Getting ready to mix up a big bowl of guacamole for Cinco de Mayo? For years I've been making guacamole exactly the way my Mexican born and raised father taught me, but I'm thinking it's time to shake things up a little. I've just got my hands on Fonda chef Roberto Santibañez's new cook book, Truly Mexican, which has some exciting new takes on the avocado-based classic.
How about cucumber and pineapple in your guacamole? Or seafood? Keep reading for tips and recipes.
For the perfect guacamole, follow Santibañez's tips:
- Santibañez prefers Mexican Hass variety of avocado.
- Wait for your avocados to ripen until they're soft, but still a little firm. Avoid avocados that are mushy or whose skin has separated from the flesh.
- To hurry along the ripening process, keep your avocados in a closed paper bag and store in a warm place (like on top of your refrigerator).
- For a chunky guacamole (like the two below), don't mash your avocados into mush.
- When you chop cilantro, use only the leaves. Bundle the leaves together and cut into 1/8-inch slices.
- If you're making your guacamole ahead, store it in the refrigerator. Take it out an hour before serving and let it reach room temperature. Never microwave your guacamole!
Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole
- 1 (10- to 12-ounce) cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (1/2 inch)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red in onion
- 2 fresh Serrano or jalapeño chiles, minced, including seeds, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt, or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large or 3 small ripe Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
- 1/4 pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced (1/4 inch)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Stir together the cucumber, onion, chiles, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a cross-hatch pattern (not through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the bowl and gently stir together (do not mash). Stir in the pineapple last so the fresh acidity is a distinct counterpart to the avocado. Season to taste with additional chile, lime juice, and salt. Transfer the guacamole to a wide dish and sprinkle the cilantro on top.
Because of the acid in the pineapple, this salsa will not discolor as quickly as the other guacamoles. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours with a piece of plastic pressed against the surface. Let it come to room temperature before you serve it.
Combine the following and let marinate about 20 minutes:
- 4 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
- 3 ounces cooked shrimp or lobster, cut into small pieces (1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño or Serrano chile, including seeds, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle in adobo, including sauce, or 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine with classic guacamole and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.