This stripped-down guacamole contains no lime juice, which means that there's more pressure to eat it before it starts to brown. In Diana Kennedy's landmark 1972 book, "The Cuisines of Mexico," she calls for it to be made -- and served -- in a traditional molcajete. In modern kitchens, the chili paste that serves as a base can be made in a food processor, but the rest should be mashed and mixed by hand. Kennedy addressed the idea of variations, suggesting making it with tomatillos or leaving out the tomatoes: "Practically anything goes, but within certain limits, which does not include the unnecessary additions that I see in most pedestrian cookbooks."
Serve with corn tortilla chips.
Yield: (makes about 4 cups)
- 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 small serrano chile peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 5 medium Hass avocados
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (not peeled)
Combine half of the chopped onion, the chili peppers, half of the cilantro and the salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse for a few minutes until a coarse paste has formed.
Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Cut the avocados in half, discard the pits and scoop the flesh into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mash the avocado with the paste. Add the tomato and the remaining chopped onion and cilantro; mix well and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Kennedy's "The Cuisines of Mexico" (Harper & Row, 1972).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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