Spicy guacamole

May 25, 2005

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For milder guacamole, use a jalapeno pepper; for very mild, use an ancho or poblano pepper and remove the seeds and ribs before chopping. When working with chilies, wear latex gloves, don't touch your eyes, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. This makes enough for 4 burgers, with plenty more for snacking. Serves 4.

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chili pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
2 medium ripe Haas avocados
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine half the onion with the chili pepper, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, and the lime juice. Puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the onion-chili paste and mash it with a fork, leaving it somewhat chunky.

3. Stir the remaining chopped onion and cilantro, with the tomato, into the avocado mixture. Add salt and black pepper. Serve at once or press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate for several hours.

Adapted from ''The Cuisines of Mexico"