Thursday, July 8, 2010


I can't recall when I first tasted guacamole. Likely, it was at some Mexican restaurant back in the early '70s while my first husband was at Stanford's business school and his parents had scoped out all the best Mexican restaurants on the peninsula. It was an instant passion for me and I consider myself a connoisseur of good guac.

The best local guac I have found is the heavenly stuff prepared at Las Camelias in San Rafael - hearty, chunky, with a hint of spice and cilantro, they don't stint on the avocado there, nor try to make it go further by adding ersatz ingredients. It personifies the goal toward which all guacamole should be aiming. If you call ahead, they will make it fresh and have it ready for pickup, along with a big brown paper bag of their housemade corn chips. You're welcome.

But we were clear across the bridge from that yummy stuff and had three avocados crying out to be eaten, so I decided to try a homemade version. Scooped the avos into a bowl with chopped ripe tomato and mild onion, a big squeeze of lemon juice and a couple of generous dollops of Hop'n Jalapeno hot sauce.

I didn't include the cilantro because, to me, it tastes like soap.
I'm trying to learn to like cilantro but it's an uphill battle. I call it soapwort and make a face.

Squished it all together with a fork. Opened up a package of thin, lightly salted tortilla chips. Dipped in. While it didn't reach Las Camelias heights, it was pretty darn good.



Blogger Greg said...

Scoop me up some! My son makes a wicked guac he likes to add to his BLT sando.

Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I love me some guacamole and I make it as simply as possible. Who needs mayo on a sandwich when you have fresh guacamole, with lime, hot peppers, fresh tomatoes and onions.

Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Blogger kudzu said...

Dislike of cilantro is actually a physiological response of some weird sort. My daughter-in-law suffers from it. I'm sorry for both of you, but you needn't try so hard to tolerate it!

Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Blogger Kailyn said...

This is the second time this week someone has mentioned soap in conjunction with food. I absolutely love cilantro but I know quite a few people who can't stand the taste of it. I take it you don't eat much Vietnamese or Burmese food since cilantro is pretty common in those. Oh and you can always add a little garlic to your guac as well.

Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Sounds like you made a very good guac. You are now a Semi-Native.
I can teach you how to make tortilla chips in your oven; no salt or oil! (Although many people see that as a negative.)

Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, OMG, guac on a BLT? That sounds so messy! And so divine!

Nancy, I even put avocado on toast - better than jam!

Kudzu, that info is truly liberating! Thank you. I wonder if it's inherited, like the ability to taste spinach as bitter?

Kailyn, mostly, I just avoid the cilantro in dishes, the way some people pick out the mushrooms. Hmmm, garlic, huh? Maybe that's one of the differences between my guac and Las Camelias'?

Cookiecrumb, do tell! I would miss the salt but not the oil.

Friday, July 09, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

OK. Buy fresh corn tortillas, knowing that your chips will be thicker than the bagged types. Cut them (in a stack of about six) into eight wedges.
Arrange them on a rack or two, not overlapping, and bake at 350ยบ for about 15 minutes (I'm iffy on the time; do check often; they are done when the color turns golden and you take one out of the oven to cool, and it cracks handsomely when you break it.)
Add more salt to your guac!

Friday, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

Try as I might I just can't taste the "soap" in coriander, I love the stuff :)

Friday, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, thanks for the chip lesson - I will try that. I could salt the chips lightly after the come out, too.

Ms Mouse, I gather from Kudzu's comment that tasting the soap in cilantro is an actual difference between us soap-cilantro folks and the cilantro-loving world. No guilt for either!

Saturday, July 10, 2010  

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