tv RTE News Six One PBS August 1, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
>> your chipotle shrimp, fruit tarts, stir fry, marinara, enchilada, lobster minestrone weekend roast, french toast maker has arrived. >> fresh, smooth, authentic. hass avocados from mexico. >> i love guacamole. >> guac is great. >> with guacamole i like a little lemon, i like tabasco, a little majorum. >> yeah, i just like my guacamole classic. i keep it basic, not much astray beyond just the usual ingredients. >> i actually went to tijuana to get a little mexican stone piece so we could make our own guacamole. and it has a little pedestal.
>> i love the chopped onions, and i love the tomatoes. >> i don't like tomatoes in guacamole. it's too acidic. >> a little heat, little smokiness, it's good. >> it's got to be a perfect ripe avocado. that's everything. >> ripe is key. >> so there's no right answer. there's no one way to make guacamole. and if you think it's just acovado dip, well, stick around. now, the thing about guacamole, at least what we've learned here at frontera grill in chicago, is that it's for sharing. i mean, it's the kind of a dish that gets your mouth watering, gets the conversation started. and of course, everybody's got their own secret recipe for guacamole. i mean, here at frontera grill, we turn about 1,000 pounds of avocados into guacamole every week. and what's secret about our recipe? well, really nothing.
i mean, at least as far as the ingredients go. i mean, what i love about the thing is it's very, very classic. if there's a secret to it at all, it's all in the balance. now, of course you start gucamole with avocados, and they have to be ripe. cut around the pit. i'm sure you've all seen this before. twist the two sides apart, lodge your knife into the pit, and then you scrape the flesh of the avocado out of the skin and into a bowl. now, the next step, of course, is to mash the avocados. and this, i guess, sort of goes along with that 1,000 pounds of avocados that we use every week. i'm making such a small batch of guacamole for you that i didn't think that this was going to be the right implement, though this is what we use in the restaurant here at frontera. so i brought this old-fashioned potato masher from home, and i'm
going to go in and mash, coarsely mash, the avocados. i like chunks of acovado in my guacamole. okay, so i'm going to set that to the side now while we talk about onion. and in mexico, it's always a white onion that they use, never a yellow onion. and i'm going to add just a small amount-- let's say about a quarter of this one right here-- and give it a fine dice. now i'm going to scoop that finely-diced white onion into a strainer and do what they call in mexico desflamando la cebolla, deflaming the onion. and i've put it into a little bit of water here. i'm going to add a little bit of vinegar. this is going to take the bite out of that raw onion. just whoosh it around a little bit and let it sit there while
we prepare the other ingredients. now, in the summertime, for our frontera guacamole, we use farm-fresh vine-ripe tomatoes and dice them up. but in the winter i don't ever find any tomatoes that i think are worthy of our guacamole. so what we use is sun-dried tomatoes. we get the really soft sun-dried tomatoes and dice them finely. now i'm going to scoop that all together and push it to the side over here while we chop up a serrano chili. i like a little spice to my guacamole, and so i do the serrano seeds, veins, and all. but chop it really finely. scrape that over to meet our tomato while we prepare the cilantro.
and i'll need about a good little handful of it here. using the technique of a fine slice rather than a chop, what the chefs would call a chiffonade here. grab our ball of mashed avocado, add the serrano, tomato, and cilantro to it there. stir it around, and we're ready to add that crunchy white deflamed onion to it. that'll go in there. all we're lacking now is the final seasonings. and of course everybody likes a little salt in their guacamole. the next matter of taste. i'm going to squeeze a lime into mine. some people in mexico prefer no
lime in their guacamole, but i think it perks up that avocado flavor. but not too much. i'm going to give it just about half of this lime half squeezed in there. i'd say this is pretty much a classic mexican guacamole. although it may surprise to know there really is no such thing. now, does this green stuff look like what you'd expect to find at a football party? well, i mean, it does start with avocados, and then all the rest of the normal guacamole ingredients like onions and cilantro and some green chili. but then they throw in some tomatillos-- they add a lot of
brightness to it-- and then puree the whole thing until it's more like the consistency of pancake batter than it is party dip. but is it guacamole? well, i don't know. i mean, guacamole comes from the ancient aztec langauge, and it means guaca for avocado and mole for sauce. so yeah, it's an avocado sauce. and to tell you the truth, at a little corner taqueria like this one in downton mexico city, it's classic. it's set out right on the counter with all the rest of the ingredients to spoon on your tacos or other little mexican snacks. and it adds this beautiful bright creaminess, creating that perfect little taco and condiment combination.
