Everyone on the internet is interviewing Jesse Bullington these days, with more to come, due to the imminent release of his keen debut novel, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart. The book is causing quite the ruckus in the world of literary reviews, and so not wanting to be a Molly-Come-Lately, I figured I better jump on the bandwagon and talk to Mr. Bullington about, well, something. Yet since Jesse is one of my best friends, and also my next door neighbor, I’ve already talked to him at length about The Grossbarts, so for VeganMoFo I’ve decided to interview him about guacamole, instead.
Q: Your face is too terrible. How do you prevent hairs from falling into your guacamole?
A: I have it on rather good authority that my face is nothing of the sort but I suppose I’ll humor you: Macomb Evelyn Jackson’s Muttonchop Bibs are available by mail order for any concerned gentlemen.
Q: When is the best time to eat guacamole?
A: ALLS OF TEH TIME
Q: What ingredients do other people put in guacamole that you find to be wrong or nonsensical?
A: Mayonnaise. Even imagining James Mason enunciating the word in Lolita fails to soften the blow–one may as well drain a boil into the bowl. That said, I’m a bit of a purist–anything beyond avocado, lemon, salt, peppers, spices, and occasionly garlic and/or tomato strikes me as being overkill.
Q: What do you feel are common guacamole-related mistakes?
A: Like thinking it’s a pear in leather armor? Or like keeping the seed in the bowl to prevent it from turning brown? (This is a common myth! Alton Brown debunks it somewhere in his “dip” episode so at the end of here, and then here. But Jesse’s recipe (following) is better than his. Sorry Alton!)
Q: How do you feel about nutritional yeast in guacamole?
A: The same way I feel about nooch in every dish–are you really going to use that much?
Q: What about mayonnaise?
A: How could you not forsee this being included in your what-not-to-guac section? Na-nay-naise.
Q: Is there ever a time someone is making dinner and you feel that guacamole would be an inappropriate appetizer or side dish?
It hasn’t happened yet.
Q: How do you make your guacamole?
-five avocados of appropriate softness (I tend to go for three really ripe ones and one or two that are the slightest bit firmer)
-random spices as I see fit
For pleasantly spicy guac add to this:
-chiltepan pepper and/or
-One or two large, fresh jalapenos or fresno chilis
Wash the exterior of all produce, including the avoacados because we are all OCD. Slice the avocados in half from top to bottom, removing the seed in that cool fashion Molly knows (it’s Alton’s! See above). Remove avocado from skins and place into bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Quarter a lemon and squeeze one quarter onto salty avocado, then set to mashing with a fork or a pestle.
Stop when the guac is still pretty chuncky and add another pinch of salt, as well as pinches of pepper and garlic and onion powder, and then squeeze the juice of another lemon quarter onto the guac. This is when you should add a pinch of chiltepan flakes or a diced hot pepper, de-seeded depending on how hot you want it, or a de-seeded tomato or two (OK, time out. Editorial aside: in my opinion this guacamole is so much better without peppers and tomatoes– they mask the taste of the avocado! Include them at your risk). Resume mashing, or mixing if you prefer a chunkier guac, and taste–as if you haven’t been tasting the whole time.
Add more salt, pepper, powders to taste in small increments–I usally use an entire lemon, but it’s best to add in wee little quartered increments to prevent overseasoning. Same goes for other additions like hot peppers or tomato–guacamole is very forgiving of late game additions, but few people have an extra avocado on hand to add if things get too salty or spicy. Enjoy with chips, on a salad, or straight out of the bowl with your fingers.
Alright, faithful readers, MoFoers, and Spambots: you should all be getting excited about the release of Jesse’s book–really, I’m not just saying that because he is my friend–and you should also be excited about applying his guac methodology. Seriously, he convinced me on the lemon-over-lime thing. I was an unbeliever, but he showed me the way. Anyways, I’ll probably take tomorrow off for MoFo-ing, but Monday I will come back atcha with the best recipe for refrigerator pickles I’ve ever tasted– maybe the best pickles I’ve ever tasted, ever. Excited? Of course you are.