Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guacamole Ring

How do you improve upon the creamy perfection that is homemade guacamole? Well, if you’re the good folks at Knox, you sprinkle some of their magic gelatine powder on your avocado dip and mold it into this retro Guacamole Ring.  Now it’s happy hour!

How do you improve on perfection?

The name alone had me itching to try this recipe since I first cracked open the Time Capsule. I envisioned a beautifully molded dip that was the centerpiece of my appetizer spread, both lovely to look at and delightful to dunk into. Instead, I got this: The Jabba the Hutt of hors d’oeuvres.

I have many a fond memory of my mom’s guacamole (which she unapologetically made with mayo) served with original Doritos. Likewise, my longtime go-to guacamole recipe comes courtesy of that fabulous classic The New Basics Cookbook. This recipe, which veers toward the bland side, is your basic guac – with avocados, onions and a smidge of hot sauce.  After dissolving the unflavored gelatine, you mix it all together and pour it into your JELL-O mold.

What’s that? You don’t own a JELL-O mold? Well, neither do I. Do you know how difficult it is to find a JELL-O mold these days? I should have started hitting the garage sales weeks ago! Two kitchen shops and one Fred Meyer failed to turn up a JELL-O mold, and Mom’s was one county away.

But the devil drives me when necessary, and I made do with a glass bowl lined with cling wrap. After chilling overnight, the guacamole bounced out of the bowl so easily it seemed possessed. (It should be noted that my Guacamole Ring wasn’t exactly a ring per se – more of a Guacamole Mound.)

The Jabba the Hutt of hors d'oeuvres.
After adorning the Mound with blue and yellow tortilla chips, it was time to dig in. Or try to. After breaking off the tip of half a dozen chips, I got a knife. And that’s the truth about the Guacamole Ring. It’s more cheese spread than guacamole. The taste and texture were both fine, but you’ll want one of those cute little appetizer knives to spread it on your tortilla chip.

(And herein lies a secret advantage of the Guacamole Ring: It takes longer to serve and therefore eat, which means you’ll end up eating less of it than you would of, say, a big bowl of your favorite recipe. Hmmm, guacamole as diet food …)

But, if you, like me, have a penchant for old-timey things (and canned, jellied cranberry sauce, which falls firmly into this camp), this could become a regular addition to your buffet. Imagine the possibilities: Christmas tree-shaped guacamole! Leprechaun-shaped guacamole! Some kind of Halloween-theme-green-alien guacamole!

When food is good, it doesn’t need any dressing up. So, my blessings go with you should you mold your guac, but it will really just be gilding the lily.

Guacamole Ring
2 envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 medium California avocados, peeled, seeded, mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

In small saucepan, sprinkle Knox Unflavored Gelatine over cold water; let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatine is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce. In large bowl, using wire whip or rotary beater, combine gelatine mixture with avocados, stir in onion. Pour in 5-cup ring mold or individual molds; chill until firm. Serve as an appetizer salad or as a spread for crackers. Makes about 5 cups.

·      I halved this recipe, which served four adults and two kids with plenty to spare. 
·      It should be obvious, but please use very ripe avocados.
·      I used the paddle attachment on my KitchenAid mixer to combine the gelatine mixture with the avocados.
·      Leftover alert: Mash some Guacamole Ring with some canned Great Northern Beans (rinsed and drained) and spread on a Ry-Krisp cracker. A delicious light lunch – and you get good-person points for cleaning out the fridge!

Why Don’t You …
·      Substitute your favorite guacamole ingredients, than add in the gelatine?


  1. And a new halloween tradition was born...

  2. Perfect -- maybe with some dry ice in the middle to make it even spookier!