Our next recipe comes from Keri.
Keri teaches the Tuesdays noon class, yoga allows her to be mindful in her professional and personal life, which is great because she often comes to teach right after an all-night shift at the hospital. Yoga brings balance to her sometimes stressful life as a full-time practicing OBGYN. You’ll often here Keri say “yoga saved me.”
In 2015, Keri completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Spira and continues to study and mentor with Dora Gyarmati and Carina Terra. Her yoga teaching-style is based on balancing strength and flexibility, healthy body mechanics, and mindfulness.
Keri is also a great friend, and I had the chance to taste her amazing Guacamole, and I do believe it is the best Guac I ever tasted. Poor thing is stuck making it every time we get together. – Dora (owner of Spira)
Below you will find Keri’s words:
This Mexican staple has now become an American staple. All too often with many different versions here in America, it is badly made. The beautiful avocados are mashed-to-death. The avocados become a puree of green, without texture, resembling baby food. I also prefer my guacamole in a savory form – incorporating a roasted salsa verde into the dip. My husband’s family gets together every summer for “family camp” deep in the woods of Michigan: a perfect setting for games, catching up, bonfires and cook-offs. The “Guac-Off” was particularly eye-opening into the depths of the American palate, regional cuisine, and how much we adapt recipes to suit our evolving tastes. Everything was added to the various versions of guacamole — bottled salsa, fresh chopped red onion, crisped bacon, orange juice, chopped tomatoes to name a few. While I didn’t win the Guac-Off, I’ve been reassured by my amazing husband and fellow Californians, that our Guacamole was their favorite. First prize went to the orange juice infused guacamole and second prize to the bacon version. I mean seriously who can compete with sugar and bacon?! I spend the time roasting some of the ingredients to develop a deeper flavor. Toasting the spices and grinding them releases their natural oils and aromas. Spend the extra time doing this, and I promise you won’t regret it. Finally, I leave the avocado pits in the mixture – it helps prevent browning of those beautiful green avocados. Serve with chips and margaritas, just as you normally would. I prefer Juanitas tortilla chips found in most markets in Seattle. Lastly — substitute the tequila with Mezcal. The smokiness and nuances of the Mezcal makes for a margarita you won’t forget anytime soon.
Serves 8-10 chip-wielding diners:
1 onion quartered
2 Jalapeños (or more to taste depending on your heat tolerance)
5-6 Tomatillos husked and halved (depending on their size)
1/2 bunch of cilantro plus additional for garnish
6-8 medium Haas avocados * (depending on their size, I always buy extra in case one is bad)
2 T cumin seeds **
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the salsa verde***:
Preheat over to 350 degrees
On a lined baking sheet place onions, whole jalapeños and poblanos, & tomatillos. Roast for 30-35 minutes, rotating veggies & pan half way through the process to ensure even roasting.
Remove the roasted veggies from the oven and place just the jalapeños and poblanos in a bowl covered with saran wrap. Let sit for about 30 minutes. This will allow you to peel & seed the peppers very easily. Chef’s note: I find the skin on the Jalapeño sometimes difficult to remove in it’s entirety but the roasting process softens it enough that it is not noticeable. Also you may want to use gloves to peel and seed your peppers.
Let the remaining roasted veggies cool
Place the cooled veggies, peeled peppers, 1/2 bunch of cilantro into a food processor or blender and puree. Add juice of 2 limes, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to combine.
To make the guacamole****:
Toast cumin seeds in a small fry pan over medium heat. Watch carefully as they will burn easily and impart a very bitter aftertaste. Ground with mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Set aside.
Peel and stone the avocados* into a large bowl. Salt to taste.
Add about 1/2 to 2/3 of salsa verde to avocado mixture. If you like your guacamole heavy on avocados add 1/2 if you enjoy a little more spice add 2/3 of the salsa verde. Using a fork or potato masher gently mash together.
Mix in the ground cumin, juice of one lime and additional salt and pepper to your taste.
May serve immediately. Guacamole will develop more flavor if kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for one to two hours. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves just before serving. *****
Set aside several of the avocado pits and add to your finished guacamole. It helps prevent browning
** May substitute ground cumin
*** Save the leftover salsa verde as an additional dip
**** Feel free to add fresh chopped tomatoes or red onion to add a little bit of color, texture and dimension to your dip
***** Lay a piece of saran wrap directly onto the surface of your finished guacamole dip. This will help prevent browning on the top.