“Do not blend or we cannot be friends,” says Mark Best.
That’s his number-one rule for making his version of the beloved Mexican dip, guacamole. Instead he suggests using a potato masher so you don’t turn the avocado into a smooth paste, but keep it textured.
The other tip the award-winning chef tells us is you should let your avocados shine. “The ingredients I use here are merely to enhance the intrinsic qualities of the main ingredient.” That means balancing the richness from the avocado with salt and acid (in this case he’s used lime) but also, “adding a touch of heat and smoke is where the magic begins to happen,” says Best, referring to chillies and a smoky salt, which can be bought from speciality stores.
Best is one of Australia’s, well, best chefs. Before he closed his Sydney restaurant Marque in 2016, it was considered one of the country’s top fine diners. He went on to star in Netflix’s The Final Table. He’s also an ambassador for the Delcado, a Western Australian company that leaves its Hass avocados on the trees for a minimum of 12 months. That’s his preference for this recipe because he says it’s got a particularly buttery flavour and balances well.
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 jalapeño, finely diced
½ bunch coriander
2 tsp Maldon smoked salt
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 green shallots, chopped (note: in some parts of Australia these are called spring onions. Look for green and white tubes with a more or less uniform diameter, with no obvious bulb at the end.)
Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds by pressing on the back with your thumbs. Use a large spoon to scoop out and remove the flesh from the skins. Add to a large bowl with the juice of two limes (roll them around under the weight of your hand before cutting for maximum juice).
Cut the jalapeño in half and remove the seeds and stalk. Cut into thin strips and then cut across to create a fine dice. Add to the bowl.
Wash the coriander well in multiple changes of water without bruising. Shake dry and then chop finely with a very sharp knife. Add to the bowl and then add the salt and olive oil.
Mash the mixture with a potato masher because it’s easy and retains a good texture (do not blend or we cannot be friends). Whisk quickly with a fork and serve garnished with the green shallots, jalapeño and sprigs of coriander.
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