Month of February: “Truly Mexican” Recipe: Classic Guacamole

“Love is an attempt at penetrating another human being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual.” Octavio Paz

2/2/2020 is a palindrome, which I learned today years old. It means a word, phrase or sequence that reads the same backward as forward. Auspicious! It won’t happen again for like a thousand years. So tickled this phenomenon is occurring during the same year as my blog. It is also the month we will explore one of Abby’s and my favorite ethnic cuisines. Mexican! This cookbook, gifted to me by my son Sean, is written by Roberto Santibanez, a native of Mexico City and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He is the chef/owner of Fonda, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn. His book specializes in the sauces: salsas, guacamoles, adobos, moles and pipianes. My goal is to savor each one of these recipes I create and share them with whomever’s love for Mexican food is as mutual as Abby’s was and still is for me.

The secret to a great guacamole is in the chili paste. Most of us just throw in chopped onion and cilantro. However, creating a paste of these ingredients FIRST enables the tasty concoction to cling to the avocado for maximum flavor. I read it’s best to use a porous mortar and pestle (molcajete and tejolote) but Roberto agrees that it’s fine to mince and mash with a large knife and fork. Also, traditional guacamole is meant to be chunky, not smooth.

Abby in Isla Mujeres

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion, 1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile (more or less depending on your desire for heat), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt of 1/4 teaspoon ofsea salt, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro divided, 1 large or 2 small Mexican Hass avocados, squeeze of lime.

1.Mash the onion, chile, salt and half of the cilantro into a paste in a molcajete (traditional Mexican mortar and pestle). You can also use a large knife and fork together on a cutting board and then transfer the paste to a bowl.

2. Remove the avocado pit. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern although not through the skin with a knife and scoop into a bowl. Toss well and add the rest of the cilantro and paste and coarsely mash with a fork. Season to taste with salt or lime. Serve with corn tortilla chips. YUM! Never gets old! NEVER!!

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