Janet's Notebook
Ole! Guacamole Gets A Delicious Makeover


Juliann Esquivel's Cumin Guacamole


Mexican food is a well-known weakness of mine. I've been known to throw a fiesta at the drop of a sombrero, and I've never turned down a margarita... not once.

Lately, I've been pondering all the many variations of the classic Mexican recipe for guacamole. In my opinion, tortilla chips have never known a better friend than the avocado, and it's fascinating for me and the Crew to see (and taste!) how you cooks are adding your own twist on this classic.

Now, there's no way I can talk guac without mentioning Just A Pinch Recipe Club member Juliann Esquivel! A Blue Ribbon winner for her kicky recipe for Chunky Guacamole with Cumin, Juliann has continued to pepper the Club with her delicious take on Mexican cooking, from traditional to wholly unique! She recently shared another of her family's versions of classic guac, Guacamole Oaxacaqueno.

"[This is] another great recipe handed down from my grandmother," says Juliann. "You can add more heat by adding more jalapenos if you like. [To] make ahead of time, put the avocado pit in the middle of the guacamole and cover and store in the fridge. Your guacamole will stay nice and green and wont turn brown until you are ready to serve it!"

Well, I don't know about you, but that tip just made my day! All the more reason to double the recipe and squirrel some away for an after-party snack! Juliann also shares her method for making the perfect tortilla chip to accompany the dip, so be sure to check it out.

Lisa Pardini of Walnut Creek, CA offers up her own spin on the conventional flavors of Mexico. Her Roasted Corn Guacamole Salsa combines many fiesta favorites into one delicious bite...and to think it all came about by accident!

"Sunday's BBQ left one beautiful roasted ear [of corn] uneaten," explains Lisa. "I had immediate designs. [That night] the magic was concocted. It was so delicious I spooned it atop my baked potato along with more sour cream and wow was that good! Had to resist getting out the chips and finishing it off before anyone else got a taste."

I can't tell you how glad I am that she shared with US! I can't wait to try this using freshly roasted corn from MY grill. Lime and chili have long been favorites corn-toppers for me, but Lisa really steps it up a notch... or dos!

And when speed is your need, nothing is going to top Jennifer DeShazo's Quick, Zippy Guacamole Dip. (Yep, that's really the name!)

"My husband and I love guacamole dip!" proclaims Jennifer. Unfortunately, we can't always find a version of the dip in the grocery store that we really like. So, I created a fast and easy version that we both enjoy."

Fast and easy it is! Purists may throw their hands up at Jennifer's use of Ro-Tel along with her avocado and sea salt, but as us short-cutters know, what is Ro-Tel if not pre-cut tomatoes, onions and chilis?! What you may lose on presentation and convention, you surely make up for in ease. And in the midst of a guacamole craving, speed and flavor are everything.

Go on and get dipping! Whether you like your guac simple and classy, or kicky and creative there's creamy comfort just an avocado away.



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45 Comments
Kat19702
Katrina Freed - May 4, 2011
Thank you Juliann!
Juliann
Juliann Esquivel - May 4, 2011
for sure you can find them in NYC. You can find anything there. I love NYC. I used to go there and shop when I lived in Rosele, New Jersey. Any Latino grocery will carry the whole cumin seeds. Hope your friends child gets better real soon. LOL
Kat19702
Katrina Freed - May 3, 2011
WOW! Thanks Juliann, but I think I will be able to find them when my friend Patty is able to help. She is very busy with a child in the hospital right now, but we live very close to NYC and I know we could find them there... or maybe in Philly. She will know. She is from the Bronx!
Juliann
Juliann Esquivel - May 3, 2011
Katrina if you can't find them. I will get you a package of cumin seeds and send them to you. You will heat them a little and then grind them is a very clean spice grinder or coffee grinder. There must not be any residue from other spices or it will ruin the taste of your guacamole. LOL
Kat19702
Katrina Freed - May 3, 2011
My best friend is Latino so I am going to ask her about it first chance I get. I want to make it the way you do. ;
Juliann
Juliann Esquivel - May 2, 2011
Thank you Katrina, Glad to help out anytime. LOL
Juliann
Juliann Esquivel - May 2, 2011
Hi Katrina, Oh yes it does make a difference in the flavor. Thats why I use dried fresh seeds. You can find them in small packages in the spice section of any Latino grocery store. What I was trying to say to you is that the Cumin seeds are harder to find. I don't know where you live but in some parts of the U.S. there just are not any Latino grocery stores around or nearby. So if you could not find the seeds you could use ground cumin. LOL
Kat19702
Katrina Freed - May 1, 2011
I have ground cumin but the recipe says fresh seeds. Doesn't it make a difference? I love Mexican food. I put cumin in everything. LOL but the recipe says to fry the seeds.
Juliann
Juliann Esquivel - Apr 30, 2011
Hi Katrina! Glad you found out. If you can't find whole cumin seeds you can buy ground cumin in the spice section of your grocery store. Cumin is very popular what with the Mexican food craze. Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and you should have no trouble finding Cumin or Cumino as we call it in Spanish. Cumin is a must in Mexican cooking as is Mexican oregano, cilantro, epazote and chile peppers dried all kinds both dried and fresh. Good luck with your Guacamole. LOL
Kat19702
Katrina Freed - Apr 30, 2011
Juliann your guacamole recipes look awesome!!! I don't even know what cumin "seeds" are so I am going to try to make the other recipe... but thank you for the tip about the seed!!! I never figured that out till just a few days ago. I left a pit in half of an avocado and was surprised that it was still green. Then I read your note about leaving the pit in the guacamole and I love you for it! Mine was always turning that nasty color before we could eat it. Thanks for the GREAT ADVICE!
kimijo
Kimi Gaines - Apr 30, 2011
I read about the in our local newspaper...Janet has a column in it every week...
janenov46
Jane Whittaker - Apr 30, 2011
LOL wonder if Janet and crew would make that wine? ((((smiles)))))
janenov46
Jane Whittaker - Apr 30, 2011
LOL Donna, my Grandma Lee used to make wine all the time, sometimes with fruit. She would brew it in her attic by the stove pipe.(Up North the attics are warm in the summer time)
One year my Mom and her cousin got into the wine (was blackberry) and drank some and got tipsy and they were just kids too. It was a really cute story because my mom is a tee toaler and can't imagine her doing that.
Angelfoodie
Donna Thiemann - Apr 29, 2011
Janet you write the best articles and I love this feature!! Foodie to the max and foodography too!
Angelfoodie
Donna Thiemann - Apr 29, 2011
Jane there was never any doubt about you from the moment you and I became friends on here. You took off like a shot. What did it for me was the dandelion wine!! WE sure had a party that night you posted it! Now that one should win a blue for sure!! Hugs!!