Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Gift of Southern California

Growing up in Midwestern America and living on the East Coast through my college years, I now know the great gift I have living in Southern California. Is it the sun, the ocean, the access to great comedy? Maybe all of these things, but above this... I have the pleasure of living in a part of the world where really good Mexican Food can be found. I find myself missing terribly it when I visit other places, even parts of Mexico. It is astounding that places like Del Taco and Taco Bell can stay open in this area of the country when delicious authentic Mexican Food can be attained quickly and cheaply at any time of Day or Night. Good Mexican food is the standard in this town and great Mexican Food is hardly rare.

I was recently reminded of our bounty when an East Coast friend came to visit. She developed a fondness for something I take completely for granted, fresh Guacamole. She said that the stuff they serve on the East Coast is a premade green paste. How unacceptable! Guacamole is easy to make with fresh ingredients, and it is often made table side at restaurants here.

Here is my "recipe" although, if I make guac, it's a pretty improvised affair:
2-3 ripe avocados, the ones that feel a bit soft with the skin on.
Half an onion chopped up
One clove of Garlic crushed or minced
Maybe a tablespoon of cilantro, fresh if you can get it
Half a tomato
1-2 table spoons of fresh lemon or lime juice
A touch of Chile pepper or Cayenne for heat
Dash of salt

Mash it up in a bowl or with a pretty mortar and pestle at the table for your guests.

There are some Guacamole recipes in some of my favorite cookbooks, I am not sure what the fair use laws are, so I won't print them, but I will link to the books here.

Mexican Family Cookingby Aida Gabilondo.
Guacamole with Zucchini or Guacamole con Calabacitas.

This recipe is unusual because of the Zucchini.


The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking)

Ms. Katzen suggests leaving the avocado pits in the Guacamole until just before serving to retain its color.

For even more ideas, on the California Avocado Comission Website, I found a treasure trove of Guacamole Recipes. I have tried none of these, so if you do, please leave a comment and tell me how it goes. They also provided the lovely picture of the Guacamole above... thanks California Avocado Commision for the picture and thank-you for your gifts, Southern California.

1 comment:

Family of Food said...

I would now add sour cream. I had this sort of guacamole at my children's cooking class and I loved it. Sour Cream is now a part of my recipe.

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