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Guacamole

Guacamole has been nourishing hungry Mexicans since long before the Spaniards arrived.  With a presentation that showcases the the colors of the Mexican flag, you can celebrate the spirit of authentic Mexican cooking anytime.

Guacamole garnished to display the colors of the Mexican flag.

Guacamole garnished to display the colors of the Mexican flag.

Ingredients

2 ripe medium-sized avocados (click here to learn how to purchase and store avocados, and how to tell when they're ripe)

Coarse salt

Splash of fresh squeezed lime juice

1 jalapeno, diced (depending on the heat of your jalapeno, you may only use a portion of it)

About 10-15 sprigs of cilantro, roughly chopped

2 Tablespoons diced white onion

1 small tomato, or about half of a larger one, diced (discard seeds and juice)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1.   Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh into a bowl.  Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon salt over them (you may need less if your avocados were on the small side) and add 2 teaspoons of lime juice.  Add a small amount of diced jalapeno to the bowl (you can always add more later).  We usually start with about a tablespoon.

2. Use a fork to mash everything together until chunky.  Don't over-mix.  Guacamole should be sort-of chunky or lumpy, not completely smooth like mashed potatoes or ice cream!  Small chunks of avocado remaining unsmashed in the final dish are considered appealing. 

3. If you plan to garnish the guacamole in the pattern of the Mexican flag, add a small amount (about 1/4) of the cilantro, onions and tomatoes to the guacamole and mix them in.  (If you are not going to do the Mexican flag design, you can add them all at this point.)

4. Transfer the guacamole to a nice serving dish, and smooth the top a bit.  Cover the left third of the surface with the remaining chopped cilantro.  Cover the right third with the remaining diced tomatoes.  Cover the middle third with diced onions.  When finished, the surface should look like the Mexican flag, as shown in the picture. Click here to learn more about the Mexican flag.

5. Your Guacamole is ready!  Make sure your guests see and appreciate the Mexican flag presentation when you serve it.  Serve it with a spoon.  As guests scoop portions out, the ingredients will start to mix together (you can help this process along by using the serving spoon to mix everything together after your guests have seen it, if you wish).


You eat with your eyes first!

Chefs are careful to be sure the food they serve not only tastes great, but also looks great.  This is called presentation, and it's an important part of cooking because - as the French say - we eat with our eyes first.  When thinking about how to serve your food, think about the impression you want your guests to have before they take their first bite.  Should it seem rustic or fancy?  Orderly or mixed-up?  Which dish should you serve it in?  How should you garnish it?  

In this recipe, we reserve a portion of the ingredients to garnish the dish in the end and make a memorable impression.


Have fun!