I am sure that this reincarnation of old friends will reach a new audience as future generations of Mexican Americans become more aware of their culinary heritage and a new wave of young chefs delves into these exciting, authentic recipes. Among them, I am sure, will be my devoted fans, to whom I am so grateful for their continued enthusiasm for my books and classes, and for their letters of appreciation, which I have carefully saved over the years. They, too, have helped preserve the spirit of these fascinating cuisines.
Makes about 2 1/3 cups (585 ML)
The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl words for "avocado" (ahuacatl) and "mixture," or "concoction" (molli) -- and what a beautiful "concoction" guacamole is, pale green sparked with the cilantro's darker green and the red of the tomato. Its beauty is definitely enhanced if it is served in the molcajete in which it has been made and where it rightfully belongs. (Never, never use a blender for the avocado to turn it into one of those smooth, homogeneous messes!) If you don't possess a molcajete, then use a blender for the base ingredients and mash avocados into it.
Guacamole is usually eaten in Mexico at the beginning of a meal with a pile of hot, freshly made tortillas or with other botanas (snacks), like crisp pork skins (chicharrón) or little pieces of crispy pork (carnitas). It will also often accompany a plate of tacos. It is so delicate that it is best eaten the moment it is prepared. There are many suggestions for keeping it -- covering it airtight, leaving the pit in, and so forth -- but they will help only for a brief time; almost immediately the delicate green will darken and the fresh, wonderful flavor will be lost.
2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4 serrano chiles, or to taste, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
3 large avocados (about 1 pound, 6 ounces/630 G)
4 ounces (115 G) tomatoes, finely chopped (About 2/3 Cup/165 ML)
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Grind together the onion, chiles, cilantro, and salt to a paste.
Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits, and squeeze the flesh out of the shell and mash into the chile base to a textured consistency -- it should not be smooth. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, adjust seasoning, and top with the remaining chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.
Serve immediately at room temperature (see note above). I do not recommend freezing.
Excerpted from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy. Copyright © 2000 by Diana Kennedy. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.