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Guacamole, the Mexican Dip/Salad with a Base of Avocados: Healthy and Tasty
Using a traditional molcahete in Mexico
Light on the Chilli: It Ain't Napalm!
Eat Guacamole Anytime
Mexican food has established itself as one of the world’s outstanding cuisines. The basics, such as chillies and tortillas, are sold everywhere in Europe; they were available many years previously in The United States due to that nation’s large Hispanic population. One of the tastiest side dishes or starters accompanying traditional Mexican dishes is Guacamole (gwakamole-eh). This avocado based salsa or sauce is both nutritious, delicious and also easy to make, if, and it’s a big IF, you can find good, ripe avocados in UK shops. I haven’t had much luck with finding good avocados here, you may be luckier; trouble is, they don’t always ripen well off the tree. If you buy the canon-ball-like offerings in my local Tesco, by the time they are soft enough to be called table-ready, their flesh is also black and unappetizing-looking.
But l assume you have located a good source of ripe avocados, (plenty, of course, in Spain, Italy and Greece, etc, they have real sunshine like Mexico).
In my book, there is a bit too much foreign inventiveness going into the Guacamole mix. “Cook,” or “Chef” swears his is the best by adding clotted cream, sour cream, cream cheese, even the final insult, mayonnaise! Even the so-called experts who have “done” Mexico try adding green peppers, assorted chilli powders, olive oil, too much tomato, or, destroying the dish completely by adding lettuce or slicing a cucumber into it.
Come a bit closer to the page, what I am about to reveal is not for alien ears. This is the secret of the true gourmet’s guacamole, as passed to me by an old crone high in the Chiapas mountains just before we made love, er, dinner. For a start, she said the ingredients should be prepared in a “molcahete.” This is the traditional Indian pestle and mortar, made of volcanic rock. (They are on eBay, or course and I have seen them in some markets for 10 times their cost in Mexico).
Any Mexican salsa tastes more authentic when the chillies are ground in one of these.
This, then, is what she told me and we will prepare a man-sized bowl of traditional guacamole for the whole gang.
You will need:
10 ripe avocados, medium.
1 large white onion, minced
(put aside 1/3 of onion for later)
11/2 seeded and veined Serrano chilli peppers.
Minced finely, hold back 1/3 for later.
One half teaspoon salt
One half cup, packed, cilantro (coriander) leaves, no stems
One clove garlic.
Half avocados and remove meat.
Grind the onions, peppers, salt, chillies, coriander and garlic in your new molcahete (mole-ca-het-eh). Transfer this to your large mixing bowl. Spoon in the avocado, taking care not to mash it, small lumps is ideal.
One seeded and chopped plum tomato
The juice of one lime (not lemon)
The chopped onion and chillies you held back (un-ground)
One half teaspoon salt.
Mix the avocado and other ingredients with the back of a spoon until the paste is thoroughly combined, yet the avocado is sill lumpy. Don’t allow avocado to become creamed; it should still retain its yellow colour, if it all goes green, you have mixed to vigorously…treat it like the lover who is coming to share, gently but firmly.
Finally, let stand for one hour, not in fridge. Garnish with coriander and serve with a platter of tostadas to dig it out with.
This should easily feed four big eaters.
Also makes fine salad side dish for fish, or barbecued meat.
Note: Conservative amount of chillies. The taste should be subtle not have guests calling for the fire-extinguisher.
If anyone tells you to add mayonnaise, fit the whole bowl on his recalcitrant head, screaming, “Keep it simple, Stoopid!!”
Regarding the lover: make sure you wash thoroughly, a touch of chilli, or a seed, coming in contact with organs not normally exposed to light, will have the owner yelling blue murder and will spoil your well planned seduction. But you all knew that.