My grandmother owned a large metate (mealing stone) to grind fresh corn to make dough for tortillas or tamales. A molcajete is very similar looking but smaller. It’s a traditional Mexican mortar and pestle to crush and grind spices, and prepare salsas and guacamole. A molcajete might be intimidating at first because it needs to be “broken in”. A tradional way to season one is to grind white rice in the molcajete, a handful at a time. When the crushed rice flour has no visible grains of basalt in it, the molcajete is ready to use.
An easy and quick method to season a molcajete is to spray it down with a power washer making it grit free and ready to use.
I love avocados and although there are many ways of preparing them my favorite is a pure and simple guacamole. Stay away from powders or imitation anything on this recipe and the end result will be a delicious combination of seven simple ingredients. Chunks of avocado, onions, and tomatoes make a beautiful, delicious presentation, so be careful not to over mash.
- 4 ripe avocados
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup minced white onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
If you own a molcajete (lava-stone mortar), using the tejolote (lava-stone pestle) grind the garlic, onion, jalapeño, and salt until all the ingredients are well ground. Dice the avocados and gently fold into the garlic-onion-chile paste, keeping the avocados fairly intact. Add tomatoes and squeeze the lime juice over the avocado and gently stir until the mixture is chunky. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve immediately, directly from the molcajete (or bowl), with tortilla chips.