Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Guacamole de Yucatán
Native to Central and South America, the avocado is a tree bearing large berries which are indeed, the avocados themselves. In Mayan legend, avocado has long been credited with bestowing fertility, and it is said that young beautiful maidens were locked up at the height of the avocado season. While this relative to Bay Laurel or common bay leaf, cinnamon and sassafras may not enjoy quite the same reputation today, a well made Guacamole can raise the heart rate yet.
The start of October means that in Australia at least, avocados should be in season, very good and cheap.
The following recipe we owe to the Mayan cooking tradition, and its slight alteration in method from your usual style makes all the difference. The sweet creamy flesh of the avocado is cut buy the acidic shallots and lime, and the whole mix punctuated by slightly charred skins of the toasted ingredients with just a little kick from the chile. Leave the chile seeds in if you care for a bit more spice.
3 large, ripe avocado
2 Roma tomato
6 shallots (US: scallions)
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1 chile Jalapeno, halved, seeds and membrane removed
coriander (US: cilantro)
Juice the lime into a good sized mixing bowl. Add a nice big pinch or two of salt.
Place tomatoes, garlic, chile and shallots on a comal or skillet (cast iron works best) and toast on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, turning when they have blackened a little. The result should look a little like the photo of the charred toasted tomatoes in the Mole Poblano recipe, and the garlic should be soft through. When ready, remove to chopping board.
Each ingredient gets a slightly different treatment: crush the garlic clove under the side of your knife, then mince it finely. Cut the whole tomatoes into a rough medium dice. Chop the shallots and dice the chile. Place all ingredients into the bowl with the lime juice and mix thoroughly.
Halve the avocados, remove its seed and scoop out the flesh. After a rough dice add to the other ingredients and mix immediately.
Chop your coriander and add to the mix. Check seasoning and see if it needs any more salt. Serve with anything crisp, enjoy.