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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guacamole and Yucatecan Pickled Red Onions




I feel crazy posting a recipe for guacamole because it isn't really a recipe but I am asked for one so many times that I guess it's a useful thing to do. I am also going to share my method for making those pickled red onions that are served all over the Yucatan with many dishes.

When Little Shack was about 9, we were in Mexico and he said he hated onions but he ate these pretty pink onions every day because I told them they were cebelloas. I did not lie to my son, it's not my fault that he didn't know that cebello is the spanish word for onion.




So, quick recipe for guacamole:



you need some avocado - for the three of us I usually need at least two or three if they are very small
juice from one or two limes, depending on your taste
a handful of cilantro, chopped
a good pinch of kosher salt

if you want to add them but they are not necessary:
finely diced onion
finely chopped hot chili like a cilantro or harbanero
finely diced tomato


Cut the avocados in  half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh out into a shallow bowl. Mash the flesh with the tines of a fork. Squeeze the lime juice in, salt to taste and add the chopped cilantro. This is basically all guacamole is. What you choose to add after this is up to you. If you like heat, add some chopped hot peppers. If you like the crunch of a bit of raw onion, mince it finely and add it. You could add some finely chopped garlic if you like as well.
The only things that really matter are the avocado, lime juice, salt and cilantro. Mayonnaise, sour cream and cumin or chili powder have not business invading a beautiful bowl of guacamole and if you insist on committing such a crime against nature, I can only weep for your poor guacamole.




Pickled Red Onion:


Thinly slice 1 small red onion
squeeze the juice of 1 orange over the onions
add 1/3 cup of cider vinegar
sprinkle a good sized pinch of mexican oregano over the onions
pinch of kosher salt and a couple grinds of black pepper
smash two cloves of garlic and add those.






mix it in a shallow bowl, add a couple tbls of water if you need it to almost cover the onions and set aside to marinate for an hour or two and wait for them to turn a pretty pink.











There are a hundred recipe variations for the pickled red onions but this is the way I make them and I make them often. These onions are great on so many things. Every christmas eve I make cochinita pibil and they are an essential accompaniment to that, we eat them on tacos, in quesadillas, on sopes, with panuchos or on sandwiches. They are so sweet and a bit tart, and the soaking takes away the pungent oniony taste.

LOVE.