Rick Bayless might be best known for bringing Mexican fine dining to Chicago with restaurants such as Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. He also won Bravo's Top Chef Masters in 2009 and cooked for President Barack Obama during a state dinner to honor Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala.
Yet on Saturday evening, Bayless focused his attention on the 300-plus people who filled a tent in the parking lot at Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie.
One of the dishes Bayless made for his audience was mango guacamole or guacamole de mango. His new book, Fiesta at Rick's, has a whole section devoted to guacamole dishes.
"Everyone loves to start a party with guacamole," Bayless said. "And a lot of people expect it no matter what kind of party it is; that there's going to be some guacamole to munch on while you're getting in the mood for that party.
"I know a lot of people think guacamole is kind of one recipe but actually all avocados love to be paired with different kind of flavors. So I show you how to use everything from sun-dried tomatoes or pumpkin seeds to different kinds of fruit."
Below is the recipe that Bayless shared with his audience on Saturday.
You can purchase a copy of Fiesta at Rick's here.
If you missed our interview with Bayless, click here.
Also be sure to check out food critic Bill Burman's review of Bayless' Skokie restaurant, Frontera Fresco, here.
What you need:
- 3 medium-large ripe avocados (about 1 ¼ pounds).
- ½ small red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces.
- ½ to 1 fresh Serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped.
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (loosely packed), plus a few leaves for garnish.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- large ripe mango, peeled, flesh cut from the pit and cut into 1/4-inch pieces.
"Cut around each avocado from stem to blossom end and back up again, then twist the halves apart. Dislodge the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Coarsely mash the avocado with a large fork or potato masher. Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water and mix into the avocado along with Serrano, cilantro, lime juice and 2/3 of the diced mango. Taste and season with salt, usually about ¾ teaspoon. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate – best if served within a couple of hours.
When you're ready to serve, scoop the guacamole into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining diced mango and a few cilantro leaves if you're so inclined. Serve with tortilla chips or slices of cucumber or jicama."