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Cinco de Mayo Dinner Party Recipes, Part 2 – Guacamole de molcajete

New twists on traditional recipes keep food interesting and sometimes create new classics. But, at the end of the day, we almost always prefer what’s tried and true. There’s a reason certain foods have obtained classic status; they have withstood the test of time.

Guacamole is one of those foods about which people have their own opinions. Garlic? Mango? Serrano, poblano, or jalapeno chiles? We set out to make the most authentic guacamole. As with many cultures, the most authentic foods are often simple preparations using quality ingredients. Basically, learn to find and appreciate the raw materials and then get out of the way.

Knowing what guacamole we enjoyed from our past, we scoured the internet for some history on the subject and looked for a similar recipe. Turns out, with the proper equipment and good ingredients, the best guacamole you will eat is so easy to prepare.

To start, we bought a molcajete – a traditional Mexican mortar and pestle carved from lava rock. It’s the perfect tool for grinding the ingredients below and it makes an attractive serving dish. We bought ours at Crate & Barrel.

Take ¼ of a small white onion chopped, 1 fresh roma tomato chopped, 1 serrano chile (seeded or not depending on heat preference), and salt to taste. Grind together until tomatoes have fallen apart slightly and the mixture looks soupy and smells aromatic. This process creates a fluffy guacamole full of flavor. Alternatively, simply adding the chopped items to the avocado makes it difficult to get all of the flavors in one bite and, let’s face it, is a bit lazy.

Spoon 2 pounds of avocados (about 4 – halved and pitted) into the wet mixture. Continue to grind to your desired smoothness. We like some chunks. Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and the juice of 1 lime. Add more salt to taste.

If the guacamole is going to be served with tortilla chips we add less salt because the chips usually bring a lot of salt to the mix. However, if the guacamole is going to be used on its own to top tacos, for example, then we will up the salt a bit.

This guacamole shouldn’t turn brown for 3-4 hours, but it never lasts that long around our house!

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