OPINION: Chef Dez on Cooking

The best guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

Chef Dez/Lacombe Express Food Columnist

I love experiencing the tastes of different cuisines and I use any excuse I can find to switch things up a bit at the dinner table. Celebratory dates from around the globe are perfect for this and May fifth marks Cinco de Mayo: a celebration of Mexican Heritage and Pride.

A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayois Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually on September sixteenth. Cinco de Mayois simply Spanish for Fifth of Mayand is a regional holiday that commemorates Mexico’s defeat of the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Regardless however, of this distinction, it is a perfect day to prepare and enjoy Mexican food.

I have tasted a number of homemade salsas and guacamoles and many of them have fallen short of being incredible, let alone worthy of being called Mexican cuisine. True guacamole (pronounced gwahk-ah-“MOLE”-lee) is not avocados that have been mashed together with an envelope of powders called “guacamole mix”. I know there are a number of people that may struggle in the kitchen, or don’t believe they have the time in their schedules, to successfully chop a few handfuls of ingredients, but once you try this recipe you will never want to go back to the powdered mix.

The only ingredient in this recipe that may seem foreign to you is “sambal oelek”. It is a crushed chili product that comes in a liquid/paste form that is basically a re-hydrated form of the dried crushed chilies you have on your spice rack. It can usually be found in any major grocery store down the Asian food aisle or imported food aisle or in any gourmet food store.

Even if you have always made your guacamole from fresh ingredients, I am certain that you will still appreciate the complexity and balance of flavour this recipe has to offer, as well as the texture. Eat, enjoy, and be merry this fifth of May… but try not to dance around the sombrero too much.

Fresh Guacamole

“Avocado Salsa at its best – chunky and full of flavour! The lime juice will help to keep the avocados from oxidizing (turning brown).”

  • 2 soft avocados
  • Juice from 1 large lime
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Cut, pit, and peel the avocados. Mash them in a medium bowl with the lime juice.

Add all of the other ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Refrigerate until needed.

Chef Dez is a Chef, Writer, & Host. Visit him at www.chefdez.com

Write to him at dez@chefdez.comor P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4

Next “Chef Dez on Cooking” column will appear approximately May 17/19

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