Suzi's Blog

Spicy Guacamole from James Peterson


Guacamole recipes surround us. They outnumber us. Can there possibly be some new recipe that is really distinctive?

Yes, there is. From James Peterson’s new book, Kitchen Simple, comes this recipe that is both simple and good. It is a minimalist recipe. Here you will find no onion, no garlic, no mashing of the avocado. The taste here is simple avocado in chunks, heated with chipotle, herbed with cilantro, and intensified with lime juice.

The taste here is less complex than the standard guac. Your first bite may leave you wondering “what hath Peterson wrought”. But you can’t have just one, and as you sample it more this guac grows on you.

To accompany this guac’s delicate fruity flavor, use a red sangria packed with fruit. Sit back, dip your chip, sip your beverage, and enjoy any last traces of summer.

Ah, Peterson says to use chipotle chiles for a serious reason. He argues that just using fresh jalapenos may disappoint you. His concern: jalapenos can no longer be depended upon for intense heat. You may have had the experience of buying jalapenos over the past few years and finding some hot, some rather mild, and some that mysteriously have the flavor of inferior cardboard. Peterson blames genetic engineering “progress” and I agree.

Spicy Guacamole

Yield: 8 servings


  • 4 ripe avocadoes, preferably Haas
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 chipotle chiles, dried (soaked for 30 minutes in hot water) or canned in adobe sauce (sauce rinsed off)
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted (optional, don’t do it if you want to keep this really, really simple)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Cut around and through the length of the avocadoes all the way down to the pit. Rotate the two sides in opposite directions and pull them apart. Whack the pit with a knife, give it a twist, and lift the pit out and discard.

Cut the avocado lengthwise into quarters and the peel from each elongated wedge. Chop the avocados, coarsely. Stem, seed, and chop the chiles. Combine the avocados and chiles and stir in the lime juice, chiles, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Serve as soon as possible so that the avocados do not get dark.

Source: Kitchen Simple by James Peterson




Mango Guacamole


Nothing can really beat classic guacamole. That pure green mixture with the unique flavor is a culinary masterpiece.

On the other hand, sometimes you want or even need a twist to the flavor. If you are having a strong barbeque dish, say chicken or chops that are cooked until the outside begins to blacken, it’s a great contrast to have a cool, sweet side dish. This Mango Guacamole is just the trick.

The secret ingredient here, unlike classic guac, is to replace the standard jalapeno with hot/sweet pickles. You can find varieties of these pickles in many stores and we’ll be posting a recipe later this summer when our own cucumbers are ready in the garden.

This guac is, naturally, perfect for some chips and a salt-rimmed margarita. But just on the side of your plate, it’s a lively way to add character to your meal.

Normally, when we make guac we use a pastry cutter to mash the ingredients. Here, it’s chunky style so the size you get is the size you cut.


Mango Guacamole

Yield: about 3 cups


  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • ½ cup hot/sweet pickles
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 2 avocadoes
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Dice the onion and place into a bowl. Dice the pickles and add the pickles and any pickle juice to the bowl. That pickles juice is an important contributor to the flavor.

Skin the mangos, cut off the meat and dice. Add to the bowl.

Skin the avocados, remove the pit, and carefully slice up each half into “smallish” pieces, say ¼ by ¼ by ½ inch. You are doing the avocados at the end here to prevent them from discoloring. Add them to the bowl

Juice the lemons over the bowl. Then dice the cilantro and add. Stir to mix. You may want to add some salt, possibly some pepper, but you need to taste first.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Brian O’Rourke