this little market stall makes some of the most succulent pork carnitas on the planet. and in this place, they make their guacamole in that-- in a meat grinder. and i don't think they do it just because they happen to have a meat grinder around. no, i think they like the fact that it comes out with this wonderfully coarse texture that pairs so beautifully with the crispy little bits of pork carnitas. pork carnitas-- you know, that pork that is slowly simmered in its own fat until it's as crispy and juicy as great duck confit? what a treat. so you're getting the idea that when it comes to guacamole here
in mexico, well, texture can be almost as important as flavor. i mean, you've got the smooth variety, you've got the chunky, and then you've got the sort of crunchy, chewy thing. well, now, what i'm talking about there is this mexican tradition of upping the flavor and texture ante by adding what we would call chapulines. or in chicago that would be grasshoppers. oh, but this is just a traditional thing in oaxaca. i mean, they harvest the grasshoppers, and then they toast them on a griddle and serve them with some lime and chili and salt and... but, you know, that whole thing about eating bugs... you know, i know... well, just think about it like this. you know, you can eat shrimp with the shells on, right? well, okay, then.
that didn't bug me at all. okay, here's the concept that i have for tonight. i've invited some friends over, and i'm going to put together this thing that i call a luxury guacamole bar. yeah, we're going to start with guacamole, but i'm going to keep the guacamole real simple, just flavor it with a little bit of roasted garlic. then i'm going to make some salsas, some little garnishes, a couple of salads all chopped up fine, including one that's got some smoked salmon in it. and then everybody can take a chip or a piece of grilled bread and pile on a little of that
roasted garlic guacamole, and then customize it to suit their own taste, choosing whatever of the salads and salsas and garnishes seems to appeal to them. now, when you're going to make guacamole, of course, the first thing you do is go to the store, and what do you find? well, usually rock-hard avocados, right? well, unless you come to a place like this. this is casa del pueblo in the pilson section of chicago, and it's one of the most beautiful mexican grocery stores i've ever seen. and if you happen to live within driving distance of a mexican grocery store, well, you'll always find ripe fruits and vegetables, including avocados. like, i think it's a cultural thing. when you go into a mexican market, you always expect to find things ready to eat that day. now, when you're choosing avocados here, well, the thing that you're going to look for to make sure that they're ripe and in good shape is, number one, that they have that little nub at the top.
it's not going to be dark here at the top. that's the little piece of the stem end of the avocado. then flip the whole thing over and press firmly but gently on it, and if it gives on that big bulbous end there, then you know that the avocado is going to produce very creamy, really delicious guacamole. well, the main event of this guac fest is the guacamole, of course, made from beautiful, ripe avocados. but the guac that i have in mind for this has got a secret ingredient-- garlic. roasted garlic. when you roast garlic in the mexican way, you crush a head of garlic and separate it into cloves, then put those cloves in a dry skillet, set it over medium heat, and turn them until they're completely soft on the inside. they'll be kind of blotchy black on the outside. cool them down a little bit, and
then remove that papery skin from the roasted garlic clove. when you start chopping it and mashing it, it'll have almost exactly the same consistency as that buttery avocado pulp will. you cut into the avocados and scoop the flesh out from the skin, coarsely mash it. you can just see how that roasted garlic is going to be such a perfect match for that rich avocado. scrape the mashed roasted garlic in with the mashed avocado, and then we're on to our final seasonings. as i said, we're going to keep this guamole very simple. so just a small amount of lime juice, fresh lime juice, squeezed through my favorite mexican lime juicer. and then a little bit of chopped fresh cilantro.
i'm keeping all of the seasonings quite light in this, because we've got so many wonderful things that we're going to make to go on top of it. so just slice it sort of coarsely. cilantro in there, along with a couple of teaspoons of salt. remember, there's a dozen avocados here and a head of garlic. stir that up. to tell you the truth, the flavors come together better in this guacamole if you'll refrigerate it for a few hours before you serve it. and the other most important thing is to cover it directly on the surface with some plastic wrap. okay, now on to the over-the-top part-- the great toppings and garnishes that are really going to bring this guacamole bar to life. and i'm going to start with a
couple of things called salpicon. and what does that mean? well, usually it kind of refers to things that are all chopped up, but then they're given this splash, this salpicon, of something tangy that just really brings out all the flavor. and the first one that i'm going to make is a crab one, and i'm going to get a bowl out here and put into it all this really beautiful lump crabmeat. now, the second ingredient that's going to go in here is jicama, and i'm going to need about three quarters of this jicama here. now, if you haven't even worked with these, go at it with a knife and go about an eighth of an inch down. all of that jicama will go in with the crab. and then i've got a couple of more chopping jobs here.
