Summer is the season for sweet corn, sun-ripened tomatoes, and countless outdoor shindigs. And, let’s be real—bacon is always in season.
Once the outdoor cooking season kicks off, it only makes sense to combine avocados and tomatoes with the smoky sweet flavors of charred sweet corn and bacon. You’ve been forewarned, this guacamole will be on heavy rotation.
Mix up a pitcher, or two, of margaritas, shake out a bag of tortilla chips to serve alongside this guacamole, and your party is bound to be a hit.
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT AVOCADO
It may seem impossible, but you can pick perfect avocados for your guacamole every time you go to the grocery store.
- First, make sure your avocado’s brown nub of a stem is still intact. I don’t know the science behind it, but an avocado with that stem intact has never failed to yield a perfectly ripe avocado.
- Second, gently press the avocado. You want the flesh to yield slightly. A ripe avocado will just barely give way to pressure applied to it. If it gives too much the avocado is overly ripe. The avocado should feel like a just-ripe tomato when pressed.
HOW TO STOP GUACAMOLE FROM BROWNING
Sure, we’d love for our guacamole to stay a verdant green perpetually, but that’s just not possible. Guacamole turns brown when it’s exposed to air.
We can delay the browning of our guac, though: Douse it with lime juice, keep it covered with a layer of plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface of the guacamole and cover it with a lid. These measures increase the likelihood of the guacamole retaining its color for longer.
Ultimately, though, the guacamole will brown. If you find yours has, scrape the thin layer of browned guacamole off the top and discard it. You could also eat it so fast it doesn’t have a chance to discolor, which is my preferred method.
HOW TO CHAR CORN
I recommend using sweet corn in the husks for this recipe.
- First, I soak the corn in the husks. This soaking saturates the husks and keeps them from burning.
- Second, I steam the corn in the husk on the grill, which I like to do prior to charring the kernels. I’ve found that steaming the corn first yields plumper, more tender kernels, even with sweet summer corn, which is already tender.
- Third, I peel back the husks and grill the corn to create the smoky charred flavor.
If you don’t have a grill, choose one of these ways to mimic that charred flavor:
- Under the broiler: Broil your soaked ears of corn, in the husk, on low for 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. After steaming, peel back the husks and char the corn under the broiler until the kernels begin to brown and pop, about three minutes per side.
- Frozen kernels in a cast iron skillet: If using frozen, defrost and drain 1 1/4 cups of sweet corn kernels. Sauté them in a seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat for four to five minutes, or until the kernels are dark brown in color.
BAKE YOUR BACON FOR GREAT RESULTS!
Forgo the frying pan and bake your thick-cut bacon instead!
To get the most out of the bacon and reduce shrinkage, bake it in a 400°F oven. You want the bacon to still have a bit of chew to it, but not so much that it doesn’t provide a contrast of texture in the finished guacamole. A little crunch of salty bacon goes a long way here.
Be sure to drain the bacon well prior to adding it to the guacamole.
COTIJA FOR THE WIN!
Cotija cheese is a subtly tangy Mexican cheese that plays off the creamy avocado, nutty corn, and the salty bacon. My trick is to use a box grater to get those fine crumbles. If you can’t find cotija in your supermarket, queso fresco is a great substitute.
THE BEST CHIPS FOR THIS DIP
This is a thick and heavy guacamole. A thin chip wouldn’t be sturdy enough for this hefty dip. Look for thick chips to make the most out of your dipping experience.
Both the bacon and the corn can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
MORE RECIPES AND IDEAS FOR GUAC-LOVERS
Guacamole with Charred Sweet Corn, Bacon and Tomato Recipe
You can use 1 1/4 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen) in place of the corn on the cob. Sauté them in a seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat for four to five minutes, or until the kernels are dark brown in color.
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 1/2 dry pint grape tomatoes, about 1 cup
- 4 ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese, to garnish
- Tortilla chips, to serve
1 Preheat the oven and grill: Set your oven to 400°F for cooking the bacon. Preheat your grill to medium-high (about 400°F) as well.
2 Soak the corn: Place the ears of corn in a large bowl and add enough cold water to the bowl to submerge them. Let the ears soak for 15 minutes.
3 Bake the bacon while the corn soaks: Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and set a baking rack on top of it. Arrange the slices of bacon on the baking rack.
Bake the bacon for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the bacon over and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the bacon is slightly crisp. The bacon should have a little chew left to it, but shouldn’t be floppy once cooled.
Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it into small 1/2-inch sized pieces.
4 Steam, then char, the corn: After soaking the corn, steam them on the grill, still in their husks, for 15 minutes. Peel back the husks and char the ears of corn on the grill for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the corn begins to pop and take on a dark brown color.
After the corn has charred, remove the ears from the grill and set them aside until cool enough to handle.
5 Remove the kernels from the cob: First, set a small inverted bowl inside a larger mixing bowl. To prevent the smaller bowl from moving while I’m cutting the kernels off the cob, I set it on top of a couple of the steamed husks.
Rest the tip of the corn cob on the inverted bowl and use your knife to cut away the kernels. Allow the kernels to cool completely while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
6 Prepare the tomatoes: Slice the tomatoes in half. Press into the tomato halves with your thumb to remove some of the seeds and juice. This prevents the guacamole from becoming watery. I like to juice the tomatoes over a smaller, separate bowl.
Place the cut tomatoes and the crumbled bacon into the mixing bowl with the cooled corn kernels.
7 Prepare the avocados: In a separate bowl, mash the avocado slightly with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the lime juice, then add the mashed avocado to the bowl with the corn, bacon, and tomatoes.
8 Finish the guacamole: Fold the guacamole ingredients together until well-blended. Season with the salt, then cover the guacamole with plastic wrap pressed directly onto its surface. Refrigerate the guacamole for 15 minutes to give the flavors a chance to blend before serving.
9 Adjust the seasoning: Just before serving, taste the guacamole and add more salt, if needed. Garnish the dip with the crumbled cotija cheese and serve with warm tortilla chips.
Keep leftover guacamole covered with plastic wrap and/or a lid in the refrigerator. Leftovers are good for up to three days.
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