Last week, in Mexico, I ate guacamole religiously at least twice a day. I heaped it on chips, lathered up tacos, bathed each bite of my fajitas and even spooned it over eggs at breakfast. It is safe to say that last week alone I doubled my lifetime consumption of avocado.

Surprisingly enough, I never got sick of the green goop and after being back in Chicago for just two days, I already find myself going through withdraw. Luckily, the ingredients are readily available in most places and making guacamole is a cinch.

The recipe used at Cozumel Palace Resort where I stayed is slightly different than the recipes I have made in the past. And, it was always accompanied by what they referred to as “Mexican Salsa” because the color of the ingredients match those of the Mexican flag.

Each day, the resort’s bubbly Activity Team offered a variety of events including ping pong tournaments, Mexican handcrafts, basic Spanish lessons and water aerobics. For the most part, I did not participate. Not because I am a curmudgeon but because I have a habit of participating in everything, which was one of the reasons I so needed a vacation. One afternoon, they came around announcing a poolside cooking class. That, I could not resist. When I arrived at the table I was disappointed when I found they were making only guacamole as I was dreaming of a complicated mole sauce or tamales from scratch. I sulked back to my lounge chair for a few minutes. After hearing all the excited murmurs from the crowd of ladies gathered around the table, I made my way back to watch and must admit that I learned a few things.

“Muy Bueno” Guacamole & Mexican Salsa

(the Mexican salsa is the same as Pico de Gallo but every time Chef Francisco called it Mexican Salsa he swelled with pride. It was so endearing that I have decided to call it that from now on too.)

4 tomatoes
Cilantro, one small bunch
1 white onion
6 limes
3 ripe avocados (soft to the touch)
4 serrano chilies (they are not too hot)
1 habanero chili (optional,use if you like it really spicy)
salt and pepper

Finely chop tomato and onion. Wash cilantro and chop the top of the bunch only and discard the stems. As presented by Francisco (pictured above), each ingredient was lined up on a plate to look like the flag. Squeeze the juice of limes over ingredients coating it all liberally. Set aside.

Peel and pit avocados. Mash them in a bowl. Put the tomato, onion and cilantro in a bowl and stir to mix. Chop chilies finely and mix them into the avocado. Add about 1/4 of the Mexican Salsa to the avocado mixture and stir together. Enjoy the salsa and guacamole with just about anything!


New tips that I learned:
– a wire whisk is a great tool for mashing avocados
– putting one of the avocado pits in the guacamole will supposedly keep it from turning brown