Monday, August 29, 2016

Garlicky Grilled Guacamole for Food 'N Flix August: Hotel Transylvania 2 {#FoodnFlix}

Hotel Transylvania 2 is our August pick for Food 'N Flix, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles. (See her announcement post here.) I watched this film when it was first out on Netflix because I liked the first movie, but it is always fun to re-watch a film and look for the food.

Most of Hotel Transylvania 2 takes place seven years after the first film. Mavis (vampire) and Johnny (human) marry and have a little boy, Dennis. Vampa Drac adores his grandson, although he is worried he won't get his vampire powers and will remain a human like his father. Mavis thinks that if Dennis is going to be human, it might be safer and better for him to grow up in California like Johnny and they go to check it out, leaving Dennis with Drac and his friends. Meanwhile Drac and the gang take Dennis on a field trip of sorts to see if they can make a monster out of him--the problem being that none of them are very good at being scary monsters anymore.

It's a fun film whether you are an adult or not and there is actually a fair amount of food to be found. There are a variety of cakes--wedding, birthday, screaming..., Mavis craves ice cream with anchovies while pregnant with Dennis although Drac thinks she should up her spider and sheep bile intake instead and he also brings her "monster ball soup" like her mother made. Drac's team baby-proofs the hotel with marshmallows on sharp objects--including a witch's nose,and there's a monster food blog/Facebook page and a pinata with candy. There's sightings or mentions of pizza, champagne, pop-tarts, and Drac's chocolate cereal, as well as an espresso shop and mini mart in California with rows of chips and 48 flavors of Slurpees.

I took my inspiration from avocados. There's a line where Drac gives Johnny a snack saying, "Here, have an avocado" then "Your mommy says it's a good fat, whatever the heaven that means!" It made me laugh and so I decided to do my favorite thing with avocados and make guacamole. Rick Bayless has a roasted garlic guacamole that I like and there is another line from Drac when Mavis asks him to go flying with her, "I'd eat a bucket of garlic to fly with you" that I thought was sweet. Another favorite guacamole recipe is one I got from a cookbook called Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes, where avocado halves, onions and other ingredients are grilled before being mashed into guacamole. I put some of the Bayless recipe and the grilling idea together with my own spin and it became Garlicky Grilled Guacamole

I served my guacamole with blue corn and flax seed tortilla chips because I think they look more 'monster-ish' and it wasn't until I was taking pictures of the guacamole that I thought to myself that the bright green reminded me of 'Blobby' from the movie. So, being the food blogging geek that I am, I turned the bowl of guacamole upside down on a plate, added some grilled onion and caper eyes, and took a few more pictures. I'd love to say that I planned it to look like Blobby all along, but it was a happy accident. 
Either way you serve it, it's delicious! ;-) 

Garlicky Grilled Guacamole 
Adapted from Grills Gone Vegan and Rick Bayless
(Makes about 2 Cups)

1 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 tsp olive oil + extra
3 medium-large ripe avocados, halved and pitted
1/2 or so of a medium sweet onion, cut into thick rings
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off
3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus a little more if necessary 
salt and black pepper

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. 

Mix 1 tsp lemon or lime juice with 1 tsp olive oil and brush on the cut halves of the avocados. Brush onion rings with a little olive oil. Once pan is hot, lay avocados cut side down, onion rings and garlic cloves onto the grill pan in a single layer. Cook 3-4 minutes until marked. Remove avocados from the grill pan and set aside. Flip onion rings and garlic cloves over and cook another 3-4 minutes until rings are marked. Remove onion rings from the grill pan and continue to cook the unpeeled garlic until it is soft and blackened in spots, another 3-4 minutes. Remove garlic cloves, allow to cool slightly, then slip off the papery skins and finely chop/mash. Chop the grilled onions.

Scoop the avocado flesh from the shells into a large bowl. Gently mash, add the chopped garlic and onions, chopped cilantro and lime juice and continue to mash everything together, leaving it slightly chunky.

Taste and season with salt and black pepper and extra lime juice as needed. Scoop into a  serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Notes/Results:  The simple combination of the of seared/grilled avocado, onion, and garlic give this guacamole wonderful flavor. The avocado flavor is heightened and the onions sweetened, while the garlic is present but mellowed from the pan, making this guacamole even more addictive and reminds me that all guacamole should start with avocados that have spent at least a few minutes with a grill pan.I will definitely make it again.

I am right at (minutes before!) the deadline for this month and Kimberly will be rounding up the posts on her blog shortly. If you missed this round and love food, movies, and food in movies, join us for the September film, Frida, hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats.

 Happy viewing, cooking, and eating! 


  1. "He's fine. He's Blobby." I think that is great. I love that you took your inspiration from a few different parts.

  2. Oh my gosh Deb, this is like, my dream food! Blobby never looked so good. ;)

  3. Delicious and beautiful. Good FAT! I think it was wise to use the blue/black chips. Your first photo actually likes like a vampire. :)

  4. I am a huge Rick Bayless fan as well Deb...I think we have talked about that before. Don't you just love happy accidents like discovering your guac looks like Blobby? How fun is that?

  5. Good yummy fat indeed! It really does look like Blobby. And love the garlic to keep va,ps at bay!

  6. grilled avocado for guacamole? I would have never thought of that one. Love the idea and love your " monster mash"

  7. YUM! I love everything about this recipe!


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