Backyard BBQ

Roberto Santibañez' Guacamole with Tequila & Apples

May  2, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 2 cups
Author Notes

The problem with chef Roberto Santibañez’s category-defining classic guacamole recipe is that once you try it, you stop acknowledging that others exist. It’s five ingredients and a perfect food, and will make you both an excellent guacamole provider and a terrible guacamole snob. But in the same cookbook, there are nine others worth trying. In making his case for tequila-apple-pecan, he’s very specific. The apple needs to be sweet and crunchy (not Granny Smith-tart) and diced not too fine, to contrast just vocally enough with the guac’s salty heat and richness. The pecans should be tossed in butter after toasting, not before, so you get fresh, unbrowned butter flavor, too. Adapted slightly from Truly Mexican (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
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Roberto Santibañez' Guacamole with Tequila & Apples
  • For the apples & pecans
  • 1 large crisp, sweet apple, such as Gala or Macintosh, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon silver (blanco) tequila
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves, sliced crosswise or coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt, or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • For the guacamole
  • 1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chile, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  1. Toss the apple with the tequila and lime juice in a bowl and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oven or toaster oven to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a small baking pan and bake until golden and fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and toss to melt the butter and coat the pecans. Sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat.
  3. Heat a comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over medium-low heat and roast the chile, turning it over with tongs once or twice, until tender, blistered all over, and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the chile (you might have to use a paring knife).
  4. Mash the chile, onion, salt (the coarseness of the kosher salt will help you make the paste), and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro to a paste in a molcajete or other mortar. You can also mince and mash the ingredients together on a cutting board with a large knife, and then transfer the paste to a bowl.
  5. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (not through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with the spoon into the mortar or bowl. Toss well, mashing the avocado coarsely with a pestle or fork, taking care to keep the avocado chunky.
  6. Gently stir in the apple mixture and most of the pecans just until it holds together. Garnish with the remaining pecans and cilantro. Serve right away with tortilla chips.

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Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

5 Reviews

donnareed6 February 16, 2022
Meh... It was too sweet for my preference. Hubby agreed. Tried and true is best!
Are the peppers seeded and cored before roasting?
Hana July 16, 2018
I roasted the pepper whole and mashed all of it up. Thought it might be too spicy but the guacamole ended up with the right amount of kick!
saneeub May 2, 2022
No. Roast it first. After it's roasted and charred bits removed, open the pepper, and the ribs and seeds can be easily removed.
Bea May 3, 2018
OMG, I think I've found the perfect guacamole. Of course I can't use the cilantro, I got deathly ill the first time I tried it and found out I have a true allergy to it. With that said I'm in love with the addition of the crunchy pecans and the sweetness from the apple just adds a whole new dimension. It's delicious. All I can say is thank you Roberto Santibañez you're my hero!!! Bravo!