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Eat this! Guacamole, a singing sauce, on its day

Zocalo’s trio de guacamole.

Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar’s trio de guacamole. The restaurant will serve a special guacamole menu Nov. 9–14.

What it is: Guacamole is a thick, zesty, Mexican paste of avocados, typically mashed with tomatoes, onions, chilies and spices. The stuff is so popular that, according to the people who make up such things, it’s celebrated on two U.S. “national” holidays, Sept. 16 and Nov. 14, and even has its own song:

 


Rhett & Link: ‘The Guacamole Song’

 

Gustavo Casteñada

Gustavo Casteñada

Where it comes from: The avocado (Persea americana), botanically a fruit, dates to between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C., and wild plants originated in south-central Mexico. Archeological evidence shows avocado trees were cultivated as early as 750 B.C. When the Spaniards explored the New World in the 1500s, they found the Aztecs making a sauce called ahuaca-molli, a portmanteau of two Nahautl words. Molli meant “something mashed or pureed into a sauce” and ahuacatl doubled as the word for “testicle” and for the fruit of similar shape — which explains guacamole’s long reputation as an aphrodisiac.

What to do with it: Beyond dipping tortilla chips into guacamole and dolloping it on tacos and burritos, consider spreading guacamole on sandwiches and burgers; make guacamole benedict with english muffins, poached eggs and a drizzle of hot sauce; top baked potatoes with it; mix it with chunks of diced chicken for guacamole-chicken salad … and, as Rhett & Link suggest, you can smear some on your face as a complexion cream (not aphrodisiac).

Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar’s trio de guacamole
Chef Gustavo Casteñada

Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar in River North serves this threesome of guacamoles with an assortment of chips including corn, malanga (a starchy root vegetable), plantain, and boniato (a sweet potato popular in Caribbean cusine). From Nov. 9 through 14, the restaurant will celebrate Guacamole Day with daily food and drink specials and a guacamole menu that includes a second guacamole flight, featuring guacamoles with tuna, pork cracklings and mole manchamanteles (apple, fried plantain, grilled pineapple and toasted sesame seeds, topped with a savory Oaxacan sauce).

Guacamole tradicional:
2 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh cilanro leaves, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Guacamole rojo:

2 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato, roasted over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 medium Spanish onion, roasted over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides and finely chopped
1 red jalapeno pepper, roasted over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Guacamole fruta:
2 ripe avocados
2 ounces guava, finely chopped
2 ounces papaya finely chopped
1 manzano or 1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup walnut halves, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For each recipe, halve and pit the avocados; with a spoon scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash the avocados leaving them a bit chunky.

Add the remaining ingredients, and stir everything gently together to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the guacamole rojo with roasted red jalapeno salsa (recipe below) before serving. Each recipe makes about 1 cup.

Roasted red jalapeno salsa:
2 red jalapeno peppers
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Roast the jalapeno and garlic over an open flame until slightly charred on all sides and puree in a blender with the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 
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