Crab, Mango, and Cotija Cheese Guacamole: Your Tortilla Chip's New Best Friend
What in the world does a girl do with two dozen avocados? That was the big question, or conundrum I should say, just a few weeks ago when I won 1st place in the California Avocado’s 4th of July contest for my East Meets West Guacamole. I have to be completely honest with you though. I don’t think the California Avocado Commission particularly cares for the term “runner-up,” which is what I really was. For above 1st place was Grand Prize Winner (who won a sweet grill and a 3-month avocado delivery subscription, I might add). So let’s just say they fooled me a bit with the initial congratulatory e-mail. But really, I was just honored that I placed at all. Not a crazy competitive kinda gal and certainly not a sore loser, I was proud with my *runner-up* standing.
Some of my friends, family members, and fans may or may not have told me that my guacamole definitely deserved the grand prize. But hey, I didn’t say it. My mouth is shut. But I do appreciate the awesome support and praise.
So just like that, 24 perfectly ripe avocados arrived on my doorstep along with a huge box of fun California Avocado swag. What in God’s name was I supposed to do with so many luscious green treats that unfortunately, have a very brief “shelf life”? Simply put, I played Santa Claus. Yep, I walked around my little condo community with a big smile on my face and hand delivered avocados to my very thankful neighbors.
Then, I made lots…and lots…and lots of guacamole. I made my famous traditional guac that Chris loves so much. I made bacon and feta guac. I made roasted garlic guac, and I made black bean and corn guac. We ate guac pretty much all weekend long. I must say, it was a great excuse to cook tacos, breakfast burritos, and gorge on chips and guac for 3 days straight.
I also made a guacamole that I’d rank in my top 3 guacs ever. It’s subtly sweet, it’s got a sharp bite, and it almost transports you to a tropical island. Perhaps I’m exaggerating. But it really is a righteous creation if I do say so myself. My Crab, Mango, and Cotija Cheese Guacamole is pretty damn special. Make it, and you will share my sentiment. I promise.
Crab, Mango, and Cotija Cheese Guacamole
3 ripe avocados
¼ pound fresh crab meat (I used Dungeness crab. Just make sure it’s good quality)
1/3 cup mangos, diced (I used frozen but a ripe fresh mango works great if you have one)
3 tablespoons red onion, diced
3 tablespoons red bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1) Combine all of the ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl except for the crab, mango, and cotija cheese. Using a large fork or sturdy spoon, mash the avocado while mixing in the various ingredients. Stop mashing and mixing once it has reached your desired consistency. I like a chunky guacamole but some people prefer a smoother, creamier version.
2) Fold in the crab, mango, and ½ of the cotija. Leave a small bit of crab on the side for garnish.
3) Spoon the guac into a small serving bowl and sprinkle the rest of the cotija and a bit of crab on top. Serve with tortilla chips.