crush-kitchen-mortar-317748/

https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

2 cups young, small Genovese basil leaves from a farmer’s market

½ cup extra virgin olive oil imported from Italy

3 garlic cloves from a fresh bulb, peeled just before making the pesto

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup pine nuts imported from Sicily

½ cup high-quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese imported from Italy that you have only just grated

 

  1. Pluck the basil leaves from the stems and throw the stems away. Wash the leaves in cold water. Dry them thoroughly by placing them between two layers of paper towel and pressing gently.

 

  1. Place the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt in a mortar and crush them with a pestle. Add the basil leaves and crush with light, circular movements of the pestle. Add the pine nuts, cheese, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue to pound the mixture, adding olive oil from time to time, until a creamy paste is formed.

 

  1. Once this process is started, you must finish making the pesto within 30 minutes or the basil will darken and the sauce will be ruined.

 

  1. Toss with pasta and serve immediately. Pesto will not keep, so you must eat it all right away.

 

Servings: enough pesto to adequately cover 6-8 portions of pasta.

 

Prep time: 30 minutes of constant work (plus you’ll need to go out and get yourself a mortar and pestle, because if you’re reading this blog, I’m betting you don’t have one already).

 

Overall appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: You Have Got To Be Kidding. Sorry, Fancy Pesto—you lost me at “mortar and pestle.”

 

 

 

Lazy Pesto

Pesto

 

2 cups basil leaves, which you can get in the produce section of your supermarket

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese*

 

*the shredded stuff tastes better in the sauce than the grated stuff, so it’s definitely worth getting the shredded.

 

You might notice that I didn’t list pine nuts. Pesto traditionally has pine nuts, but they’re expensive and add a lot of calories and fat without (I find) adding a lot of flavor, so I leave them out.

 

 

  1. Rinse the basil leaves, then pull the leaves off the stems and throw the stems away. I never bother to dry them, which means that there’s a little water in the sauce. That’s a big no-no for Real Chefs, but an acceptable compromise for Lazy Chefs.

 

  1. I also once tried leaving the leaves on the stems and just putting the whole kit and caboodle in the food processor, but that didn’t turn out well. Definitely take the time to pull the leaves off.

 

  1. Put the garlic in a food processor (or a blender if you don’t have a food processor) and pulse until the garlic is chopped up. Some recipes call for you to chop the garlic before putting it in the food processor. That’s crazy talk. The blades in the food processor chop up the garlic just fine.

 

  1. Add the basil leaves and salt and run the food processor until all the leaves have been chopped up.

 

  1. Add the cheese and pulse a few times.

 

  1. Now scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the olive oil. Pulse the food processor a few more times until everything is well blended.

 

  1. You can now use the sauce on pasta, bread, rice, etc. It tastes best within a day or two of making it (but I’ve also refrigerated mine for most of a week).

 

  1. This recipe makes a pretty dry sauce. You can add more olive oil to make the sauce creamier if you want; just be aware that olive oil has 119 calories and 13.5 grams of fat per tablespoon and make sure you pay attention to how much you’re using.

 

Servings: a bunch

 

Prep time: 10ish minutes. The biggest chunk of time will be pulling the basil leaves off the stems, and then getting all the sauce out of your food processor.

 

Overall appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: Good! Find someone else to pull the basil leaves off the stems and you can upgrade the recipe to Great.