recipe + photography by Michael Greene
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.”
― Erma Bombeck
I'm a ponderer. Someone who becomes intrigued when I eat, drink or experience something extraordinary for the first time. I'll often ponder, '...why, this is delicious! Who created this dish?' or - 'that contraption is quite intricate, how does it work? Who invented it?' This often leaves me in a fit of Google exploration, and though at first glance might seem distracting, my random knowledge stemmed from pondering has increased over the years.
"Ahuaca-Mulli" is an ancient Aztec tradition, loved and known best as Guacamole. Those who have already experienced avocados, the emerald of fruits, know them for their creamy richness, compatibility with hundreds of dishes and the lengthy list of health benefits to boot. But of all the ways one could enjoy avocados, the most decadent experience would be what the Aztecs would have offered, Guacamole. Now some of you might be thinking, 'I've tried guacamole, how hard could it be to make this dip?' But to my surprise I've found very few people get the art, taste and texture of guacamole right. In fact, I've travelled Europe, Western America, Australia, parts of South East Asia and the majority of the restaurants and people I've had guacamole from didn't hit the mark. So now you might ask, what does Ancient Guacamole taste like? I was able to put a finger on it by finding the perfect combination, only found in the dish's birthplace - South Central Mexico.
3 Haas Avocados
1/2 Clove of White Garlic
1/2 Spanish Onion
2 medium lemons
1/2 Bunch of Cilantro
Dash of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 Red Jalapeño
Texture is essential in the final outcome, so attention to the guacamole's consistency is important. First cut the three avocados in half and scoop the insides and their large seeds into a mixing bowl. Add the two lemons and mash the avocados until the texture becomes creamy (adding the lemon as you go for a more liquid consistency). Set-aside for now.
Peel and smash the raw garlic with a pestle and mortar until the garlic is juicy and completely flattened. Scoop and add to the avocado bowl.
Slice the red jalapeño into fine sections and mix with chopped onion and plucked cilantro. Add to the avocado bowl and stir until mix is thick and creamy. Lastly, add the dash of salt and pinch of cayenne pepper.
Note: Be careful to not overdo the stirring: the consistency should still have some chunks of avocado mixed with lighter creamier parts. It's easy to mix too much/little and have a too-creamy guacamole or a too-chunky guacamole. Find the texture that's comfortably 50/50.
When made right, the combination of paired flavours follow order - cool with an occasional wave of spice - then savoury paired with a tangy creaminess - finished with full bodied nuttiness.
Occasions: Summer Days by the water, Autumn Picnics, Spring Gatherings.
Music Pairing: Anything with Spanish Guitar.
Preferred Drink Pairing: Jalapeño Margarita (will divulge next time)
Best eaten with: warm tortilla chips OR add to a slice of warm artisan bread.
So eat. Be merry. Love, Live and Ponder.