Guacamole with smoked trout, bacon and chile poblano. I was thinking about it later, and the reason this works so well is because it's a little bit like a revved up California roll, minus seaweed, crabstick, rice and tobiko. OK, it's nothing like sushi, but the avocado and uncooked fish textures and flavors work so well in Japanese cuisine, that I'm not surprised that they dance together in this rich dip.
Just in case you're interested in the other varieties that we didn't try, I brought home the menu from the night. As avocados are on sale this week at Kroger, I think I will have to try to make some of these at home:
- goat cheese, tomato, chile pblano
- jicama, pineapple, chile habanero and mint
- garlic confit, blue cheese, chile verde
- honey crisp apple, mango, chile serrano and thai basil
- pickled corn, crab, chile chipotle
Seared Sea Scallops with cauliflower and hominy frita, jalapeno creamed corn. This was my favorite dish, aside from the trout guacamole. The flavors were light, creamy and sweet, so they didn't overpower the delicate flavor of the scallops, which were just slightly undercooked in the center, but still pretty good :-) The ball in the middle is kind of like a cauliflower hush puppy. It would have been better if there was more cauliflower than hominy.
Butternut squash and goat cheese empanadas with oaxacan red chile and chocolate mole.
This was Jack's favorite dish of the night. I also liked it, but it was almost a dessert with all the sweetness and richness. As far as I'm concerned, anything with goat cheese is good.
Smoked gouda tamale dumplings. Cris found these to be a little bit dry, but I thought they were pretty well balanced when forked with a bittersweet heap of the crisp onion and corn saute with which it was served.
No joke, we orderd chancho, adobo braised wild boar taquitos with pickled jalapeno and mustard crema. After all, the guys needed something to go with their worcestershire beers, and this was one of the more awe-inspiring meats on the menu.
(As a side note, please excuse the horrible quality of my photos from the night. The room was exceedingly dim and I didn't want to draw attention to myself by flashing the food every 60 seconds.)
I'm not a fan of tough meat, or even red meat in general. And this was overtly both very red and tough meat. However, a little dollop of boar shreds on a mini corn tortilla with copious amounts of the pickled jalapeno and mustard crema was pretty good. And if I wasn't so stuffed that I felt every bite was bound to come out my ears, I might have liked it more.
Ironically, neither Jack nor Joe really liked this dish, despite Cris and my chidings that they didn't add enough of the salsa and crema. If I were to get a do-over on ordering, I would have thought less about what others might like and ordered what I knew I'd like: the picadillo, ground lamb shoulder with mint, walnuts, red chile and chocolate mole, which sounds like a pretty amazing little taco. Or, the camarones, achiote shrimp al postor style with pineapple and jicama salsa... or pato, slow cooked duck confit with chile anco and pomegranate barbacoa. Or...