June 27, 2013

Authentic Guacamole Recipe - Guest Post

I was delighted when my friend Tanja accepted to write an article for foodmoods and share her famous guacamole recipe. So here is over to Tanja...thank you so much x


I have had quite a long love affair with Mexican food but really it’s only in the last few years I have discovered how to make it properly for myself. I fell in love with Mexican food almost 20 years ago, at a fabulous Mexican restaurant in Canterbury (Café des Amis - hopefully it’s still going!). For many years, however, there was a huge discrepancy between the quality of Mexican cuisine I had experienced there, and my own humble attempts to recreate these meals with bought cans of refried beans, tubs of guacamole and jars of salsa: I had a lot to learn. (Even a visit to Mexico in my early 20s did little to improve things - I’m ashamed to say that on my backpacker budget, I mostly lived off Philadelphia cream cheese sandwiches and apples!)

Over time, as my cooking skills developed, I learned how to make a passable salsa and refried beans…However, it was a modest little recipe book I discovered in a charity shop a few years ago which really opened up the treasures of Mexican cookery to me. Marlena Spieler’s wonderful book Mexican (Parragon, 2001) contains so many fantastic recipes (and mouthwatering photos), it’s truly revolutionised my approach to cooking Mexican food. I’m still working my way through the book, but so far every single recipe I’ve tried has been delicious. The range of dishes goes far beyond the typical enchiladas/nachos/fajitas clichés of Mexican cuisine - but still, nothing really beats good guacamole! Recently, a Mexican friend of mine came round for dinner and pretty much licked the bowl of guacamole clean: what higher praise is there?

Without further ado then, here’s the recipe for authentic guacamole - adapted from Marlena Spieler’s recipe; wolfed down by a real Mexican…

Authentic Guacamole Recipe
• 2 limes
• 2 avocados
• 1 ripe tomato
• 1 shallot (or a quarter of an onion)
• 1 green chilli (e.g. jalapeno or serrano)
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ ground Cayenne pepper
• Salt to taste
• Optional: fresh coriander or flat leafparsley

1. Squeeze the juice of both limes into a bowl.
2. Slice, remove the stones and dice both avocados; scoop all the flesh out of the skins & into the bowl of lime juice. Mash the diced avocado into the lime juice until it’s well mixed. (The lime juice will help to preserve the beautiful green colour of the avocado this way.) I always use a fork rather than a blender - roughly mashing it by hand keeps some of the texture.
3. Soak the tomato in boiling water for a minute or so, and then soak it in cold water for a minute or so - you should now be able to peel away the outer skin of the tomato easily. Slice in half, remove the seeds and dice what’s left of the tomato! Add it to the avocado/lime juice mixture but do not mash it in, just stir it in using a fork. (This means it will be a bit lumpy in texture - but more pleasing this way, I think!)
4. Finely chop the shallot (or quarter of onion) and de-seed and finely chop the green chilli - add these to the mixture, again just stirring in rather than mashing them in.
5. Stir in the spices and salt to taste.
6. If desired, you can chop and add a handful of fresh coriander or parsley - stir some in and sprinkle some on top as a garnish. Coriander is more authentic but parsley works well too…
You can serve the guacamole with tortilla chips or use it as an accompaniment to pretty much any Mexican dish you care to think of - I love eating it with lime rice and refried beans, but I often have some in a flour tortilla with spinach and feta for a tasty lunch. You could even spoon it into soup!

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