entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: raya carlisle’s guacamole

by Kristina Gill

We’ve been courting wedding photographer Raya Carlisle since the wee infant stages of the In the Kitchen With column.  In fact it dates back to before Raya had her own infant, who is a big (little) boy now!  We are so very happy that Raya  has come through with a great summer recipe to use up those ripe avocados for the ultimate party food, guacamole.  Everyone has his or her own personal take on guacamole.  I make mine following a Rick Bayless recipe, but am always curious to try new variations.  If you’ve never made guacamole, Raya has a great step by step for you.  Let us know your version too!  -Kristina

About Raya: Raya Carlisle was born and raised on the coast of California, influenced by the natural grandeur and homegrown glitz. She makes a living photographing weddings and nothing makes her happier, but food photography freaks her out (I’m working on it).  She now resides in another California beach town a little bit south with her husband and 2 1/2 year old son where an ideal afternoon is homemade guacamole and margaritas.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!


This is best made in a volcanic rock Molcajete, available online at Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, or if you live in/near LA can be purchased at the Olvera Street Market.  Some come pre-seasoned, but if yours doesn’t make sure to season it first.


2-4 ripe avocados
1 medium sized tomato
1 serrano chili
Fresh lime juice
Sea salt

1. In your molcajete, start with 1 tsp. finely chopped serrano chili (I take out the seeds because I’m a wimp, but if you want more spice leave them in), 1 tsp lime juice and 1 tsp sea salt.
2. With the tejolete (pestle) grind up the chili, lime juice and salt until you have sort of a paste.
3. Add 1 avocado to the molcajete and mix lightly with the chili, lime juice and salt.
4. Dice tomato and add to molcajete along with a tablespoon or so of cilantro (more or less to taste)
5. Mix again lightly with the molcajete so everything is mixed well, but you don’t mash up the avocado too much.
6. From here you can add more avocados and more finely chopped chili, lime juice and salt to taste. In these pictures I used 4 avocados total and just added another pinch or two of salt and juice from 1/2 a lime.
7. Serve with your favorite chips, or if you want to make your own slice up corn tortillas, then lightly brush with olive oil and cook at 400º for about 10 minutes or until browned, turning once.  Add sea salt and serve warm.

Why Raya chose this recipe:

This guacamole is inspired by a popular NYC Mexican restaurant. At the photography studio I used to work at we came up with our own version (of course the restaurant would not divulge their recipe) and was a favorite to make for our clients during shoots.

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