i've got some green onions, and i've got some cilantro. just chop those up and add those as well. now, our last ingredients are going to be fresh-squeezed lime juice. that's what's going to turn this sort of crab salad-looking thing into a true salpicon. so i'll squeeze a little lime over it, and sprinkle in about a teaspoon of salt. all that gets stirred together. scoop it into my serving bowl. and i'm going to cover this with plastic wrap and slide it into the refrigerator. now, our second salpicon is going to be a roasted poblano salpicon, but it's going to be made special with smoked salmon. and not the soft smolmon
the kind that would be like lox, that type, but a hot smoked salmon. and you can find it in a lot of the grocery stores these days in small packages of about four ounces like this. you can flake that, and it makes wonderful salad. so i'm going to cut this open and show you what the salmon looks like. you peel the skin right off the back of it like that. i'm going to grab a bowl out of here and flake the salmon into it. now on to the poblano chilis. i've got about a pound of it. that's four large ones here. and i'm going to put them on the chili roaster and turn it on high. when all those chilis are blackened and blistered on the outside, let them cool until you can handle them. then rub off all of the blackened skin, tear them open, pull out the seed pod and scrape out the seeds, then give them a brief rinse to get all the stray
bits of seed and skin off of them. then chop them up into quarter-inch pieces and scoop them in with the smoked salmon. chop a red onion into quarter-inch pieces, scoop it into a strainer, rinse it under cold water, and then shake off all of the excess water. that'll take some of the bite out of it. and add it to the bowl as well. and lastly, that salpicon splash of fresh lime juice. now, when you're working with smoked salmon you want to be careful with the salt. i like to put a little bit of mexican oregano into the mix, because i like its aromatic quality, so i'm going to crush that whole leaf oregano between my palms and over the salpicon. i think i do need to give it a little taste, however, just to
ensure that the salt and the lime are right. it does need just a sprinkling of salt. into the serving bowl, wrap it, and refrigerate. okay, on to the final two preparations, and they're chunky salsas that we can pile onto that beautiful roasted garlic guacamole. now, the first one is a chopped tomato salsa, salsa mexicana, you might call it pico de gallo. the other one is tomatillos with orange. now, everybody's got their favorite way to make that chopped tomato salsa. it's up to you the proportions that you want to put in it. but basically you just chop up some tomatoes, the finer the better, a little bit of white onion, some green chili. i'm partial to serrano chilis,
but you might want to use jalapenos or another one. a little chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of salt, and you're basically done. okay, with that done it's time to move on to tomatillo salsa. and i'm going to peel about a half a pound of tomatillos, take them right out of their little papery husks. and then i'm going to put them into a bowl, cover them with a plate, and i'm going to put them into the microwave, and microwave them for three minutes here. okay, that's only half the tomatillos that we're going to be working with. so i'm going to peel four more, another half pound, plunk them into a food processor like that,
and pulse everything until we get them chopped very finely. this is what's going to add the really fresh quality to our salsa. i'm going to scrape those into a bowl, and then i'm going to chop up a red onion and three or four of those canned chipotle chilis. chop them real fine. chipotles go into the bowl, and i'm going to put the food processor back together. no need to clean it for this. the tomatillos that i did in the microwave have cooled to room temperature, and now i'm going to turn this on and make a smooth puree. okay, that's going to give a beautiful consistency to this salsa. so we have both raw and cooked tomatillos going in here.
coming together beautifully. and now for the oranges. i'm going to do little... what are called a supreme of an orange. and you start that by cutting top and bottom off of the orange, and then go all the way around, cutting with the shape of the orange and taking all of the white pith off. now, to cut out the seedless supreme, you just cut between the little membranes. it's best if you cut these little orange segments up into sort of bite-size pieces. you'll see why when the guests arrive, which reminds me that i'm going to give this a little bit of salt, stir that in, go change for my guests, and then put out all of the final garnishes for our luxury
guacamole bar. okay, so here's the idea-- we've got a roasted garlic guacamole here, and we've got litlte grilled pieces of bread, some sturdy chips there, and the idea is that you just get in and make whatever you want. and so just mix and match. make your own little concoctions. i think that people always have so much fun creating things, and because they're little bites, you get the opportunity to go back and sort of recustomize it. you know, there's a thousand different combinations. so can i make one for you of this? okay. let me see. do you want it on a chip?
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